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Get The Style - Retro Design Tips

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Midcentury Modern has resurfaced as one of the more popular kitchen design trends. The original retro design movement of 1933-1965 was marked by a modest, sleek, and seamless look, and we’ve seen a return to it in recent years in many light fixtures, furniture pieces, and kitchen designs. By looking back to the original styles in the mid-20th century, you can gain authentic inspiration and easily select modern elements that would allow you to naturally pull off that look today.

ORIGINAL STYLE IN 1940s MERILLAT KITCHEN

Check out this 1940s Merillat® kitchen for example, which was recently featured in a Yahoo! Homes article. “Its charming retro look at the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas stopped passersby (including your faithful Yahoo Homes correspondent) in their tracks.” Built by hand by Merillat Cabinetry founder Orville and his wife Ruth, it was called “…classic Americana complete with original counter top and dinette and period-correct flooring and appliances” by Retro Renovation. Its sleek retro cabinetry, modest hardware, yellow walls, dining table, and space-age appliances, all reveal the authentic look of the modern midcentury. Studying something like this kitchen first can help provide inspiration and respect for your modern day space.

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MIDCENTURY MODERN TODAY

To create the look today, it’s best to start with a sleek cabinet style and simple hardware, then add period friendly accents to the room. The cabinetry will act as solid foundation for your design, providing those clean and simple lines of the midcentury movement. Merillat Cabinetry has many slab panel door styles available in a variety of wood types and finish colors. Simple hardware is also available for a similar understated approach.

To recreate the look above:

  • Use slab panel cabinetry and simple hardware, like the Merillat Classic® Fusion door, or one of the other options below
  • Install a thin countertop with a square edge
  • Keep the color pallete simple with pops of color, the other options below
  • Install a thin countertop with a square edge
  • Keep the color pallete simple with pops of color, like Behr® paint in Sun Shower (370B-5)
  • Incorporate an eat-in space with midcentury modern style chairs
  • Create a similar patterned flooring design with two-tones, like Armstrong “Imperial Texture” in “Golden” (#51878) and “Buttercream” (#51800) used above

Or update the look with:

  • Natural woodgrained cabinetry, like the Merillat Masterpiece® Breland door in Oak
  • Backsplash or flooring with a geometric pattern
  • Midcentury modern style appliances
  • Pastel accent colors

Slab Door Style Options from Merillat Cabinetry:


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Fusion

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Breland

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Epic

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Glencoe

Hardware Options from Merillat Cabinetry:

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Satin Chrome 5″
Center Pull

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Satin Nickel Tapered
Bow Pull

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Aluminum Round
Bar Pull

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Antique Nickel French
Farm Pull

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Stainless Steel
Bar Pull

All available to view online here.

A few examples of getting this retro-inspired look today:

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Merillat Masterpiece® Breland Door
Quartersawn Oak + Onyx Paint

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Round Bar Pull (3035-3038)

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