How to go retro 50s diner inspired style
Once you’re living in a post-college apartment, the kitchen becomes more than just a place to slurp down cereal or bake a frozen pizza. It becomes a sort of sanctuary where you can unwind after a long day of work, drink a bottle of wine and try out a new Pinterest-sourced recipe. So the kitchen should reflect your style, just like the rest of the apartment. If the decor elsewhere in your home is distinguished by vintage pieces and floral patterns, bring the retro vibes in the kitchen by gleaning inspiration from ‘50s-era diners. Here are a few elements you can add to the kitchen to help.
- Red vinyl chairs. Nothing says old school like a set of red vinyl bar stools or chairs. They were the quintessential component of diners in the ‘50s, and if you use them right, they can become the focal point of your next Instagram. If you have a favorite antique shop or vintage store nearby, keep an eye out for cherry-red vinyl, or search eBay and other online retailers for hidden treasures. Craigslist might even deliver on this search.
- Black-and-white-checkered e’erything. In a true ‘50s diner, everything from the floors to the walls were dressed in black-and-white checkers. Although you can’t exactly tear up your kitchen tile or repaint the walls, you can throw a black-and-white-checkered tablecloth over your kitchen table. You might even be able to find temporary wallpaper in the checkered pattern that you could apply directly to your tabletop—or the backsplash in your kitchen, if it’ll jive with your countertops.
- Vintage drop-leaf tables. You might not want to cover up your tabletop, though, if you can find one of those classic chrome-edged drop-leaf tables from the ‘50s. Again, eBay will probably be your best bet here, although you might be able to snag one at an antique shop. These tables are equal parts cute and functional, since they come in a huge array of colors and can be modified to accommodate larger groups—just lift the leaves and fasten them in place.
- Pastel KitchenAid appliances. Nothing says retro like a baby blue KitchenAid mixer, and it’s functional, too. True, a KitchenAid appliance might be a bit of a splurge, but you work hard. And think of Pinterest-recipe possibilities with one of these babies at home. If you want to add a vintage pop without breaking the bank, opt for a cute KitchenAid tea kettle
- Retro signs and posters. Even if you leave everything in your apartment as-is, when you cover the walls with buzzing neon signs and old school posters, the vibe in your kitchen will totally change. Check out websites like Retro Planet for cheap, fun posters and signs that read “Mom’s Diner” or simply “EAT.” You’ll find even more options on eBay, Amazon, and probably at boutiques, thrift stores, and antique shops in your neighborhood. Vintage posters and signs are a relatively cheap way to customize your kitchen, but they’ll make a big difference in terms of your place’s vibe.
50’s Diner Kitchen Design Photos [Houzz]
50s Diner Kitchen [Pinterest]
Shop the 50s [Retro Planet]