From the cute little frog salt & pepper shakers to the mushroom sugar canisters, and the flower-shaped clock to the colorful enameled teakettles, these little pieces of decor gave those kitchens charm and personal style.
Here’s a look back at the retro department store tools, trimmings and tchotchkes that people loved decorating with back in the seventies!
Charming kitchen accessories (1974)
By Joan O’Sullivan – The Daily Messenger (Canandaigua, New York) July 30, 1974
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, new appliances give a kitchen that up-to-the-minute look but, when it comes to decorating this utilitarian area of the house, you can’t get away from the fact that it’s the little things that count.
Decorative and useful
“Accessories,” said Julia Lee Cook, home stylist for Libbey Glass, “give a kitchen charm. Because space is at a premium in this work center, most kitchen accessories are useful as well as decorative.”
They can be as useful as sparkling glass canisters with cork stoppers, she suggested, for storing pasta, beans, dried fruit, rice, you name it.
“Glass canisters are eye-catching,” she said. “Their contents add natural beauty to a kitchen counter.”
Gleaming pots and pans can also be decorative. “Hang them on a pegboard and show them off,” Miss Cook said. “This is a double-duty trick — it saves space in cabinets, and it adds decoration.”
Most people don’t think about hanging pictures in the kitchen, but they can add to its charm. A series of fruit and vegetable prints would be appropriate but, said Miss Cook, “Hang anything that appeals to you. It’s nice to look up from a kitchen chore and rest your eyes on a print or painting that delights your eye.”
Greenery is something else to consider. “Grow an herb garden on your windowsill, in a round shallow glass stack-and-store canister,” she suggested, “or show off a leafy plant. It’s a touch of outdoors that’s welcome in a kitchen, especially if you live in a city apartment.”
Yet another suggestion is to use wallpaper to add color and pattern.
“There are kitchen patterns with fruits and vegetables, or food canisters,” she suggested, “but do your own thing. A pattern doesn’t have to be kitchen-y to be decorative. A friend of mine chose paper with a brick pattern. It gives her apartment kitchen that old-fashioned charm you find in old farmhouses.”
Kitchen storage canisters from the ’70s
Retro metal kitchen canisters
Retro stainless steel kitchen accessories from 1973
Kitschy old mushroom design kitchen accessories
Paper towel holder, spice rack, mail organizer, cutting board, vinyl toaster covers, steel cookware and more.
Colorful vintage kitchen storage and breadboxes from the 70s
Merry Mushrooms kitchen coordinates from the seventies
(36) Kitchen Tool Set. Chrome-plated steel. Plastic handles. Fork, ladle, potato masher. turner, basting spoon, slotted spoon.
(37) 32-pc. Tableware Set. Stainless steel, plastic handles. 8 each forks, knives. teaspoons, soup spoons.
(38) Self-stick Vinyl Covering — 18-in. wide rolls.
(39 and 40) Floating Flamers. Save $2 when you buy 3 of same style. Just top water in glass vessel with oil, float disc with wick on top of oil and light. 6 in. high. Disc, wicks incl.
(40) Floating Flame with plastic Mushroom insert.
Retro metal ’70s kitchen accessories with a mushroom design
Retro 1970s kitchen clocks
Retro kitchen clocks in shapes from the seventies
Kitschy kitchen scarecrow clock and straw plaques from the 70s
Rooster kitchen decor and retro egg nest clock from the 70s
Vintage perpetual kitchen calendar and clock
Trendy & kitschy kitchen canisters from the 1970s
Frog Family vintage kitchen coordinates, cookware and wall coverings from 1979
Kitchen Coordinates, Cookware, Wallcoverings Frog Family items are ceramic except as noted.
(1) Hanging Planter. 23-in. chain.
(2) Letter Rack. Wood. Japan.
(3) Kitchen Tool Set. Includes 7 pieces: fork, ladle, potato masher, basting spoon, slotted spoon, turner, rack. Chrome-plated steel tools, melamine handles.
(4) Timer. 60-minute: 1-ring. Plastic. 7-1/2-inch diameter.
(5) Spice Cabinet. Wood with 12 glass bottles, 24 frog-design labels. Japan.
(6) Wall Clock. 3 hands. Includes C battery.
(7) Spice Rack. Wood rack with 12 earthenware jars, 24 spice labels.
(8) Kitchen Secretary. Wood with 3 pockets. chalkboard, cork.
(9) Towel Holder. Made of wood.
(10 thru 14) Porcelain-coated Steel Cookware with enamel lining, plastic handles. Teakettle, Covered Dutch Oven, Covered Saucepan, Open Skillet.
15) Mug Tree. Four 10-oz. mugs. 13-inch enameled steel tree.
(16) Cookie Jar. 10 inches high.
(17) Napkin Holder.
(18) 24-pc. Glassware Set. Includes eight each: beverage, iced drink, on-the-rocks.
(19) Water Dispenser. Holds water and lets it seep to plant as needed.
(20) Sugar and Creamer Set.
(21) Soup Mug. Earthenware. Japan.
(22 and 23) Salt and Pepper Sets. Japan. With plastic stoppers
(24) Book Ends. Earthenware.
(25) Trivet. Tile, cast iron base.
(26) Milk Can Stor-all. Painted metal; lid.
(27) Planter with Saucer. Drain plug.
(28) Frog Planter Bowl.
(29) Plant Tool Set. Wood rack. Japan. Includes rake, spade, hoe
(30) Frog Bank.
(31) Ceramic Canister Set
(32) Plastic Lacquerware Canister Set
(33, 34) Coordinated Wallcoverings. Our most durable paper-backed vinyl. Scrub with mild soap and water to clean. Use with adhesive sold below, tool kit. Dry-strippable; pull corner to remove. Colors: Gold and avocado on white, Avocado and gold on white.
(35) Frog Cookie Jar
(36) Decorative Self-adhesive Covering. Washable. Each roll 18 in. wide. Length Roll 3 yds.
(37) Bread Box. Enameled steel.
(38) 5-in-1 Cabinet. Single unit has 4 canisters, bread box with latch, cutting board. Made of enameled steel.
(39 thru 43) Vinyl Appliance Covers — Coffee System, Mixer, Blender, Toaster, Toaster, Toaster Oven.
ALSO SEE: See colorful vintage kitchen sinks of the ’60s & ’70s
Vintage 70s kitchen teapots like your mom or grandma used to have
Teakettles that match cookware (pots and pans)
Colorful retro kitchen teapots from the ’70s
Vintage ceramic kitchen canisters
Flour, sugar, coffee & tea
Paisley pots and pans and a retro hanging rack
ALSO SEE: See how retro pots & pans in the 70s came in floral patterns, and colors like avocado & harvest gold
Vintage glass kitchen containers
Wicker plant baskets and home decor from the ’70s
Kitchen breadboxes and storage canisters from 1971
Colorful retro kitchen glass jars and salt and pepper shakers
Colorful vintage kitchen canisters from the seventies
Honestly shocked my mom didn’t have that frog set.