How to kit out... a fifties kitchen

What better way to put the fun back into your kitchen than by giving it a retro make-over? Joey Canessa has a bit of a Doris Day moment
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The Independent Online


To recreate a Fifties kitchen, flooring is key. The obvious choice is a chequered, tiled Lino floor in white with black, yellow or red. Sinclair Till (; 020-7720 0031) has been supplying and fitting genuine Linoleum for almost 20 years, and can supply tiles in a variety of sizes, from 15cm to 60cm (from £36 per square metre.) Vinyl, from high-street stores, will do the job, but the quality can be inferior.


There are a number of suppliers stocking replica Fifties-style kitchen units, including John Lewis of Hungerford (; 07002 784726), whose Crème de la Crème range is modelled on the English Rose kitchens of the Fifties, in a range of evocative colours, including pink, cream, minty green and icy blue. The cupboards are finished in multi-layered high-gloss paint with authentic chrome details, and complemented by white worktops edged in stainless steel. Prices start at £15,000.

Poggenpohl (; 020-7902 5243) has also jumped on the bandwagon, selling a well-crafted kitchen range that now includes high-gloss cupboards. Hand-finished with six coats, they come in red, white, grey or black. Prices for an average-sized kitchen start at £20,000.

If you want the real thing, however, look for a reclaimed original. Current stock at Salvoweb ( includes real English Rose units.


For curtains, tablecloths, etc, opt for bright, geometric and abstract prints. Genuine vintage items can be found at Classic Modern ( For reproduction prints, in unlimited quantities, visit Melinamade (, whose bright abstract fabrics come with matching wallpaper.


Ensure that your fridge is as big as possible. The ubiquitous Smeg, with its curved door, is available in a range of pastel shades from John Lewis (, at £899 for the fridge, £1,299 for a fridge/freezer. LEC ( produces a convincing replica at the more reasonable price of £450.


For the truly modern Fifties housewife, Formica table tops reigned supreme. To recreate the feel, any table can be converted, and Formica is available in sheet form in an irresistible colour range. Contact Formica Limited ( for samples. If you prefer things ready-made, Fourwalls ( sells a neat table with black laminate top and stools in chromed steel with black vinyl seats (£149). Remember to line all drawers and cupboards with Fablon, preferably in red or yellow. It looks particularly authentic when crumbs begin to stick to the gluey edges.


Authentic and well made, the iconic Kitchenaid range of gadgets is available from Armorica (, including mixers (from £299) and toasters (£120), in a range of retro hues. It's important to get the smaller details right, too. Jack and Friends ( is a fun US site specialising in retro accessories, including enamelware, tin canisters, neon signs and groovy clocks. For a final touch, get a Roberts radio (, available in a range of fab colours from around £100. All that's left to do now is to fix yourself a dry sherry, turn up the Bill Haley and start sweating over the Sunday roast.