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Vintage Wall Decor For The Kitchen – Best Ideas

Kitchens and vintage decor go together like bread and butter. A vintage kitchen is perfect for you if you enjoy quirky and traditional design. There are many various vintage eras to pick from, whether you like a mid-century, retro aesthetic, or a rustic farmhouse vibe.  The kitchen is the center of your house, so give it great consideration when adding unique wall decor. Wall decoration is great because it can give visual depth without taking up important counter space. In this post, I have compiled a creative list of ideas for the best vintage wall decor for the kitchen. So let’s jump right into it!

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Vintage Kitchen Posters

A 1930s Italian food advertisement poster in a white frame in a mid-century modern-style kitchen with light blue subway tiles.
A vintage French poster of Biscuits Pernot in a brown frame, sitting on a vintage cabinet.

Vintage kitchen posters are one of those universal wall hangings that will match any kitchen — from 1920s and 1930s vintage kitchen decor all the way to the 1980s. You just have to find the appropriate kitchen poster for the era you’re aiming to recreate. And when using vintage kitchen posters to add a retro vibe to a modern space, anything goes! Vintage kitchen art prints, as they may also be referred to, are super versatile and they’re used in both old and modern house kitchens and food service establishments all over the world. 

Old Botanical Prints

Botanical illustrations have a long history, dating back to the 16th century when the first botanical gardens were established. These prints were used to identify and classify plants and also to showcase their beauty to the public. During the 18th and 19th centuries, botanical prints became popular among collectors, and many artists produced detailed and accurate illustrations of plants for this purpose. 

An old botanical print featuring a tulip in bloom, with two other blooming flowers on each side, and two seashells at the bottom.
A vintage botanical print of a white rose.
A vintage botanical print of a white and pink rose.
An antique botanical print of a plant blooming in yellow.
An old-fashioned botanical print featuring various blooming flowers – great vintage wall decor for kitchen.

Go for some lovely light academia style vintage kitchen wall decor with old botanical prints. Vintage kitchen art prints of flowers, plants, and herbs can all be hung together to form a nice rustic gallery wall in the kitchen. This type of retro wall art for the kitchen is perfect for vintage farmhouse decor or a Victorian-inspired kitchen. 

Vintage Kitchen Tin Signs

Tin is a material that screams vintage. Vintage decor enthusiasts should definitely give it a closer glance when decorating their kitchen walls. Kitchen tin signs were popular from the late 19th century to around the mid-20th century as a form of advertising for various food and household products. They usually featured colorful graphics and catchy slogans, and they could be found in diners, restaurants, and homes throughout the United States.

A rectangular, green and yellow vintage sign reading “Fresh Fruits Juice” featuring illustrations of kiwis, oranges, and papayas.
A vintage lemonade sign reading “Fresh Lemonade” in an old-style yellow font, with lemons and plants in front of it.

Putting up one tin sign on your kitchen wall could be good enough – making a standout item is one of the simplest ways to give anything a vintage feel. A focal point will offer a sumptuous touch and detract from any unwelcome modernism. However, I would suggest a gallery wall made up of smaller vintage tin signs. A collection of such vintage and quirky kitchen wall art gems could make quite an impression.

A vintage 1950s ice cream sign reading “Ice Cream” and featuring three ice cream images above it.
A vintage square-shaped ice cream advertisement that says “Charlie’s Round The Corner Ice Cream”.

Vintage neon signs

In the 1920s and 1930s, neon signs were a popular form of advertising and could be found in nearly every major city in the United States. By the 1940s and 1950s, neon signs had become iconic symbols of the American dream and were often used to advertise diners and other roadside attractions. 

A pink neon that says “Diner” in a round, bubble vintage pink font hanging above a diner booth.
A vintage food establishment storefront with a neon sign reading “Funnel Cakes” in yellow letters, a sign that says “Delicious Corn Dogs” below it, festoon lights, and a person seen working inside.
The interior of a 1950s-style diner with red chairs, a table, a red wall with a checkered strip, old records on the wall, and a neon sign reading “1950 American Diner”.

In the kitchen, vintage neon signs can evoke a sense of nostalgia and create a fun and playful atmosphere. Whether it’s a sign advertising a particular brand or simply a colorful piece of artwork, a vintage neon sign can be a unique and eye-catching addition to your kitchen, ideal for those wishing to recreate 1930s or 1940s vintage kitchen decor. 

Plates and cups

I feel like I talk about this in almost every post, but my love for vintage and antique china is forever. Especially when hung together to create a curated gallery wall. Regardless of the color combinations and style, vintage china can be mixed and matched and still look good. 

Two ornate vintage plates hanging on a beige wall
Two colorful vintage plates featuring sunflowers and fruit hanging on a pink wall.

Some color combinations and patterns to pay attention to are: 

      • red and white

      • green and white

      • floral

      • ornamental.

    The shapes can also vary and hanging plates, platters, and cups together is definitely recommended. 

    A white wall covered with decorative vintage plates, with a dark wooden table and bench in front of it.
    A collection of vintage plates on a blue wall, part of vintage wall decor for the kitchen.
    A round blue and white plate featuring a design of plants on a decorative dish.

    Plan out the arrangement of the plates on the wall, using paper templates or painter’s tape to visualize the layout. Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, hang the plates on the wall using plate hangers or adhesive hooks. An option here is also to consider mixing in other vintage kitchen items like retro silverware or cutting boards to add even more interest to the gallery wall.

    Paintings

    are another wonderful type of vintage wall art for the kitchen. Actually, the ones I’m thinking about are more of antique kitchen wall decor – they’re truly nostalgic kitchen wall decorations. I have in mind these types of antique paintings:

    • Still-life – particularly popular during the 17th century in the Netherlands, these still-life paintings depict inanimate objects, often including fruits, vegetables, and other food items.
    • Floral – flowers can refresh any room, not only a vintage kitchen, and the same applies to paintings of flowers. Hang one or two in your kitchen for an antique pop of color. 
    • Landscape / Pastoral Scenes – They can depict rolling hills, countryside scenes, or even vintage farmhouses and barns. These will be particularly ideal for a vintage farmhouse kitchen.
    An antique painting of colorful flowers in a silver vase, with a blue ribbon next to it.

    I know that buying an original painting (especially a really old one) can cost a fortune. A good alternative to that are giclee posters, which are basically reprints of old paintings. There are a ton of options to choose from on Etsy; they’re usually really good quality and really inexpensive. Just make sure to go by the reviews and you’ll be good to go! 

    A painting of colorful meadow flowers and fruit and vegetables at the bottom against a dark background.
    A medieval painting of fruit and a chalice of wine sitting on velvet green cloth.

    Pair your paintings or reprints with some antique or vintage plates and/or drawing or sketch art prints encased in romantic frames for a perfect vintage farmhouse wall decor idea. 

    An old painting depicting lush trees, sheep, horses, cows, people, and an old house in the background.
    An old painting depicting a sheepherder with sheep on a countryside pathway lined with trees.

    Copper Cookware

    Moving from 2D to 3D, next up we have copper cookware which has been used for centuries due to its excellent heat conductivity and durability. In fact, copper was the preferred material for cookware among professional chefs and households in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. Its popularity continued to grow in the United States during the 20th century, especially among affluent households.

    Three decorative copper pans hanging against a white-tiled wall.
    A collection of copper pans on a semicircular wall of an old vintage kitchen.

    In vintage kitchen decor, copper cookware can be used as a decorative element due to its aesthetic appeal and historical significance. Not only that, copper pans and dishes can be functional as well – they can be used for cooking and baking just like in the old days.

    Hunt for some pretty copper pans and other cookware and hang them together for a vintage country kitchen wall decor vibe.  

    Crates For Storage

    A vintage wooden farmhouse crate with a logo imprinted on it, lying on grass.

    Wooden crates can bring a rustic and natural feel to a vintage-themed kitchen, while also adding a functional storage solution. Historically, wooden crates were used for transporting goods in the early 1900s and were often made from solid wood with a sturdy construction. Today, vintage and antique wooden crates are sought after for their unique character and patina. 

    As part of rustic kitchen wall decor, wooden crates can be used to display vintage kitchenware, such as antique utensils, plates, or mugs. They can also be used to store spices, oils, and other cooking essentials, providing both functionality and style to the kitchen decor. 

    Old Cookbook Pages And Recipes 

    This is actually one of my favorite types of old-fashioned kitchen wall art. Cookbooks have a long and rich history, dating back to ancient Rome and Greece, where recipes were written on scrolls and tablets. Printed cookbooks became popular in Europe during the 16th century, and by the 19th century, they were widely available in the United States. 

    Pages from old cookbooks provide a glimpse into the culinary habits and customs of the past and can be used for inspiration. Vintage cookbooks with hand-drawn illustrations or unusual recipes can also be used as a focal point in a room. 

    A page from an old magazine depicting an advertisement for canned green peas.
    A page from an old cookbook featuring cheese varieties.
    A page from a 19th century cookbook featuring fruit varieties.
    A page from a vintage cookbook depicting sausage on a fork – 1970s vintage wall decor.
    A vintage chocolate advertisement in an old magazine – 1960s vintage kitchen decor.
    A closeup of an old recipe from a vintage cookbook.

    Scouring for old cookbooks can actually be a fun endeavor if you know where to look. I would suggest antique bookshops and flea markets, but also Etsy, for some unique items. 

    Mid-Century cookbooks are not hard to find and will make perfect 1950s vintage kitchen decor. Another option is to look for reprints of even older cookbooks, like the famous Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management from 1861, although you may not want to rip it apart. My suggestion is to make good quality copies of the pages you want to hang. 

    The cover of an antique cookbook titled Mrs. C. S. Peel’s Cook-Books, with walnuts on top.

    Vintage Utensils And Accessories

    A collection of Victorian silverware including forks, knives, spoons, and a cake and pie server, laid out on a wooden surface.

    During the 18th and 19th centuries, silverware was often used to showcase the wealth and status of a household. Today, vintage and antique tableware can serve as vintage kitchen wall hangings. 

    Four vintage brass cooking utensils hanging on a cream-tiled wall.

    Collect kitchen utensils from your favorite era in the past (for example – late 19th century) and accessories such as vintage bottle openers, antique forks, knives, and spoons, cake and pie servers, or can openers. Hang them on the wall in any shape you like, for example oval or to form a heart. 

    Rustic Chalkboard/Stenciled Sign

    Particularly suitable for vintage farmhouse kitchen decor, a rustic chalkboard will look fantastic, especially with writing in an old-fashioned font. Don’t worry if you’re not a calligraphy expert, there are plenty of free old-style font stencils to be found online. Add to that some line illustrations of fruit, bread, vegetables, cheese, or whatever else you like, and say hello to the perfect retro kitchen wall art. 

    A vintage bar with old-fashioned stenciled text on a white square-tiled wall.
    A vintage chalkboard hanging on a wall, with red, burgundy, and white wicker seating and a round table in front of it.

    The second option is to find or buy a wooden board (or use your kitchen’s wooden wall if you have one) and stencil in a food-themed logo or illustration on it. Vintage food and kitchen-themed stencils can be found for super cheap online, making it a nice DIY vintage kitchen decor option. 

    faq

    Let’s discuss some frequently asked questions regarding vintage wall decor for the kitchen. 

    How to combine modern and vintage kitchen wall decor?

    Look to a more recent era in design history for a wacky spin on old decor. A modern setting would appear beautiful when combined with the playful kitchen decor that was popular in the Mid-Century. A terrific approach to connecting the past and present is using mid-century design. 

    How to decorate a vintage kitchen?

    Opt for vintage posters, vintage tin food signs, paintings, old plates and cups, copper pans, wooden crates for storage, stenciled signs, or botanical vintage kitchen art prints. 

    How to decorate a kitchen vintage?

    To decorate a kitchen vintage, use vintage kitchen posters, old cookbook pages, and recipes, vintage tin signs of food advertisements, copper pans, wooden crates for storage, vintage or antique utensils and accessories, or botanical prints. 

    How can I make my kitchen look vintage?

    To make your kitchen look vintage, apart from vintage-inspired kitchen appliances, use vintage kitchen pictures or posters, paintings or reprints of pastoral scenes, flowers, and landscapes, vintage tin signs of food, and 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s neon signs. Also, hang some vintage utensils, plates, and accessories on the wall to create a vintage gallery wall. 

    What art can I put in a vintage kitchen?

    Vintage kitchen posters will work well in most vintage kitchens. For a vintage farmhouse kitchen, use landscape paintings, botanical prints, and pages from old cookbooks. In a Mid-Century kitchen, you can use vintage tin signs that represent food advertisements. If your kitchen is inspired by the Victorian era, use still-life paintings, and recipe pages from 19th-century cookbooks

    Conclusion

    Adding vintage wall decor to your kitchen is like adding the secret ingredient to your favorite recipe – it just makes everything better! Whether you go for a rustic farmhouse, a retro diner vibe, or a Victorian-inspired atmosphere, incorporating vintage pieces into your kitchen design is a fun and easy way to bring character and charm to the heart of your home. So raid your grandma’s attic, hit up your local thrift store, and get ready to turn your kitchen into a vintage wonderland. Happy decorating!

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