Somewhere between the English cottage trend and the retro mod aesthetic lies the next big decor craze of the year: eclectic kitchens. Yes, according to Pinterest’s trend report for 2024, the “kitschy” look is poised to take over. “Gen X and Boomers will elevate their kitchen designs and cooking areas with thrifted finds, vintage appliances, and eye-dazzling colors like retro pink,” says the report, siting extensive research data as its guide to the trend.
Because of its non-strategic nature, creating the perfect “kitschen” can feel a bit overwhelming. But Terri Almendares, design consultant at Farrey’s Lighting, Bath, Kitchen and Hardware, says the key to nailing the trend “requires blending retro charm with modern chic, creating an inviting and vibrant space.”
Like a great outfit, a good place to start is by choosing a statement piece or element to work off of. Maybe it’s a brightly painted island or cool antique fixtures or lighting. Go with your gut and your eye, and let the rest unfold. “Choose designs that captivate and surprise,” says Almendares. “Think bold colors or vintage-inspired faucets paired with a farmhouse sink for that rustic touch or a sleek, modern design that defies the ordinary.”
Ahead, the decor pro offers a few more key tips to help you embrace this perfectly imperfect kitchen trend.
Hone In On Hardware
“The devil is in the details, and that's where cabinet hardware comes into play,” says Almendares. Indeed a great baby step into a more eclectic aesthetic is by swapping out “mundane cabinet pulls and knobs for pieces that tell a story, be it through unique designs, intriguing textures, or a splash of color,” she adds.
According to Almendares, a kitchen’s “kitschiness” lies in its celebration of diverse design periods. Pull inspiration from decades of yore like the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s and mix and match them with more modern design trends. “Pair a retro refrigerator with a modern faucet or a vintage-style sink with contemporary cabinet hardware,” suggests the decor pro. “This eclectic mix celebrates diversity and brings a harmonious and uniquely personal touch to your space.”
Color Is Key
With any eclectic look, color plays a crucial role. In fact, Almendares explains that shade- and pattern play are your “allies” in achieving the kitschy look. “Embrace bold colors and playful patterns in backsplashes, wallpaper, or small accessories,” she suggests. “These vibrant elements can coexist beautifully with the more understated, yet equally elegant, functional pieces like a high-quality stainless steel sink or a classic chrome faucet.”
Another vital factor in the making of a kitschy space is in the various accoutrements that serve as “the soul” of the space. “Adorn your space with quirky items,” says Almendares. “Vintage signs, unique light fixtures, or retro kitchenware can all elevate the whimsy and charm of your kitchen. Even the simplest additions, like a funky dish towel or colorful salt and pepper shakers, can contribute significantly to the overall vibe.”
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