26 fun & unique retro kitchen islands: Home inspiration from the 60s

16 kitchen islands Home inspiration from the 60s

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See what was cookin’ in home design decades ago by checking out these kitchen islands from the 1960s! They combined form with function — and a little fun, too.

Kitchen islands help shorten distances

Article from the Shreveport Journal (Louisiana) Nov 5, 1968

The cook’s tour of the kitchen should be as brief as possible — and islands can help to shorten it.

The well-arranged kitchen island, in fact, may almost eliminate steps in the refrigerator-sink-range work triangle. The actual cooking can be done at the island if the range is installed on it.

Round retro kitchen island from the 60s

With a sink and adjacent workspace, the island can serve as a food preparation center. It may be the place to install the dishwasher, or it can divide working from eating areas.

Whatever the use, ceramic the counters on the island, as on other workspaces in the kitchen, will eliminate heat and spillage damage, and make clean-up easy.

Easily accessible storage is one of the great boons the kitchen island can offer. If it is a cooking island, pots and pans can be stored underneath. Where it borders on an eating area, drawers and sliding trays can store linens, tableware and baked goods.

Vintage kitchen islands from the 1960s - home decorating (1)
1960s kitchen with mid-century modern flair

Large vintage-style blue, white and silver kitchen with big island

This large kitchen, approximately 15 x 37 feet, has a refreshing warmth and graciousness that is characteristic of the entire house.

The kitchen island unit, 4-1/2 feet wide and 9-1/2 feet long, divides the room into work centers, with a sitting room at the far end. The table in the foreground seats three for snacks, and also serves as a planning desk.

Vintage-style blue, white and silver kitchen with big island


Butcher-block wood island in a royal blue kitchen with industrial-style appliances

Vintage kitchen islands from the 1960s - home decorating (2)


Round kitchen island with bookshelves above for cookbooks (1964)

This 4-foot round block-top work table, convenient to counters on all sides, helps the kitchen function smoothly.

Storage cabinets occupy the entire unit below the block top, except for space for a stool and a shelf for the phone. Meals are here, and cookbooks on shelves above are within easy reach. The counter at left has a pass-through opening into the breakfast room.

1960s round kitchen island with bookshelves above for cookbooks (1964)

MORE: Six wonderful, workable kitchen designs from the ’60s


Green and red kitchen island decor style

This semicircular kitchen island was covered in red formica formed a breakfast bar, and was accented by green rattan bar chairs

Green and red kitchen decor from the sixties - 1966


Mid century modern kitchen design with central island

Mid century modern kitchen design with central island


Vintage kitchen pass-thru on a kitchen island

Vintage kitchen pass-thru on a kitchen island - home decor from the 1960s


Cooking on a sunny island

The cook’s always on vacation in this gleaming California kitchen. Surrounded by gay tropical flowers, fiesta colors, and sandy-white stretches of counter space, she gets meals in a breeze on a cooking-top island of ashwood cabinets.

But the holiday aspect of this kitchen doesn’t end with the decor. Every inch of this small-scaled kitchen has been engineered for easy-does-it efficiency.

Cooking on a sunny island 1965

Notice the well-defined and uncluttered work centers, easy-to-clean surfaces, generous storage cabinets, proper cooking-area ventilation, and bright, cheerful lighting.

MORE: 18 cute & cheap kitchen cabinet facelift ideas from the 60s & 70s

For the gourmet cook, there’s plenty of elbow room to dice, slice, shake, and stir. For everyday cooking, here’s a gay sunny place for the lady of the house to speed through her chores. Note the snack bar for the children or coffee-sipping neighbors.

Modern kitchen from 1968

Conveniently accessible to other rooms and the outdoors, the kitchen also incorporates a laundry area tucked behind folding doors and away from the food preparation center.

Look carefully — some of the design concepts in this kitchen may spark ideas to turn your own kitchen into an isle of joy through efficient planning and lively decorating.


Vintage 60s circular kitchen island

This cooking island even had a matching circular light/vent hood above

Vintage circular kitchen island design from 1960s


Huge center island with cooktop & eating area

Save time and motion in a large kitchen by bringing everything closer with a center island. The island shown here includes a sit-down vegetable sink, cooking top, and warming drawer. The island is lighted by ceiling spots and by fixtures in the vent hood.

1960s kitchen with large center island with cooktop and dining area


Vintage 1960 kitchen island with two-tier Formica countertops

Vintage 1960 kitchen island with two-tier Formica countertops


Vintage-style open kitchen island with sink & countertop space

Vintage-style kitchen island with sink and countertop space (1960s)


Curved wood kitchen with central island

House Beautiful (1963)

By solving everyday needs with beauty as well as efficiency, this kitchen gains a new look. Planned for easy movements without unnecessary steps and equipped with all the aids a gourmet could desire, it goes a step further to introduce a living-room-like atmosphere due to its carefully crafted fine materials.

These are the makings of an elegant kitchen. After an era of clinically sanitary functionalism, we seem to be moving on to this further refinement.

The kitchen shown is not a “dream” room of the future. All its components are currently available. All of them — cabinets, appliances, flooring, ceiling, counter surface, lighting, even the intricate redwood grillwork — are manufactured products, at hand to serve this new sense of elegant simplicity.

Curved wood kitchen with central island from the 1960s


Slender tiled kitchen island with inset electric stove

ALSO SEE: 20 vintage 1960s kitchen tile design ideas & popular retro mosaic tile styles

Retro kitchen island design from 1960


Angled kitchen island on the cover of BHG kitchen ideas 1966

BHG kitchen ideas from 1966


Vintage kitchen with wooden cabinetry and a large Formica-topped island

Vintage kitchen with wooden cabinetry and a large formica-topped island


Big open kitchen area with split-level dining area and living room (1966)

Big open kitchen area with split-level dining area and living room - Vintage interior decor from 1966


Big tiled kitchen from the late 1960s with a small kitchen island in the center

Big tiled kitchen from the late 1960s with a small kitchen island in the center


Groovy green accents on this retro kitchen island with wood cabinets (1968)

Groovy green accents on this retro kitchen island with wood cabinets

DON’T MISS THIS: 22 vintage kitchen ideas you don’t see much anymore

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