Retro kitchens have a unique charm but are hard to come by—so when a midcentury modern kitchen sports well-preserved vintage cabinets, retro counters and colorful appliances, we stop in our tracks.

Kitchens are often the room that either make or break a house—and for good reason, as remodeling comes with a hefty price tag. However, where others see a space in need of a gut and update, midcentury enthusiasts see priceless original details.

Old Becomes New

So the question is begged: How do you preserve or restore retro kitchens?

One possible answer to the question above would be to turn to “new” old stock.

A Craigslist ad sparked this post, and while it has since been taken down, a retro-loving homeowner is enjoying their steal of the century. In Sparta, Michigan, a kitchen setup from the 1950’s—complete with appliances and grey formica—was sold.

Revive your mid mod home by rescuing a "new" old retro kitchen.
Revive your mid mod home by rescuing a “new” old retro kitchen.

According to the post, the vintage kitchen cabinets, counters and appliances were from an upstairs kitchen in a farmhouse. To sweeten the deal, apparently the setup was only used for about five years after it was first installed approximately 60 years ago.

Revive your mid mod home by rescuing a "new" old retro kitchen.
Revive your mid mod home by rescuing a “new” old retro kitchen.

While counter space is far from ample, the gray formica countertops still shine. Thanks to a small bank of cabinets across from the main kitchen setup, the lucky new owner of this retro kitchen has an ideal area for prep work.

Revive your mid mod home by rescuing a "new" old retro kitchen.
Revive your mid mod home by rescuing a “new” old retro kitchen.

Let the Hunt Begin

Many homeowners and readers have shared their tales of tracing down new old stock (sometimes still in their original boxes!) and using them to revive retro kitchens. While posts like a complete mid mod kitchen aren’t the most common on Craigslist, they may be worth seeking out. Be it a vintage appliance, 1960s tiles or a box of buttery-yellow tiles, new old stock is a preservationist’s go-to for ensuring that quintessential midcentury aesthetic is achieved.

Read Up on Retro Kitchens

Can’t get enough of midcentury kitchens? For those of you who have read the fall issue of Atomic Ranch you’ll have seen our new section “Atomic Kitchens.” This section has been added so as to help answer the question of how to preserve or restore a retro kitchen. Keep reading for more!