Antique Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Browse antique kitchen decorating ideas, and prepare to add a historical and elegant design to your kitchen.
Vintage Kitchen Hutch With Natural Wood Shelves

Vintage Kitchen Hutch With Natural Wood Shelves

This vintage hutch has been turned into unique kitchen storage, with a wicker basket on top, and inside, on the hutch's three shelves, kitchen goods, including a butter plate, bowl, pair of pitchers, turkey plate, books, and wire sorting tray.

By: Sean McEvoy
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Antique kitchen decorating ideas are plentiful. With antiques widely available from fairs, brick-and-mortar shops and online retailers, you're sure to find great antique elements after some concerted research and eagle-eyed browsing.

Go Green With a Recycled Kitchen

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A DIYer's Dream

The brand-new kitchen in Shannon Quimby's Portland, Ore., home isn't new at all. It's full of things the designer/salvage expert and her husband rescued from a rundown bungalow that was on the property when they purchased it in 2007. Before knocking down that dilapidated house to build their new one, they saved anything and everything they thought could be reused: doors, floors, windows, even beer bottles!

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Something Old Is Something New

The collected materials, along with other earth-friendly finds, like recycled concrete and glass countertops and sustainable handmade tile, all come together in this one-of-a-kind kitchen. "My attitude is, if something's broken, turn it into something else," Quimby says.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Dining Area

The salvaged spruce table is from Shannon painted its base with paints from past projects; for a similar look, try Rekindle by True Value. The chairs were $7 each at a rummage sale.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Handmade Chandelier

Eleven bottles of beer and wine hang from the ceiling. Before the old house was torn down, Shannon found them strewn in a hedge. A mason cut off the bottoms, then Shannon spray-painted them and strung bulbs with cord to create a bottle chandelier. That's an old bifold door on the ceiling.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour


The custom hard rock maple cabinetry is painted with eco-friendly no-VOC paint (Air by Yolo Colorhouse) and has mismatched pulls. "You'll find great pulls at salvage yards, but maybe not as many as you need, so just mix them up," says Shannon.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Beverage Fridge

A mini fridge covered with screwed-on slats of flooring from the old house holds drinks for their 11-year-old son, Chase, to grab on the go.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Open Storage

After installing the mini fridge under the recycled concrete and glass countertop, Shannon still had space to fill. Easy fix: Build some shelves next to the fridge. "Now that our vintage bowls are out in the open, we actually use them," she says.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour


The 8-foot-by-4-foot island top combines Douglas fir wood from the original house and scrap wood left over from the new home. The side planks were salvaged from the old house too, and Shannon found the corbels at a garage sale.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour


The planks of reclaimed California chestnut wood from range in length from 12 inches to 5 feet. "It was all puzzled together," says Shannon. She had the floor sealed with sustainable, hard-wax oil by Osmo to make it easy to clean with a steam mop.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Under-Cabinet Canisters

Shannon's grandfather used to store nuts and bolts in cabinet-mounted jars like these, so she adapted his workshop idea for her kitchen. She used an ice pick to make holes in the lids, then attached them to the underside of the cabinet with screws. Want to make your own? Click here for a step-by-step guide.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Wooden Pin Display

A ledge above the stove holds a collection of vintage bowling and juggling pins. The antique "groceries" sign fit the space as-is.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Flowerpot Fixtures

"I wanted something more creative than metal can lights. I remembered these pots I had and thought, perfect!" says Shannon. She covered the rims with pom-pom trim, threaded light cord through each drainage hole, and used Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy Gel to adhere them to the ceiling. Small 40-watt bulbs hang from the cords and sit inside the glass jars ($6 each, Target) filled with wine corks; they have also held golf balls and ornaments. They still unscrew so bulbs can easily be changed.

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

An antique kitchen design can afford any homeowner great decorating opportunities — from unique, historical artwork to antique kitchen implements.

Antique kitchens can take many forms, from colonial-inspired designs to slightly more contemporary styles that toe the line between antique and vintage. One shared aspect of most antique kitchens is that they tend to reflect a more rustic, pastoral design, particularly when it comes to the antique elements they feature, which will almost universally date to an era when cooking was much more closely connected to agrarian traditions. For this reason, antique kitchens may have a "farm table" or "country kitchen" feel, based on the heritage of their decorative elements.

One of the most common ways to incorporate vintage decorative flourishes into your kitchen design is to feature cookware that dates to a particular historical era. Pots and pans, cutlery and other kitchen implements are all available — from still-sharp knives to virtually indestructible iron skillets, some kitchen antiques can still be used in everyday cooking. Others may be better suited to display within your kitchen design — for example, oil-rubbed-bronze pots and pans can hang from a decorative rack above the stove, adding both visual interest and a nod to a bygone era in a colonial kitchen design.

Artwork is another opportunity to feature antique looks in your kitchen design. Paintings, drawings or etchings from various historical eras can liven up any kitchen wall, and they're widely available at art and antique fairs or from online specialty shops. They may feature scenes of nature or historical farming techniques or tools, or pastoral scenes rich with flora and fauna.

Another way to add interest to an antique kitchen design is with carefully chosen storage options. Antique glass jars are widely available in a range or colors and sizes, and they often feature intricate designs, logos or artwork reflecting themes prevalent during their era. Large porcelain storage jars may also be available, once again connecting an antique kitchen design to agricultural traditions.

Finally, consider wallpaper for your antique kitchen design. Floral or toile designs are available in a range of styles and colors, featuring designs that are both attractive and authentic to their historical era.

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