If you're someone that looks back at retro photographs, clothing, and interiors with a sense of nostalgia, chances are that you're a fan of midcentury modern design. But have you ever considered how to get the look in your kitchen?

While we're not going to go into everything you need to know about midcentury modern design, the movement, dating back to the 1940s through the 60s, is one that celebrates all things functional. Perfect for a kitchen, eh? Design elements such as large windows, art-inspired facades, and geometric shapes all contributed to the style. We're especially fans of features such as hairpin legs, walnut surfaces, and the creative use of other affordable materials.

Thanks to these elements, the style is easy enough to incorporate into modern spaces. Bold colors, smooth surfaces, and boxy shapes are all key to making it work. But where to start? Here are six midcentury modern kitchen backsplash ideas that you'll want to copy pronto.

1. Make a statement.

The natural palette of this midcentury modern cook space by Nim Tim Architects is the perfect backdrop for a statement kitchen backsplash created with geometric tile. If you're attracted to simple colors but still want to get a retro look, you can't go wrong with a slightly washed black and white option.

2. Keep it affordable.

white midcentury modern kitchen backsplash idea with tile backsplash and orange oven
credit: Tom House

The whole premise of midcentury modern design is that homeowners yearned for comfortable, practical, and (most importantly) affordable pieces. Enter subway tile. A counter-to-ceiling, white backsplash with black grout is the ideal backdrop for a clean and contemporary kitchen with midcentury flair. This design by Tom House has nailed the look, setting the perfect scene for a statement orange French stove and novelty artwork.

3. Introduce pattern.

Pattern is a huge design feature when it comes to midcentury modern design. While function was important, aesthetic was key for some designers, and often pattern was used to create more of a creative look. Nevertheless, you don't need to go crazy with your pattern choices. This kitchen backsplash by Destination Eichler combines a bold colors with a hexagonal pattern to bring a retro look into a modern culinary space.

4. Embrace natural materials.

This sophisticated marble kitchen backsplash instantly caught our eye thanks to the random veining of the stone. Make like Michelle Dirkse and take your sleek kitchen to the next level by making the backsplash tile do all of the gorgeous work. Pair with warm wood cabinets to complete the look.

5. Go bold, if you really wanna.

Not afraid to go bold with your design? Then midcentury modern is the style for you. While it's possible for the aesthetic to remain minimal, it's also easily integrated into a more colorful setup. This kitchen by YAMAMAR Design makes use of both color and pattern, finishing the look with a long hexagonal mosaic tile in a vibrant blue hue that we adore!

6. Understated can be midcentury, too.

If you like the idea of a repeating pattern, but want a more neutral color palette, we've got you covered. This pared-down kitchen belonging to Tiff Mueller from Hello Refuge is serious goals, especially with the rectangular mosaic from Nemo Tile + Stone paired with rich wood cabinetry. This once again proves that geometric is the way to go whether you're a minimalist or a maximalist. One question: When can we move in?

Where to buy midcentury kitchen backsplash tile:

If you're inspired by the midcentury modern look, shop these brands to create the perfect kitchen backsplash.

Heath's line of ceramic tile definitely tops our list of places to shop for your midcentury modern backsplash. They have a stunning range of colors and shapes, and you can even purchase matching dinnerware while you're at it!

Color and pattern are important to the folks at Modwalls, so if you're looking for an artisan tile with a nod to midcentury modern and contemporary design aesthetics, this is just the place. They even offer several fully customizable collections that allow you to create a totally unique and personalized design.

British tile manufacturer Bert & May creates handcrafted tile using traditional techniques. While the brand uses raw and honest materials, its designs remain punchy, with an emphasis on pattern and color. Shop here for original state-of-the-art wall tile that you won't find at any of your friends' houses!


Emma Jane Palin

Emma Jane Palin

Emma Jane Palin is a multi-award-winning blogger and freelance writer with a penchant for design and interiors.