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Kitchen Remodeling Tips for Incorporating a Retro Design

Kitchen Remodeling Tips for Incorporating a Retro Design

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October 26, 2010

Retro kitchens are all the rage these days, but results can vary based on the materials and expertise applied to the remodel. From choosing design elements to performing the actual construction and labor, kitchen remodeling can be a daunting task to take on yourself. If you're ready to take a walk down memory lane by creating your own retro kitchen, with or without the help of a local contractor, read on for an overview of some of the most important design elements to consider.

Retro Kitchen Remodeling

If you're intrigued by retro design ideas from the post-war 1940s to the 1970s, there are a variety of concepts to choose from:

  • Color scheme. From bright, wild colors to more subdued designs, you'll find that almost any colors can be made to look retro. Classic combinations include orange and green, red with other colors as highlights, yellow, or glossy black and white.
  • Cabinets. The most visible retro features on any cabinets are the right knobs and handles. Get inspired by checking out images of 1950s' kitchens or sinks, or explore new retro designs offered at your local hardware store.
  • Tiles. Wall and floor tiles can create a nostalgic feel with swirling designs, floral patterns, or even Persian floor tiles.
  • Faucets and sinks. Retro faucets and sinks are usually simple and white, distinguished by the classic lines of the period.
  • Appliances. From your fridge to your stove, it's possible to find energy-efficient modern appliances that look like they were made decades ago, perfect for an old-fashioned kitchen.
  • Furniture. Vinyl chairs, checked and floral patterns, and wild colors make it easy to choose furniture to complement any retro kitchen.
  • Wall décor: Whether you prefer vintage posters, an old-fashioned telephone, or unusual highlights like colorful Bundt cake pans hung on the walls, there are numerous ways to add looks of old to your kitchen's décor after the renovation is complete.

Kitchen Renovation Tips

Below are a few more insider tips to ensure that your retro kitchen redesign goes smoothly:

  • Don't go it alone--unless you're a pro. The cost of a kitchen renovation might be steep, but without professional experience in plumbing and wiring, you can get yourself in some real trouble. At the very least, find a kitchen contractor to handle these complex (and potentially dangerous) tasks.
  • Consider efficiency and traffic. The kitchen is the most-traveled room in most homes, so in addition to considering design elements, optimizing the layout and space can make cooking and entertaining simpler and more enjoyable.
  • Set a realistic budget: Once you've determined how much you want to spend, do your best to stick to it. Get a professional estimate on kitchen renovation costs, and then make any necessary changes to your plan to accommodate your budget.
  • Consider resale value: You might be tempted to go all out with your redesign, but think about how your new kitchen might look to prospective buyers if you were to sell your home in the next few years. Some changes have great resale value (for example, cabinet refacing), but others can actually lower the return on your investment. It's possible to get as much as 95 percent of your kitchen renovation cost back as equity, but only if your retro design is appealing to people outside your family.
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