Last Call: Let’s talk about the retro kitchens of our dreams

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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

This week, Ronda Kaysen wrote for The New York Times about the rising revolt against the sparkly white kitchens of the 2010s. The headline boldly asked, “Could the Avocado-Green Kitchen Make a Comeback?” Indeed, pops of color, particularly painted cabinets, are sneaking their way into the formerly neutral territory, and vibrant detailing is slowly supplanting much of the white subway tile that has defined the last two decades of kitchen design. Fashion is cyclical, and the steel-and-gray culinary landscape seems due for a makeover.


Of course, the reason that home design trends move slower than fashion trends (and tend more toward “greige” neutrality) is that they’re more costly and time-consuming to alter, and they carry the risk of decreasing resale value. As a place to live and eat and function, though, a kitchen should be what you want it to be, and discussions of how it will “show” for potential buyers is less interesting.

So, assuming you had the kitchen of your dreams—a kitchen impervious to the demands of the market and one in which cost was no object—just how retro would you go with it? Would avocado green be in the running? It sure as hell would be for me.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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Dr Emilio Lizardo

I am one week into a total kitchen remodel and it will not be at all retro. I’m 52. I grew up in a house that was redesigned in the early 1970's and I do not have fond memories of all those various shades of sickly green and artificial-as-hell finishes.

Also, a total kitchen remodel is a huge and ongoing pain in the ass. It had to be done because literally all our appliances were showing signs of failing and the original kitchen design seemed to have been done by a blind person who never cooked as much as a PB&J or cleaned a countertop, but it is still testing me. I look at the plans several times a day to remind myself how nice it will be when it is done.