Kitchen renovations can be daunting, but they also present an exciting opportunity to reimagine your space and incorporate your unique style. This week’s featured kitchen strikes the perfect balance between classic and contemporary, blending vintage charm with modern conveniences.


This light-filled kitchen features a fresh white palette accented with pops of blue, creating a coastal cottage vibe. The homeowners wanted to maintain the vintage spirit of their 1930s home while gaining more functional space for cooking and entertaining. By opening up the layout and adding a large island, they achieved the best of both worlds. Read on to see how cherished antiques mix effortlessly with new materials and appliances.

Blending Old and New Elements

The existing cabinetry provides loads of storage while adding to the traditional charm. Crisp white paint gives them a refreshed look. Open shelves lined with beadboard and distressed wood touches lend a timeworn feel.

Gleaming subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern clad the walls and backsplash. Their geometric shape and slight imperfections nod to their historical inspiration. A modern stove range and stainless steel fridge integrate seamlessly. The farmhouse sink suits the home’s age, now outfitted with an industrial faucet.

Underfoot, original hardwood floors ground the space with weathered character. Area rugs in muted blues and greens provide softness.

Pops of cheerful color come from vintage display pieces, like a turquoise Hoosier cabinet and etched glass cabinets. The round wooden table surrounded by mismatched chairs creates an inviting breakfast nook.

The Focal Point Island

The showstopper island acts as the kitchen’s center stage. Its substantial size provides extra prep space and seating while also creating definition between the kitchen and living area.

The base consists of a painted wood top and lower open shelves. Built-in marble cutting boards on each end are both stylish and functional.

One side showcases a trio of metal stools with woven wicker seats – their natural fibers complementing the wood elements. The other side offers an overhang to accommodate counter-height seating.

Attention to detail, like the turned wood legs and beadboard backing, ensures the island has farmhouse appeal. But its clean lines and simple form keep it modern. It’s truly the best of all worlds!


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about achieving this happy vintage-inspired style in your own kitchen:

What are some good ways to blend modern and traditional elements?

Some ideas include:

  • Mixing metal finishes like nickel and brass
  • Pairing sleek appliances with antique-looking cabinets
  • Using classic subway tiles with industrial fixtures
  • Contrasting an apron-front sink with matte black hardware
  • Topping traditional cabinets with marble or quartz countertops
  • Installing vintage-look lighting alongside recessed cans
  • Covering some walls in beadboard while others are painted
  • Choosing a combination of hardware like bin pulls, knobs, and handles

How can paint update traditional kitchen cabinets?

Painting cabinets is one of the most impactful ways to refresh the look of old cabinetry. A light neutral color like cloud white or pale gray will brighten up the space and give off a more contemporary vibe. Be sure to prep and prime the cabinets properly so the paint adheres and avoids chipping or yellowing over time. Consider replacing just the cabinet doors and drawer fronts to cut costs if the cabinet boxes are still sturdy.

What style of islands work well in vintage kitchens?

A farmhouse inspired island suits a vintage kitchen nicely. Details like turned legs, an apron front, and open shelving have old-fashioned appeal while still providing ample workspace and storage. Using two different finishes like a painted base with a natural wood countertop can look especially fitting in an older home. Just be sure the scale is balanced within the existing layout so it doesn’t overwhelm.

How do you incorporate vintage collections without looking cluttered?

Edit carefully when displaying vintage items like china or glassware in a kitchen. Limit yourself to just a few special antique pieces to keep the look clean and modern. Glass-front cabinets help showcase collections while also corralling them. Try mounting plates vertically on a picture rail to utilize wall space. For counters, stick to just one or two accent items like a cake stand or urn. Multi-function items like a magnetic knife rack where you can also hang vintage utensils keep things organized.

What are smart lighting options for a vintage style kitchen?

For an authentic ambiance, decorative lighting choices like pendant lamps, chandeliers, and sconces are key. Look for new fixtures that mimic antique designs through details like milk glass shades, visible bulbs, and metal finishes like aged brass or nickel. Reproduction barn lights over an island or sink provide great task lighting. You can also supplement with recessed cans for additional brightness as needed. Utilize dimmers to control the moody vibe.

Achieving the Perfect Balance

This light and airy kitchen is testament that vintage character and contemporary functionality can happily coexist. Keeping the existing cabinetry saves cost and preserves the essence of the home. Fresh paint, new countertops, and a spacious island revive the space for modern living.

Pops of color, varied textures, and unique decorative details provide visual interest. Open shelves, see-through cabinet doors, and windows welcome abundant natural light. Yet the farmhouse sink, exposed beams, and hardwood floors still impart a touch of nostalgia.

In the end, striking the right balance between old and new results in a comfortable, inviting kitchen with timeless appeal. This happy blend of past and present creates a room sure to be cherished for years to come.


Achieving a kitchen with enduring vintage charm yet modern amenities is within reach. This week’s featured renovation shows how seamlessly old and new can interplay through creative blending of materials, colors, textures, and eras. A few integral steps like installing a sizable island, opening up the floor plan, and unifying everything with crisp white painted cabinetry helped transform this outdated space into a bright, functional hub without losing its essence.

Small touches honoring the 1930s original architecture, like open shelving, beadboard, and farmhouse detailing paired with industrial lighting and stainless appliances, prove that harmony is possible. Keeping beloved existing elements while introducing new life with color, lighting and improved layout allows the past and present to peacefully coexist. With careful curation and editing, you can have the best of all worlds! A happy, livable vintage-inspired kitchen is achievable.

This particular renovation is just one example of how to skillfully blend eras. But the homeowners’ process of maintaining vintage charm while gaining desired updates can be applied to many homes possessing treasured existing details. Ultimately the most important guide is your own individual style. If you stay true to your aesthetic preferences, old and new can come together beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about creating a vintage-inspired kitchen with contemporary conveniences:

What are some easy ways to add vintage style to a modern kitchen?

  • Install beadboard as a backsplash
  • Choose retro-looking appliances like a farmhouse sink or gas range
  • Use vintage-inspired lighting like pendants or etched glass shades
  • Source antique furniture pieces like a hoosier cabinet or island
  • Display vintage cookware and china on open shelves
  • Add accents like a butcher block countertop or ceramic knobs

How do you achieve a light and bright look in a vintage kitchen?

  • Paint cabinets and walls in a light neutral color palette
  • Maximize natural light with ample windows, skylights and glass cabinet doors
  • Layer in reflective surfaces like marble counters, subway tile, and stainless appliances
  • Incorporate light fixtures like pendant lamps, chandeliers, and under-cabinet lighting
  • Keep decor minimal and avoid dark paint colors or heavy window treatments

What are the benefits of adding a kitchen island?

  • Expands prep, storage and seating space
  • Creates better flow and separation between kitchen zones
  • Provides room for cooktop, sink or dishwasher
  • Ideal spot for casual dining and entertaining
  • Can incorporate storage, electrical outlets, and specialty features like wine racks or spice drawers
  • Helps define the kitchen footprint in an open floor plan

How do you update floors in a period home kitchen?

  • Refinish existing hardwood if in good condition
  • Install new hardwood to match if existing flooring is damaged or missing
  • Choose wide-plank engineered wood for easier installation and maintenance
  • Paint, stencil, or stamp concrete to mimic vintage patterns like hexagon tile
  • Use classic black & white checkerboard tile if flooring needs full replacement

What are timeless kitchen cabinet colors?

  • White or antique white for a fresh, coastal vibe
  • Soft gray for a calming farmhouse look
  • Sage green for a cheerful cottage style
  • Navy blue for a nautical New England aesthetic
  • Black for dramatic contrast

How do you unite old and new cabinetry styles?

  • Unify varied cabinet door styles with consistent paint color
  • Replace just doors and drawer fronts to update cabinet boxes
  • Add new open shelving or glass cabinets to complement existing cabinetry
  • Blend knobs, pulls, and handles in related styles like farmhouse and industrial
  • Layer on shared design details like exposed hinges or beadboard backing

Final Thoughts

Designing a kitchen that gracefully blends old and new elements requires carefully curating and editing. Choose a few standout antiques along with vintage reproductions to mix with clean-lined modern pieces. Time-honored materials like subway tile, hardwood floors, marble counters and farmhouse sinks lay the foundation. Crisp white cabinetry, large windows and light fixtures keep the look fresh and bright.

An oversized island provides ample workspace while acting as the modern heart of the home. Details like open shelving, ceramic knobs and hand-built elements nod to heritage charm. But elements like coffered ceilings, architectural lighting and statement range hoods add contemporary flair.

With thoughtful choices, you can achieve the ideal blend of vintage appeal and modern amenities. Your happy kitchen will honor its historic roots while adapting seamlessly to contemporary family life. Most importantly, cherish and preserve any beloved existing architectural details. Allow them to set the tone so new additions feel cohesive. Soon you’ll have a light-filled, functional kitchen reflecting the best of past and present.