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July 6, 2018 |

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No Flash in the Pan: 7 Vintage Kitchen Design Trends That Are Making a Comeback

Mid-Century Modern has been the darling of the design world for some time now, but wood grain and tapered legs aren’t the only game in retro town—especially in the kitchen, where well-placed throwbacks from any decade are often right at home.

Plenty of homeowners are infusing their cooking and dining spaces with other old-school design staples, rethinking everything from size to palette. Whether in a nod to the bold approach of the ’30s or the kitschy flourishes in ’60s design, modern kitchens are finding a fresh new face in the past.

These seven kitchen trends are all about the retro style.

1. Pastel hues


Photo by Torie Jayne 
Homeowners have been rocking Millennial Pink for a few years—and now its pastel friends want in on the action, too. Younger homeowners are pairing everyone’s favorite rosy shade with other gentle hues, like robin’s-egg blue and mint.

To make these shades sing, choose a modern countertop, like butcher block, but consider skipping the wooden cabinetry. Otherwise, you may slide past “vintage” and slam into “dated.”

“Combining old with the new nods to the retro aesthetic while ensuring that your kitchen doesn’t look like a shot out of ‘I Love Lucy,'” says Chicago interior designer Lauren Visco.

2. A return to smaller kitchens


Photo by Sheila bridges design, inc 
Instead of smushing eating, cooking, and entertaining into one big ol’ room, homeowners are seeking out separate—and, subsequently, smaller—spaces.

You can thank today’s housing market for the growing acceptance of more petite kitchens.

“Kitchen and living spaces will remain open as long as homes have the square feet to warrant it,” says Cindy Peschel-Hull, a broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle. But “in order for millennials to afford housing, smaller [kitchens] are becoming more popular.”

Luckily, retro styles were designed to shine in compact spaces; after all, the open kitchen is a relatively new development. To make your limited square footage feel grand, look beyond white walls: Bold colors and bright metals add vintage glamour and turn the cozy space comfortable.

3. Decorative flooring


Photo by Clachan Wood 
Hardwood flooring (laminate or otherwise) might be standard issue in builder-grade housing, but today’s ambitious renovators are going bold, returning to decorative flooring styles often seen in our parents’ and grandparents’ homes. Whether it’s vintage black-and-white or funky-patterned tiling (try these Moroccan tiles on for size), today’s kitchens are all about making a statement.

“Consumers are playing with their flooring by incorporating pattern and texture,” Visco says.

Not quite ready to go so bold?

“Upgrade to patterned porcelain tiles in neutral hues,” Visco suggests. White and light-gray checkerboard tiling makes a subtle nod to retro chic.

4. Vintage appliances

Courtesy of Northstar

Retro-fridge maker Smeg had its moment in the kitchen spotlight with its candy-colored appliances, and now other manufacturers are following suit with a variety of vintage-inspired appliances. Kitchen? More like time capsule.

“Retro appliances can be surprisingly versatile,” says designer Jere Bowden. “In addition to being ideally suited for Mid-Century Modern–style 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 you don’t have to go pastel to integrate vintage appliances into your own kitchen. Many manufacturers, like Northstar, offer retro lines in white, and Elmira makes the look modern with stainless steel.

“The great thing about these appliances is that they provide vintage style while offering the high-performance features that consumers expect,” Bowden says. “It’s really the best of both worlds.”

5. Bold pops of color


Photo by Green Goods 
Pastels aren’t your only option when adding vintage color. Bold shades are perfectly retro—and makers of small appliances give you unlimited options.

Pick a vivid, colorful coffee maker or a mixer that is “modern, while still having that retro vintage look,” says Chicago real estate agent Xavier Cruz. Or choose eclectic accessories and artwork to bring cheer and drama to your space.

Bowden recalls a client who balanced bright turquoise appliances with classic shades of ivory and black, and layered neutrals.

“The result was the perfect pop of color and retro charm without overwhelming the kitchen,” he says.

Just don’t go overboard: You want your kitchen to be bold, not loud.

“It’s a good idea to limit the use of bright colors to appliances and a few accent pieces, as the design will be easier to live with for an extended period of time,” Bowden says.

6. Retro furniture design


Photo by Webber + Studio, Architects 
Remember how we said kitchens could be shrinking? Well, a smaller room lends itself nicely to retro furniture, which “fits the bill in smaller spaces,” Peschel-Hull says.

Vintage designs—such as Eero Saarinen‘s tulip chairs—are designed to squeeze into tight spaces without looking bulky or oversized.

“They embody that nostalgia while maintaining modern functionality in contemporary kitchens,” Visco says.

But, as with other retro looks, it’s easy to go overboard with this furniture, she adds. Balance these styles with modern elements—like stainless-steel appliances or waterfall islands—to keep your home en vogue.

7. Dining nooks


Photo by Bevan Associates 
On the other hand, the open kitchen is also the perfect place to rock the latest retro trend: dining nooks.

“In an open kitchen layout, people still want a designated place to sit,” Cruz says. “Built-in benches add character while also providing an easier alternative to cluttering an open space with a bunch of chairs.”

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

No Flash in the Pan: 7 Vintage Kitchen Design Trends That Are Making a Comeback

Mid-Century Modern has been the darling of the design world for some time now, but wood grain and tapered legs aren’t the only game in retro town—especially in the kitchen, where well-placed throwbacks from any decade are often right at home.

Plenty of homeowners are infusing their cooking and dining spaces with other old-school design staples, rethinking everything from size to palette. Whether in a nod to the bold approach of the ’30s or the kitschy flourishes in ’60s design, modern kitchens are finding a fresh new face in the past.

These seven kitchen trends are all about the retro style.

1. Pastel hues


Photo by Torie Jayne 
Homeowners have been rocking Millennial Pink for a few years—and now its pastel friends want in on the action, too. Younger homeowners are pairing everyone’s favorite rosy shade with other gentle hues, like robin’s-egg blue and mint.

To make these shades sing, choose a modern countertop, like butcher block, but consider skipping the wooden cabinetry. Otherwise, you may slide past “vintage” and slam into “dated.”

“Combining old with the new nods to the retro aesthetic while ensuring that your kitchen doesn’t look like a shot out of ‘I Love Lucy,'” says Chicago interior designer Lauren Visco.

2. A return to smaller kitchens


Photo by Sheila bridges design, inc 
Instead of smushing eating, cooking, and entertaining into one big ol’ room, homeowners are seeking out separate—and, subsequently, smaller—spaces.

You can thank today’s housing market for the growing acceptance of more petite kitchens.

“Kitchen and living spaces will remain open as long as homes have the square feet to warrant it,” says Cindy Peschel-Hull, a broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle. But “in order for millennials to afford housing, smaller [kitchens] are becoming more popular.”

Luckily, retro styles were designed to shine in compact spaces; after all, the open kitchen is a relatively new development. To make your limited square footage feel grand, look beyond white walls: Bold colors and bright metals add vintage glamour and turn the cozy space comfortable.

3. Decorative flooring


Photo by Clachan Wood 
Hardwood flooring (laminate or otherwise) might be standard issue in builder-grade housing, but today’s ambitious renovators are going bold, returning to decorative flooring styles often seen in our parents’ and grandparents’ homes. Whether it’s vintage black-and-white or funky-patterned tiling (try these Moroccan tiles on for size), today’s kitchens are all about making a statement.

“Consumers are playing with their flooring by incorporating pattern and texture,” Visco says.

Not quite ready to go so bold?

“Upgrade to patterned porcelain tiles in neutral hues,” Visco suggests. White and light-gray checkerboard tiling makes a subtle nod to retro chic.

4. Vintage appliances

Courtesy of Northstar

Retro-fridge maker Smeg had its moment in the kitchen spotlight with its candy-colored appliances, and now other manufacturers are following suit with a variety of vintage-inspired appliances. Kitchen? More like time capsule.

“Retro appliances can be surprisingly versatile,” says designer Jere Bowden. “In addition to being ideally suited for Mid-Century Modern–style 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 you don’t have to go pastel to integrate vintage appliances into your own kitchen. Many manufacturers, like Northstar, offer retro lines in white, and Elmira makes the look modern with stainless steel.

“The great thing about these appliances is that they provide vintage style while offering the high-performance features that consumers expect,” Bowden says. “It’s really the best of both worlds.”

5. Bold pops of color


Photo by Green Goods 
Pastels aren’t your only option when adding vintage color. Bold shades are perfectly retro—and makers of small appliances give you unlimited options.

Pick a vivid, colorful coffee maker or a mixer that is “modern, while still having that retro vintage look,” says Chicago real estate agent Xavier Cruz. Or choose eclectic accessories and artwork to bring cheer and drama to your space.

Bowden recalls a client who balanced bright turquoise appliances with classic shades of ivory and black, and layered neutrals.

“The result was the perfect pop of color and retro charm without overwhelming the kitchen,” he says.

Just don’t go overboard: You want your kitchen to be bold, not loud.

“It’s a good idea to limit the use of bright colors to appliances and a few accent pieces, as the design will be easier to live with for an extended period of time,” Bowden says.

6. Retro furniture design


Photo by Webber + Studio, Architects 
Remember how we said kitchens could be shrinking? Well, a smaller room lends itself nicely to retro furniture, which “fits the bill in smaller spaces,” Peschel-Hull says.

Vintage designs—such as Eero Saarinen‘s tulip chairs—are designed to squeeze into tight spaces without looking bulky or oversized.

“They embody that nostalgia while maintaining modern functionality in contemporary kitchens,” Visco says.

But, as with other retro looks, it’s easy to go overboard with this furniture, she adds. Balance these styles with modern elements—like stainless-steel appliances or waterfall islands—to keep your home en vogue.

7. Dining nooks


Photo by Bevan Associates 
On the other hand, the open kitchen is also the perfect place to rock the latest retro trend: dining nooks.

“In an open kitchen layout, people still want a designated place to sit,” Cruz says. “Built-in benches add character while also providing an easier alternative to cluttering an open space with a bunch of chairs.”

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

This kitchen in a box makes it easy to cook in micro-apartments and tiny homes

Young professionals living in micro-apartments and tiny homes can soon install a fully functioning kitchen in their residences, without the need for additional space or even complicated hardware. A recent graduate of Britain’s Royal College of Art has unveiled her capstone work titled Assembly – a single-package, flexible cooking set for millennials.

The complete kit is about the same size as a toaster oven, but it contains everything an individual living in a micro-apartment or a tiny home would need for a functional kitchen. Yu Li, the designer of Assembly, envisions the set as a “one-package solution that covers the whole cooking and dining process for one.”

Related: Kenchikukagu: 3 tiny portable rooms from Japan that open like a suitcase

Assembly contains a tablecloth, two pans designed to work with an included induction cooktop, a cutting board, cooking utensils and a single set of plates and flatware. When unpacked, the pieces work together as a full kitchen setup, ready to prepare and serve meals. The induction cooktop surface works with both pans and has fully-functioning temperature controls. The hotplate also has a timer feature, which gives aspiring chefs control over how long it stays powered.

After dinnertime, the container that holds plates doubles as a drying rack. Between meals, everything is stored in this container, which can be put away for future use. Li says the “kitchen in a box” concept is designed for recent graduates and young people living in small urban apartments or competing for kitchen access with roommates.

“The idea is to trim the original kitchen space down to a few minimal elements,” Li told Dezeen. “So space can be designed simpler, neater and transformed into other purposes to increase the space utilization.”

Assembly was one of several designs on display during the 2018 Graduate Exhibition, which closed on July 1. More than 800 students showed off their work at four locations in London. Although the self-contained kit gathered plenty of attention, a manufacturer and distributor have yet to be announced, and the price for the Assembly set is still to be determined.

+ Royal College of Art

Via Dezeen

Images via Yu Li

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off

This kitchen in a box makes it easy to cook in micro-apartments and tiny homes

Young professionals living in micro-apartments and tiny homes can soon install a fully functioning kitchen in their residences, without the need for additional space or even complicated hardware. A recent graduate of Britain’s Royal College of Art has unveiled her capstone work titled Assembly – a single-package, flexible cooking set for millennials.

The complete kit is about the same size as a toaster oven, but it contains everything an individual living in a micro-apartment or a tiny home would need for a functional kitchen. Yu Li, the designer of Assembly, envisions the set as a “one-package solution that covers the whole cooking and dining process for one.”

Related: Kenchikukagu: 3 tiny portable rooms from Japan that open like a suitcase

Assembly contains a tablecloth, two pans designed to work with an included induction cooktop, a cutting board, cooking utensils and a single set of plates and flatware. When unpacked, the pieces work together as a full kitchen setup, ready to prepare and serve meals. The induction cooktop surface works with both pans and has fully-functioning temperature controls. The hotplate also has a timer feature, which gives aspiring chefs control over how long it stays powered.

After dinnertime, the container that holds plates doubles as a drying rack. Between meals, everything is stored in this container, which can be put away for future use. Li says the “kitchen in a box” concept is designed for recent graduates and young people living in small urban apartments or competing for kitchen access with roommates.

“The idea is to trim the original kitchen space down to a few minimal elements,” Li told Dezeen. “So space can be designed simpler, neater and transformed into other purposes to increase the space utilization.”

Assembly was one of several designs on display during the 2018 Graduate Exhibition, which closed on July 1. More than 800 students showed off their work at four locations in London. Although the self-contained kit gathered plenty of attention, a manufacturer and distributor have yet to be announced, and the price for the Assembly set is still to be determined.

+ Royal College of Art

Via Dezeen

Images via Yu Li

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off

Amazon’s popular store brand, AmazonBasics, is running an early Prime Day sale — here are the 10 best deals

Prime Day is officially on its way, and along with it comes plenty of early deals from Amazon. Though the main event starts at 3 p.m. on July 16 and goes through July 17, you can take advantage of savings starting now — including a sale on AmazonBasics luggage and home goods.

Launched in 2009, AmazonBasics is one of the e-commerce giant’s popular private-label brands, which sells basic, commodity-level items at lower prices than many of the companies that populate its site. If Amazon was a grocery store, AmazonBasics would be the name on the store brand Frosted Flakes. None of the products are flashy, but, like an imitative box of cereal, they get the job done.

This sale runs through Prime Day and includes discounts of up to 20% on an eclectic mix of products, from carry-ons to dog crates, from electric tea kettles to office chairs. We rounded up the 10 best deals from AmazonBasics for your convenience.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

A new breakfast spot replaced Gregory’s, and it has ‘beermosas’

A new eatery with an emphasis on breakfast dishes and comfort food has taken the place of Gregory’s Roadhouse Grill. 

Hash Hearth opened Monday, July 2 at 2201 Schoenersville Road in Hanover Township, Northampton County. 

As its name suggests, Hash Hearth’s forte is its hash skillets. Served over breakfast potatoes with two eggs and toast or a biscuit, the hashes ($7.95 to $10.75) come in an array of varieties including carnita, smoked brisket, meatloaf, jambalaya.

Other breakfast mainstays like pancakes, omelets, benedicts and waffles are also on the menu.

The restaurant boasts a full bar that opens at 7 a.m., ready to serve morning-appropriate adult beverages including Bloody Marys and “beermosas” — that’s a mimosa made with beer instead of champagne.

“A lot of other diners don’t have a full service bar,” General Manager Michael Barrera pointed out.

While breakfast is a major focus, Hash Hearth is also open for lunch and dinner with a full menu of homestyle standards like meatloaf, chicken pot pie and pork chops alongside bar fare like chicken wings and burgers. (The homey comfort food is the “hearth” part of the name.)

Among the appetizers, one specialty is the “mac and cheese waffle” ($6.95), where mac and cheese is pressed in a waffle iron and served over marinara. 

Gregory’s Steakhouse operated for more than 20 years before a fire shut it down on New Year’s Day 2013. It reopened in 2015, and then recast itself as Gregory’s Roadhouse Grill in 2016. That iteration shut down earlier this year.

Barrera declined to share the owners of the new restaurant, but said it was a small group of owners who are opening a restaurant for the first time.

While the full breakfast menu ends at 11 a.m., several breakfast items are available all the day. Hash Hearth seats up to 178 people. 

The restaurant’s hours are Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Andrew Doerfler may be reached at adoerfler@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @adoerfler or on Facebook.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

One cheap product will change the way you clean in your kitchen

My All-Clad stainless steel pots are some of the most expensive purchases I’ve made for my kitchen. Worth it, but not the type of stuff I can afford to buy frequently. So a few years ago when I was coveting a 10-inch lidded skillet that was on sale at a soon-to-be-shuttered department store near my parents’ house, I ultimately decided against the purchase (and regretted it).

My dad went back after I’d gone home and picked it up for me. I was thrilled.

I was equally thrilled later when my husband pulled out the skillet to make an Indian okra dish. This involved frying the vegetable in several skillets on the cook top. Something went awry and the bottom of the new pan went from pristine to black. We cleaned what little we could and off it went to languish for way too long in our cabinet. I assumed cooking more with it would only exacerbate the damage.

Finally, I bought some Bar Keepers Friend, which I always heard culinary folks recommend. But it, too, sat around unused, because I was sure nothing could fix the skillet. One day I finally decided to give it a shot and, BAM!, the skillet looked practically new. The same goes for the skillet you see pictured here, a very dirty specimen from our Food Lab.

I, along with many others, am now a believer in the power of this cheap, easy cleaning product. I got a can for less than $3 at my grocery store, so really, no cook should be without it.

Here’s what you should know about Bar Keepers Friend.

What is it?

Bar Keepers Friend comes in a powder, which I prefer for scrubbing tough messes, and a pre-mixed liquid that is better for fairly minor upkeep. “It’s not really complicated but just effective,” says Kevin Patterson, vice president of institutional sales for Bar Keepers Friend. The main components are oxalic acid, which occurs naturally in vegetables such as asparagus, spinach and rhubarb (the story goes that it was originally discovered by a chemist in 1882 after he boiled rhubarb and noticed how shiny his pot was); abrasives, which serve as little scrubbers (you can feel the grittiness as you’re washing dishes); and detergents, or non-bleach-containing cleaners. As far as cleaners go, it’s pretty mild, too — you don’t have to wear gloves, although I prefer to no matter what I’m cleaning or cleaning with because I have sensitive skin, which, along with open wounds, can be irritated by the acid.

The product was not named Bar Keepers Friend originally. When the rhubarb-boiling chemist began to distribute it, it had no name and was sold in brown paper bags. After he realized his discovery could clean brass and copper (this was before the days of stainless steel and many other modern materials), he started shopping it around to bars and saloons, where those metals were in heavy use.

How do you use it?

Basically water and elbow grease. Wet the surface of what you’re cleaning, apply the cleaner and scrub away. Don’t leave the cleaner on the surface for more than a minute or so before you start scrubbing, or else the acid might create spots or etch the surface. You can scrub with a sponge or cloth, but stay away from a very abrasive scrub pad, especially if you’re applying the product to your cook top, so as not to scratch it. (The brand also sells a dedicated cook top cleaner, among other formulations.)

What does it remove and on what surfaces?

We’re a food site here, so let’s focus on the kitchen. I’ve used Bar Keepers Friend to clean burned oil residue (see above!), baked-on food and unsightly brown stains from the inside of my enameled cast iron Dutch oven. You can also use it to shine up stainless steel — cookware, but also sinks (appliances are trickier, because it’s not recommended for brushed stainless steel or surfaces that have a protective layer intended to prevent fingerprints). Apparently it has a cult following among Instant Pot users in need of cleaning the stainless steel insert, according to Christina Roark, a controller and social media/digital marketing coordinator at Bar Keepers Friend. She says it’s effective on Pyrex, as well as items with coffee or tea stains. It’s recommended for such additional materials as copper, brass, tile, ceramic, fiberglass and chrome, meaning Bar Keepers Friend is also popular when it comes to cleaning bathrooms, yard tools and even parts of cars or motorcycles. The cleaner can remove rust, soap scum (it did wonders on my bathtub, which I thought was permanently discolored), hard water deposits and more.

What should you not use it on?

A big asterisk for kitchen messes: Bar Keepers Friend should not be applied to nonstick cookware, the coating for which can be scratched off by the cleaner. It’s also powerful enough to remove the seasoning from your cast-iron pans, so unless you are restoring a rusted piece and/or stripping it to re-season, stick to a little bit of dish soap if needed. Bar Keepers Friend can damage natural stone materials, such as granite or marble, and precious metals, such as pewter, silver and gold. It’s not ideal for more delicate surfaces (lacquered, painted or mirrored) or wood either.

What are you waiting for?

I don’t know. Don’t be like me. Spring the few dollars for a canister and get that deep clean you’ve been craving.

More from Voraciously:

Obvious, and not so obvious, ways to use all four sides of your box grater

Five cheap kitchen tools that make cooking and cleaning way easier

6 reader suggestions for cheap kitchen tool tricks we wish we’d thought of

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off