Decorative flooring: Vintage black-and-white and patterned tiling are making big statements in kitchens once again. Hardwood flooring may be the norm in new-home builds, but more renovators are opting for decorative flooring styles that were once common in their parents’ or grandparents’ homes. “Consumers are playing with their flooring by incorporating pattern and texture,” says Lauren Visco, a Chicago interior designer. And for those who want a more subtle vintage nod: “Upgrade to patterned porcelain tiles in neutral hues,” Visco says. “White and light-gray checkerboard tiling makes a subtle nod to retro chic.”
Vintage appliances: Retro refrigerators or vintage-inspired appliances are popping up in more kitchens too. Retro fridge maker Smeg has been a leader in offering brightly colored appliances, but other manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon now too. “Retro appliances can be surprisingly versatile,” designer Jere Bowden told realtor.com®. “In addition to being ideally suited for Mid-Century Modern-styled homes, they work equally well in a beach cottage or cabin—or any kitchen setting where you want to inject a sense of fun and personality.” And these vintage appliances don’t have to be in bright colors like red or neon yellow either. Manufacturers like Northstar offers retro appliances in white, and Elmire offers them in stainless steel.
Dining nooks: The open kitchen is fueling the comeback of dining nooks. “In an open kitchen layout, people still want a designated place to sit,” says Xavier Cruz, a real estate professional in Chicago. “Built-in benches add character while also providing an easier alternative to cluttering an open space with a bunch of chairs.”