Vintage-Style Kitchen Decorations


I haven’t shared many pictures of The Mad House kitchen for a few reasons: 1) It’s never clean; 2) Poor lighting + semi-gloss paint = terrible photos; and 3) it’s not really decorated.  I don’t have a magazine-quality, high-end, immaculate kitchen.  I have a functional kitchen that I use to make PBJs and lasagna.  Maybe even a little Christmas Crack, if you’re lucky. 

And that’s how I like it. 

If I had to make room for plants and decorative urns and chalkboard menu signs, I wouldn’t be able to keep the stand mixer and coffee pot right there on the counter.  And that just ain’t gonna fly in this household.   I am thankful for our slightly messy kitchen because it means it’s being used. That’s one of the reasons that I love that we DON’T have an open-plan house.  Or white cabinetry.  And that I don’t care that our appliances don’t match. But that’s all a tangent for another day.

While The Mad House kitchen leans more heavily on function over form, I have added some decorative touches.  I have already shared the Faux Pallet Cornice I installed over the window last year.  I thought I would show you some of the other decorations in the space today.


When we first moved into this house, I framed and hung some vintage, handwritten recipes and hung them on the wall.  After living with them for a year, I still love the idea of the framed recipes, but I decided that the space needed a bit more color.


I used some craft paint and vintage fabric that I already had on hand to refresh the look of the frame.


I taped the fabric to the frame backing and re-matted the recipes.


The frame itself got a coat of Calypso Blue paint to bring out the blues in the fabric.


I rehung the frame and the EAT letters along with the cute donut and coffee card I ordered from


I think the framed recipes are more noticeable now in their more colorful frame.


I only had a 5×7 frame on hand, so for now this card is in a small bright red frame.  Eventually I would like to find a 8×10 frame with a matte for the piece.


I left some open space in the gallery wall for new pieces I pick up at thrift stores or that I might make along the way.


Just across the way from those pieces is this small outcropping of wall adjacent to the kitchen.  This narrow section of wall is a straight shot from the front door, so it didn’t make sense to leave it empty.


My husband’s grandmother was excellent at needlepoint and had given us dozens of vintage-style embroidered tea towels.  I had been storing them in our buffet for years because I didn’t want to actually use them as towels and risk damaging them.


I solved the problem by painting some thrift store embroidery hoops in a coordinating colors and using them to frame the embroidery.  It was a little sad to cut the actual tea towels to fit in the hoops, but I love that we are able to enjoy her handiwork now instead of just storing it.


The hoops are just hanging from regular nails by the tension screws.


The other piece of vintage décor I use in our kitchen is this newspaper stand that belonged to my grandpa.  He could set the paper in the stand and read while eating his breakfast.  Now I use it to hold cookbooks or my Kindle while I am cooking a new recipe.


The best part of the stand is the back.  Ah, the 50s.

That’s basically the extent of the decorating there is in the kitchen.  Unless you count all of my kids’ papers and pictures that are hung on the fridge.  Which you should.

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Thanks,  Jessica

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