Skip to main content

10 amazing kitchen ideas for the midcentury modern enthusiast

The midcentury modern aesthetic blends fun retro designs with sleek, modern styles to create an eclectic yet time-honored look that many homeowners absolutely adore. And when it comes to the kitchen, fun pops of color, eccentric geometric details, and funky retro appliances give this style a unique look. If you’re interested in adding this look to your space, we have some tips for you. Below are 10 stunning ideas to bring the midcentury aesthetic to your modern-day kitchen and inspire your next remodel.

Invest in some midcentury modern kitchen lighting

One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen is to introduce midcentury modern pendant lighting. From orb-like chandeliers to eclectic statement pieces that highlight art and form, midcentury modern light fixtures can quickly add a retro appeal to your space. For example, try a fun linear chandelier with exposed bulbs for a timeless look. Or opt for a quirky orb chandelier with brass or gold finishes. Cylindrical wall sconces, large drum pendants, and single orb pendants can also be the perfect touch.

Related Videos

Choose a fun geometric backsplash

Midcentury modern kitchens are well known for their fun geometric backsplashes. These backsplashes revolutionize traditional looks through triangles, pentagons, or asymmetrical shapes by incorporating an aesthetic and artistic appeal. For the best look, choose a backsplash in an unusual color. Rather than gravitating toward neutrals, jump into the mid-century modern vibe of bright hues like blues, greens, pinks, and oranges! Honeycomb tiles with three to four colors are also popular for a mid-century modern look.

blue and tan color palette in midcentury modern kitchen with geometric tile backsplash

Opt for a light-colored flooring

If you’re planning on going bold with your midcentury modern cabinets and backsplash color palette, we recommend choosing light-colored flooring in a subtle, neutral shade. Grey or beige tile flooring, light wood floors, or plain white tile will help even out the look of your space. This is especially important if you plan to use bold or dark tones on your cabinets or backsplash. To avoid creating an overwhelming look, try to keep your flooring subtle so you can let other areas of your design shine.

Go bold with a patterned tile

Alternatively, a bold patterned tile can be just what your midcentury modern kitchen needs. If you opt for a lighter-colored cabinet or a white backsplash, you can choose a more exciting flooring. For example, a black-and-white checkered tile can be the perfect classic addition. Or try out a colorful, patterned tile on your floors for a bold look. Just remember that the bolder your flooring, the more subdued you’ll need to make your cabinets and backsplash so you don’t create a visually overstimulating space.

Choose gold hardware and accents

Gold and brass hardware and accents are staples of mid-century modern style. These touches can create a cohesive look in your space, from the gold accents on light fixtures to the subtle tones on cabinet hardware. Gold and brass-colored hardware were popular choices in the midcentury, so it’s no surprise that the modern version of this style favors these metallic shades as well! Add plenty of gold or brass details to curate a sophisticated look around your space.

Paint your cabinets in a vibrant hue

A great way to save money while still remodeling your kitchen is to change up the color of your cabinets. In a midcentury modern kitchen, cherrywood tones look stunning with a colorful backsplash. Or you can paint your cabinets a rich blue or green to go along with a geometric white or neutral-toned backsplash. If you already have gorgeous wood cabinetry in your kitchen, try to work with the existing color and add a fun flooring or backsplash to spice up the look.

mint walls in midcentury modern dining kitchen area

Add open shelving for a modern touch

To ensure that you’re incorporating enough modernity into the look, we definitely recommend installing some open shelving. Not only does it look fancy and boast a seamless modern appeal, but open shelving also provides an aesthetically pleasing storage solution. Place your dishware, retro appliances, plants, and other decor atop your shelves to create a vibrant and refined look in your kitchen.

Invest in some midcentury modern appliances

If you’ve been involved in the midcentury modern design style for a while, you’ve likely come across brands like SMEG, which sell colorful, retro appliances. From refrigerators to toasters, these retro-style appliances can be stunning in a midcentury modern kitchen. But, of course, you don’t have to have a red fridge or orange oven if you don’t want to! Simple stainless steel appliances near a colorful backsplash or painted cabinets can look just as lovely.

midcentury modern kitchen with wood cabinets and pendant lighting

Install midcentury modern kitchen cabinets

If you plan on doing a full kitchen renovation, you might want to invest in some midcentury modern cabinets. Wood cabinets that are sleek and streamlined give the best effect, so we recommend choosing cabinetry with little to know extra molding or decorum. The simpler the look, the better! Then, add some modern gold or brass hardware to create a cohesive look. Larger cabinet doors and open shelving nearby are also staple elements to include as you plan your new midcentury modern kitchen design.

Tie it all together with a midcentury modern kitchen table

If you have room for a stylish kitchen table, you should consider adding one with a midcentury modern aesthetic. Tables with slanted metal, pin-like legs are a fantastic choice and can really complement your design. You can also choose between a square or circular table, depending on your needs. For a fun touch, highlight the use of form in your space by using a table with a tabletop and wood-toned legs to showcase the use of shape in your room.

The midcentury modern design style is all about using form, shape, and color to create an eclectic yet striking look. Use a blend of round and square items throughout your space, like orb chandelier lights or geometric backsplashes, and add plenty of vivid colors. The midcentury modern design style was practically made for the kitchen, so don’t neglect to decorate this room if you love the timeless yet retro look!

Editors' Recommendations

5 tips for renovating your space from an HGTV star
Here's what the experts say you need to consider when starting a DIY home remodel
Happy couple looks at bedroom renovation plans

Recently, homeowners flocked to the annual Indianapolis Home Show featuring designers, brands, contractors, and more. During its final weekend, HGTV’s Good Bones star Mina Starsiak spoke to locals about her TV show, upcoming projects, and tips for renovating a property. For homeowners looking to take on a fixer-upper or DIY home remodel, Starsiak has a few pro tips.

Itemize your renovation with your contractor
One of the most important tips Starsiak and her team stressed to homeowners undergoing a renovation is to itemize the project with your contractor. Starsiak emphasized, "When speaking to a contractor, itemize the project and have them list everything with the price." She said that homeowners can avoid miscommunication with their contractors by listing project specifics.

Read more
Survey: These are the biggest kitchen trends
Cabinets, appliances, lighting and more for 2023
Kitchen remodel plans

Most people spend a ton of time in their kitchen. No matter the primary use for your kitchen, it's likely the gathering place for your family as well. For this reason, many homeowners look to the kitchen when it’s time to update their home’s decor. A kitchen update can improve your home’s functionality and style and raise the resale value. If you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel, check out the hottest kitchen trends for 2023 below.

A recent study by Houzz surveyed 2,380 U.S. homeowners to find the significant kitchen trends for 2023. From cabinetry trends to sustainability and electrical updates to lighting, check out the highlights of the Houzz study below. 

Read more
These dark color palette ideas deliver all the mood
The depth of these dark colors will transform any space in your home
Bedroom with dark wall behind king bed

Dark rooms can sometimes get a bad rap. When designers talk about paint colors that bring light in, make rooms appear larger, or add color to make a room feel "fresh," lighter colors often rule the day. But they don't have to. In fact, bringing in a dark, rich color to a bedroom, living room, office, or bathroom can actually give the space added personality and depth that light colors cannot.

You can also decorate around the dark colors with furniture, lighter cabinets, and wall decor to break up the monotony of a dark color. Here are a few dark color palette ideas to inspire you to bring dark paint hues to any room.

Read more