One of the up-sides of the recent economic muddle is that homeowners across the UK are starting to look at more imaginative ways to decorate their homes.
For those looking for a low cost way of transforming their kitchen this summer, it’s time to look again at the vintage, retro or country house looks.
In its simplest form this means some bright, energetic patterns alongside a fresh lick of white paint.
You can choose between the bright, striking colours of a retro look – choosing a few central and eye catching items – or go for the gentler vintage look. The best thing about both of these looks is that they can be done on a shoestring budget.
The first place to look is your attic or garage; those boxes of forgotten trinkets from years ago. Before you rush out to buy anything new, have a look to see what is hiding in your storage. Vintage and retro looks can encompass styles from many eras – and who knows, that vase you rejected in the 70s might be perfect on your window sill now.
The next stop could be second hand shops, charity stores and (depending where you live) car boot sales. Remember that people don’t scrub items before selling them through these types of outlets – so try to look past the grime!
Old wicker items and furniture can easily be given a new lease of life with a coat or two of paint. Bold and bright colours are great for retro, while pastels will suit vintage. And remember that car boot sales and second hand shops will often be the best places to find beautiful doorknobs and light pulls.
When it comes to choosing a few new items to brighten up this look, there are lots of useful but beautiful vintage and retro kitchen accessories to be found. The best kitchen accessories are functional – like kitchen roll stands, brightly coloured storage tins, clocks or serving platters.
While we all love fresh flowers, dried flowers can look great with the vintage or country house look – especially hydrangeas which dry to beautiful faded colours– and of course they are much cheaper. Dried flowers can also be perfect for showing off a bright vase.
If you are a creative soul, why not have a look in the remnants bins of fabric and furnishing companies. From covering chair seats to making placemats or napkins, for anyone handy with a sewing kit this is a great way of bringing bright patterns into your kitchen.
Stick to striking and bright coloured fabric for a retro style, or opt for faded florals, chintzes and ginghams for a vintage or country look which can be more decorative and delicate.
Vintage, retro and country styles are all about the little touches adding up to give a bright and pleasant feel to a home.
Mixing salvaged trinkets, re-painted or re-covered items with just an occasional new but inexpensive piece, and sticking to a “beautiful but functional” theme of retro kitchen accessories, this look is achievable on any budget.