Mid century kitchens are iconic—and for good reason. Their style stands the test of time, and their functional design is second to none. When it comes to updating an original mid mod kitchen (or replacing one that has long lost its retro charm) these are the design essentials to keep in mind.
1. Geometric Tile
Turn your backsplash into a work of art by opting for tile that packs a stylish punch. Be it hexagons, penny rounds, or a dimensional wall tile, there are plenty of mod-friendly tile options for your mid century kitchen. Simply add these “wow-worthy” shapes to your walls and listen as the complements fly in!
2. Bold Color Choices
It’s no secret that fun colors played a key role in mid century kitchen design. From pink stoves to blue refrigerators, bold use of color is as at home in a mid mod kitchen as the cabinets themselves. Are colorful major appliances not your style? Consider a splashy tile hue, paint an accent wall or opt for bright cabinets.
3. Use Pattern
Starbursts, diamonds, and boomerangs—oh my! Mid century style brought us a plethora of amazing graphic patterns. Bring their retro goodness to your kitchen through dish towels, linen napkins, or wallpaper. Nothing’s wrong with showing a little bit of personality with just the right amount of patterned spunk and funk!
4. Laminate—Yeah, it’s Back
Many companies are bringing back the iconic laminate countertops from decade’s past. For example, Make it Mid Century has SparkleLam, a laminate that glistens with flecks of gold or silver and is available in 15 colors. Having a Jetson’s-inspired kitchen has never been easier!
5. Play with Pastels
Bold hues like orange and turquoise often get all the attention from fans of mid century design, but soft hues like buttery yellow, mint green and soft blue are just as period-appropriate. If a lighter kitchen palette is more your speed these are the colors for you.
6. Make a Focal Point
Be it your island, a bank of open shelves, or a vintage stove—pick one area and play it up. Not only will having a focal point will anchor your kitchen’s design, it also has the possibility to increase the depth of your spaces and help create a lasting (and decidedly mid century) impression.
7. Light it Up
Don’t overestimate the power of good lighting. Take your time choosing pieces that marry form and function so that your mid century kitchen will have stylish fixtures as well as plenty of light. With these star-studded statement pieces, you’ll be able to control the shadows, brightness, and dimensions of your cooking space all with the flip of a switch!
8. Minimal, Yet Mod, Accents
A cluttered counter is never a good idea, especially in a mid century kitchen. Finish off your space with a few well-placed accents that nod to retro style without overwhelming the eye. Display a vintage cookbook, salt and pepper set, or add a collection of mid mod glasses to open shelves.
9. Give it Personality
Don’t forget, this kitchen is yours. Does red make you happy? Use it. Is that vintage art print what you want to look at while making coffee? Hang it up. Are your mom’s mixing bowls worthy of display? Set them out. A well-designed and perfectly styled kitchen isn’t complete until it features the people who use it.
10. Celebrate Woodgrain
Only craftsman style truly rivals the mid century in appreciation for and celebration of woodgrain, so play up your wood cabinets by choosing a palette that lets them be the star of the show. If you’re starting fresh with your mid century kitchen design, look for easily customizable cabinets. And if your willing to really spice-up your spaces, add a deeper woodgrain to really bring contrast to the room.
11. Don’t Forget Vintage
Be it a Gorge Nelson clock, a vintage art print, or a display of retro mugs—a mid century kitchen isn’t complete without a few proudly displayed MCM touches. Add whatever makes your heart content, all while further developing your mid mod spaces and remaining true to the design styles of the past.
12. Consider Metal Cabinets
Metal cabinets are the creme de la creme of mid century kitchen design. People drive cross-country to rescue original metal cabinets from homes being renovated—and for good reason. These beauties epitomize the era’s dedication to innovation through design. Luckily for you, they are available new and in a variety of sizes and colors.
Want more kitchen essentials to peruse? Here is a collection of mid-mod gifts sure to make any amateur chef swoon!