16+ Chic Small Retro Kitchen Interior Design Ideas

Small kitchens may not cater to the taste of every homeowner. But, they certainly have their benefits. Hence, in a compact kitchen, there are fewer surfaces to clean. Also, everything you need—from olive oil to an extra hand towel—is within arm’s reach.


And while living with a small kitchen means that you have less space to play with the decor. Thus, you can still make your mark. The trick, according to Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP, is to keep it simple.


“Don’t overdo the finishes and surfaces,” she says, “otherwise it’ll look too cluttered. For example, if you have a stainless fridge, install the hardware around it in a similar-looking finish. And keep cabinetry and counters in the same color family, so your kitchen feels more spacious.”


To get you started, we’ve come up with three fun styles for a small kitchen. Therefore, with recommendations on how to achieve these looks. The result? Easy upgrades that’ll make your small kitchen space where you love to spend time.

Feminine Kitchen


Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to include a single pink element to achieve a feminine-style kitchen. For this look, choose elegant metallic fixtures for the sink, drawer and cabinet pulls and lighting.


Coraccio recommends artwork to bring a feminine style to the fore. Or consider a dramatic chandelier over the kitchen island and fresh flowers or potted herbs to brighten up the room.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen


Yes, you can channel Joanna Gaines and her wildly popular decor of choice, modern farmhouse, in a small kitchen. Hence, Jamie Novak, an organizing whiz and author of “Keep This Toss That,” recommends a white color palette and opening shelving. “This type of shelf actually makes a small kitchen appear larger,” she says. Therefore, incorporate wood tones into a modern farmhouse kitchen by installing rough planks as shelves, or try an industrial-style rolling cart made from wood, says Julie Coraccio of Reawaken Your Brilliance.


Stick to a simple palette of grays, taupes, and charcoal paint on the walls. Also, complete the look with a subway tile backsplash, a farmhouse sink, Shaker-style cabinets, and vintage accouterments such as a clock or a worn wooden sign.

Shabby Chic Kitchen


Shabby chic style is all about showcasing timeworn treasures that look as if they were sourced from an antique shop. Hence, the color palette is always light and bright. So, when painting your walls or cabinets, choose cream, off-white. Also, pastels like robin’s-egg blue, soft pink, or buttery yellow.


Don’t be afraid to use mismatched dishes, mugs, and serving ware. “Vintage hand-me-downs and rescued items that you refinish yourself help with this eclectic, mismatched look,” says Novak. Hit up a flea market for hand towels covered in Battenberg lace, delicate embroidery, or a floral pattern. A vintage metal sign is also a quintessential shabby chic accessory. Extra points for sourcing a retro stove or refrigerator! Just make sure it’s fully functional.


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