Creating A Retro Kitchen With Big Chill Charm


Having designed many kitchens in my career each and everyone is personal to the homeowner’s style, needs and likes.  Some people have grown up with older appliances in their childhood kitchen and want everything new and modern.  Others prefer a comfortable more casual feel.

I have found that downsizing baby boomers want clean, neat and sleek.  The stainless steel appliance they never had in their kitchen is top of the list.  While the younger generation may prefer softer lines, adding a conversation piece with a pop of color to their kitchen design.  I myself have had the traditional kitchen with cherry cabinets and granite counter tops as well as the stainless steel appliances.  This style may seem timeless and suited the interior feel of my loft living space with dark wood floors, brick walls, high ceilings, and wood beams.

Moving to a bungalow on the Oceanside I knew exactly the type of kitchen I wanted to design for this charming space.  A kitchen with soft lines, a nostalgic feel and definitely adding a retro feel to the overall space.

Although my retro stove was white and the refrigerator was cream, designing a kitchen around Big Chill’s 36-inch retro gas stove in Beach Blue is similar to one of Pantone’s color of the year Serenity.  Colors that will be seen in fashion and home décor this year.  Soft blues combined with Pantone’s Rose Quartz.  Quite a big switch from taupe and gray color schemes preferred today by homeowners.

When using a colorful appliance make this the focal point in the room. Accessorizing can be easy and achieved by choosing lighter cabinets such as cream or off-white.  Showcasing your style can be done through choosing the right accessories to complement your appliance.  I love the day trip, the excursion for seeking the unique and unusual accents.  Completing your kitchen design is like going on a scavenger hunt.  One of my found items was located directly in my parent’s storage shed.  The old vintage farm scale that my grandfather used when selling his vegetables and fruits on the side of the road in front of the farmhouse.  I love this scale it complements the retro style stove and adds color at the same time in the beach blue color pan.  It’s the perfect pop of color needed in my kitchen especially when filled with green and red apples and bananas.  Another find were the steel base antique soda fountain stools with the original tangerine vinyl covered seats, an accent color that works the Big Chill’s Beach Blue retro stove. 

More pop of color against the white kitchen cabinets was achieved.   Instead of using everyday solid dish towels, add to your search vintage dishtowels with color, cookbooks with bindings that have the same pop of color needed in the kitchen.  I added my favorite vintage Greek cookbooks.  One from my mother and the other with notes written in it from my grandfather.  Also, if a color is needed on the walls, try adding Pantone’s color of the year for 2016.  Rose Quartz will contrast nicely on a focal wall or a shade of Serenity.  Another way to bring in wall color would be by choosing your contrasting color through wallpaper in a fretwork design.  For beach blue, I used the tangerine and turquoise as accent colors in my kitchen.  Needing another bar stool, a great find was the industrial metal stool that had turquoise chippie paint and a worn seat.  Color can also be added by finding a vintage fabric for a window treatment over the sink to complement or contrast Beach Blue.

Finding accents of dishware is also a fun and rewarding trip.  I was given a white milk glass Sunkist juice squeezer from my uncle.  A piece I like to display.  These interesting items can also be found on your own antiquing and picking trips.

Finally, the icing on the cake if you will, would be to finish off with fresh flowers.  Choosing tangerine color tulips simply arranged in an original Pfaltzgraff pot was just the right touch for the counter top.  Follow your own style for creating a retro kitchen.  Don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

Debbe DaleyComment