Tour a Kitchen With Midcentury Modern Flair

An Arvada, CO, couple turned their home’s ho-hum kitchen into a total midcentury stunner.

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August 12, 2022
Green Retro Kitchen

Midcentury Modern Kitchen With A Green Backsplash

This midcentury modern kitchen features walnut cabinets, a patterned tile backsplash and a large island.

Photo by: Cody Ulrich

Cody Ulrich

A Couple Made Over Their Kitchen With Retro Flair

This Colorado Couple Made Over Their Kitchen in Midcentury Modern Style

This couple turned their plain kitchen into a midcentury stunner.

Photo by: Cody Ulrich

Cody Ulrich

After living in their Arvada, Colorado, home for more than 20 years, retired educators Wendy Wheaton and Scott Bett finally decided to put their own stamp on the kitchen. The space was fine but nothing special — and it definitely didn’t reflect Wendy’s taste. “I remember going to my parents’ best friends’ house when I was growing up in the ’50s and falling in love with everything about their home’s midcentury style,” says Wendy.

A Plain Kitchen Ready for a Makeover

A Simple Colorado Kitchen Ready for a Makeover

Before: This ordinary kitchen did the job but lacked personality.

Before: This ordinary kitchen did the job but lacked personality.

Inspired but unsure where to begin, she reached out to designer Ashley Christensen to help her create a memorable space full of retro flair. They reconfigured the island, swapped the blah cabinets for walnut uppers and sleek white lowers and replaced the stark black backsplash with patterned ceramic tile. “I love how bold the design turned out,” says Wendy. “I don’t think anyone else has a kitchen like ours.”

Retro Mint Green and Walnut Kitchen

Mint Green Midcentury Modern Kitchen With Walnut Cabinets

This midcentury modern kitchen features walnut cabinetry, a retro backsplash and a large white island.

Photo by: Cody Ulrich

Cody Ulrich


Wendy and Scott made better use of the space with a multilevel island that serves as a dining table (the wraparound butcher block counter seats four) and prep area. “We have just as much seating as we did before,” says Wendy. “And the chairs are incredible — stylish and really comfortable, too.”


Glass globes with domed shades by Worley’s Lighting echo the circles in the tile. The lights are only 8 inches in diameter, so a trio fits perfectly and doesn’t distract from the tile.

Retro Green Kitchen With Walnut Cabinets

Midcentury Modern Kitchen With Walnut Cabinets

This midcentury modern kitchen features two-tone cabinetry, a green patterned tile backsplash and yellow rug.

Photo by: Cody Ulrich

Cody Ulrich


The shapes on the Fireclay tiles are a nod to the couple’s home state: “They remind me of the irrigation circles you see when you fly over Colorado,” says Wendy. The window and island are trimmed in matching mint subway tile.


Walnut uppers deliver on the midcentury look the couple wanted, while lowers painted Extra White by Sherwin-Williams keep the space bright. “We watch a lot of HGTV and love when designers do mixed cabinetry,” says Wendy. “Normally the darker color is on the bottom, but Ashley suggested the reverse, and we really like it.”

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