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Vintage Cabinet and Kitchen Design Elements That Are Coming Back In Style

More than any room in the home, kitchen design responds to evolving trends, tastes and technology more so than any other living space. And, while aesthetics change, they often come in full circle years later. In 2017 it’s clear to see that everything vintage, whether it’s the 50s or 80s, is stylish again. Never ceasing to push the boundaries, kitchen designers have recently resurrected some of the most surprising – and dated -- surfaces, trims, flooring, appliances and cabinetry you would never expect in a custom-designed modern home. Reinterpreting dated materials and design elements with a modern twist makes them appear like completely new designs. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting modern takes on vintage design.

Checkerboard Floors

Once the most trendy and utilitarian flooring found in mid-century kitchens, linoleum flooring was beautiful and durable. Alternating black, white, yellow, green and even pink linoleum tiles added a custom design touch to the modern kitchen in the Fifties.

Today, look for graphic patterns re-created with luxe materials such as concrete or ceramic tiles. The color palette of checkerboard floors now is more subtle and sophisticated. Look for beautiful combination such as butter yellow and lilac.

Shaker Style Cabinets

Many of today’s kitchen design schemes favor earthy, clean, un-fussy materials with clean lines. Think bambo floors, exposed beams and neutral backsplash tiling. Shaker cabinetry fits in perfectly with this style. Designers are pairing them with other organic materials such as wood-look ceramic flooring tiles and sleek stainless appliances for an updated, less rustic feel.

Glass Blocks

Once the 80s office mainstay, glass blocks have been used in interior design since the 20s. They are great for allowing diffused light into a space while obscuring a clear visual line. Glass block islands add bling to a sleek kitchen design, and designers are incorporating entire kitchen walls featuring shoji screen-like Corning glass block dividers to break up open concept spaces without completely eliminating sight-lines.


Plywood is seeing a revival in everything from interior to exterior surfaces. While it previously was considered an inexpensive material frequently incorporated into dark, retro home design, today’s trend leans toward a more light, but still impactful application. Instead of dark-stained expanses of plywood cabinets, look for muted, whitewashed effects that lend a clean, streamlined look in a modern kitchen.

Painted Cabinets

From stark white or black to soft grey or sage, painted cabinets are coming full circle back into kitchen designs. With a nod toward the past, vintage finishes abound, such as glazes, crackled surfaces, chalk finishes, and even automotive-grade lacquers in bright, vibrant colors.

Incorporating your love of all things vintage in your kitchen design can be a tricky task. For more information about how to update your kitchen with high-quality custom vintage-inspired cabinets, contact the design experts at Seaton's Custom Cabinetry today.

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