Not all retro is good retro. When these homeowners bought their 1950s brick ranch, they encountered dated ribbon-mahogany woodwork. Instead of gutting the kitchen, they decided to salvage the kitchen cabinets by sanding and painting them a sophisticated matte black. They then updated the kitchen and dining area with light trim and walls against dark details, providing a neutral canvas for pops of bright colors such as apple green, sky blue, and chili-pepper red. To add seating without eating up space, they installed an overhanging countertop supported by brackets. This creates a bar-style hangout spot for little money.
Giving old cabinets a fresh face is a great way to recycle and save money. It's also important in small kitchens to get appliances off counters to free surface areas for cooking. Here, a built-in shelf keeps the microwave handy and opens up valuable storage space.
Angled shelving is the perfect spot to show off unique accessories and personality. The shelves are backed by birch-motif wallpaper to add interest to the display space. Modern accessories, such as a black bird statuette, serve as playful accents for the faux bois wallpaper. The bright apple-green coffee cups add color to the space. Bright colors work well when used sparingly and consistently against a neutral base.
Vintage cabinets often sport hardware in odd sizes. Replacing outdated cabinets and drawer pulls with bendable modern hardware that adjusts to fit existing holes is a simple alternative. New interior hinges and tiled backplash the same color as the cabinets continue the clean and contemporary look.
The black, tan, and white background in the kitchen is a calm foundation that allows for bold color choices. Choosing colorful elements that can be changed as trends come and go is the easiest way to vamp up a room. Here, apple-green pillows spice up the neutral dining space.
A built-in breakfast nook bench with storage underneath keeps clutter to a minimum. Simple square pillows in fun fabrics top the bench to create a homey atmosphere. The pillows not only add comfort to the sitting area, but the pops of color and patterns add style to the kitchen.
Too much black in a small-space kitchen could be overwhelming, so the look is softened with a mix of natural textures and shapes. The eating area uses plants and edibles, such as chili peppers and wasabi peas, as design elements.
The breakfast nook adds function, color, and comfort to the kitchen. The table was built on the cheap from two sheets of Baltic birch plywood glued together, with the edge cut in a bevel with a router. The top is sealed with a white laminate.
The kitchen needed a statement-making fixture to fill the open space over the breakfast nook and provide task lighting for dining. This shiny black fixture was the perfect element to highlight the black in the kitchen and add to the mod decor.
A statement piece of artwork using the room's color scheme is a unique way to add an element of interest to a plain wall. Large artwork can be expensive, so making your own is an easy alternative. Vibrant vintage-design fabric was stretched and stapled to a medium-density fiberboard and framed. This budget-savvy piece of artwork adds instant personality to the space.