BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home


I have a soft spot in my heart for colorful retro kitchens. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, it makes me nostalgic for our first house we moved into as newlyweds. It was built in the late 1950s and everything was original to the house. The bathrooms were never updated and the kitchen wasn’t either. But I was okay with that because they had absolutely pristine white powder-coated metal cabinets manufactured by a company called Youngstown (see an interesting history here of industrial steel kitchen cabinetry). We painted the walls yellow and it all felt very fresh and retro. It was where my blog began, in fact!

The retro kitchen trend is probably best known for its style and color appeal along with some personality-laden details. Here are a few favorites to get your ideas flowing.

This all white kitchen is brought to life with the red floral hardware, a more colorful spin on the traditional checkerboard floor, scalloped vent hood, and vintage-inspired modern appliances. Design by Alison Kandler.


European brand Smeg is maybe best known in the US for their line of refrigerators, providing major vintage style appeal in a wide spectrum of hues. But, they’re maybe not the most practical as their European size is substantially smaller than what most Americans are used to. I like how Joy Cho of Oh Joy integrated this mint one into her studio kitchenette.


A pretty pink option (notice how everything else is kept pretty simple, allowing the color to pop).


In this kitchen below, the vintage theme is carried through with other accents such as the pastel dishes and glasses, bread box, and icy blue refrigerator.


Sugar & Cloth brings color to an all-white kitchen through the retro fridge as well as a few other appliances.


I love the Rocketeer feel of these stand mixers, also by Smeg. I caught a glimpse of one of their toasters over in our local West Elm and these are a great way to get the look without doing a total kitchen remodel. Dualit also offers a classic line of small appliances (this toaster has been on my must-have list for awhile).


A moody retro-inspired black kitchen is kept interesting and not too serious with the addition of a little aqua and cream.



Two great classic kitchens above and below (via BHG) with great monochromatic texture and style.


Elsie Larson’s kitchen tour at A Beautiful Mess features loads of vintage details. A colorful KitchenAid stand mixer is a classic appliance that can add a pop of unexpected color.


This beachy kitchen is chock full of vintage details, including the enameled vent hood and matching toaster oven in the corner. I’m also really intrigued by the French door refrigerator as I haven’t seen this particular option in the US before. (Via House of Turquoise)576233d0b0f39c5b56d8aa27da00a429

I love seeing modern interpretations of classic designs. This kitchen (via Big Chill) has the pastel retro colorscheme, but it’s softened and modernized.


A few tips on sources to help you get the look: so many manufacturers are bringing back the retro style (but with modern guts). A recent perusal of a few local kitchen showrooms locally turned up some pretty awesome options. Smeg is probably the best known in the US for their colorful refrigerators, but Big Chill is another company that offers everything from small appliances up to the major items like fridges, washers, dryers, and stoves. US retailer GE’s Artistry Series is fun (although only in black and white) but also a little more subdued overall to fit a more mainstream audience.

Happy shopping! Share in the comments your favorite vintage appliances!


The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.


Picture this: Your son’s uniform needs to be washed in time for today’s game, and you know you’ll be cutting it close. You put it in the washer, set the appropriate cycle, then jump to other tasks around the house. You can check the time left in the cycle on your smartphone, and, when it’s done, you get a message so you can immediately move the load to the dryer. When the clothes are dry, you’re alerted again. His uniform is ready, and you haven’t wasted a minute or a step. It’s enough to make you love laundry day!



Smart kitchen and laundry appliances, which feature automatic functions and computerized control, are all about making life a little easier. That’s at the heart of our Innovation Kitchen, and a set of Internet-connected appliances from Whirlpoolplay a key role. They let you check on and change cycles, adjust settings, and track energy use on your phone or tablet. Monitoring and controlling the washer, dryer, refrigerator, and dishwasher with your fingertips is easy, convenient, and just plain fun.



We took the same approach to convenience with the windows in our kitchen. This awning window from Andersen operates by remote control. What’s really cool: If it starts raining, this window will close automatically. Talk about stress-free!



We love these innovative double-hung windows: They let you know when you’ve left the sash open, or even when the window has been left unlocked. It’s a great feature for security and energy efficiency. Motorized roller shades from Hunter Douglas operate on batteries so they’re easy to add to a window. An app lets you raise all the shades in a room at once or one at a time.


And how about a kitchen faucet that not only takes care of messes, it avoids them? This automatic Kohler faucet saves you from touching it or anything else with messy hands. It’s activated by a sensor under the spout’s arc so it turns on only when you want it too, like when you hold a pot under it or wave your hands. It also has a pull-down spray head for ease in cleaning the sink.


How about a little convenience in your kitchen?


See more of the BHG Innovation Kitchen we created in collaboration with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Fiddlehead Design Group

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