In which I am convinced that turquoise and red can work

turquoise and red kitchen from

I love the floor, I love the kitchen, but most of all I love the look of those vintage red chairs in that turquoise-and-white kitchen. Don’t you? (Photo by Brian McHugh by way of Retro Renovation,, posts here and here.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! And hey, what could be better for a Valentine’s Day post than one about decorating with the colour red? Well, I’ll tell you what could be better than that: a post about decorating with the colour red and the colour turquoise!

Longtime readers will know that turquoise looms large in our plans for the renovation of the kitchen of the Manse, mainly – actually, solely – because underneath the godawful “wood” panelling that was installed when my own family lived in the house back in the 1970s lie restorable plaster walls painted turquoise. Those turquoise walls were just a fond memory from my early childhood – I was four years old when my dad, mum, sister and brother and I moved to Queensborough and the Manse – until, as you can watch in a little video in this post, they were partially uncovered by my brother John. You can tell from the video how thrilled I was to see them again after all those years.

That discovery, or recovery, or whatever you want to call it, also led to my passion for turquoise, which I’ve since written about several times, including here and here and here. The Manse’s kitchen is flooded with light thanks to all the big windows in it, and once it has turquoise walls, bright-white restored wainscotting, and a white tin ceiling (all of which is currently still in the dream stage), it will look amazing. I promise you’ll see many photos!

But as I confessed quite some time ago in a post here, much as I adore turquoise and want it for my kitchen, my true favourite colour is…red. And I’ve wondered off and on about whether one can mix red and turquoise in the kitchen of one’s dreams. I ventured into that territory most notably in posts here and here, in which I showed you the refrigerator of my dreams, a retro-styled red beauty that I discovered in the window of Bush Furniture of Tweed. (If you live in the Queensborough-Madoc-Tweed area you will already know that Bush Furniture is a great, longtime-family-owned business, with outlets in both Tweed and Madoc, where you can find good furniture, quality appliances, and excellent, friendly service. If you don’t live in our area – well, Bush Furniture is worth a trip!)

My Madoc friend Brenda was the first to assure me that turquoise and red could mix beautifully in a kitchen, and even brought me a photo to prove it. It was a photo of the kitchen from her own childhood featuring just that colour mix, and I stupidly failed to dash upstairs to my printer and scan it when she showed it to me. However, thanks to a post I’ve just discovered at Retro Renovation, my new favourite website/blog (I’ve already mentioned it a couple of times, like here and here), I now have gorgeous proof for you.

You’ve seen the photo at the top of this post, so you know what I’m talking about. The photo was used most recently at Retro Renovation to illustrate a piece (which is here) on vintage-style flooring, linoleum and otherwise, with which you can achieve that wondrous midcentury look. As a fan and advocate of linoleum (which I’ve written about here and here), I was of course most interested in that post; but what really made me sit up and take notice was its picture of the turquoise-and-red mix in the Nashville kitchen of Brian and Keri, which you can read a full entry about here. (Which you should do, because they did a great midcentury kitchen renovation for only $7,000.)

Everything about Brian and Keri’s kitchen is, in my midcentury view, to die for; but the absolute best part of it is the mix of bright-turquoise walls and a classic dinette set featuring the most gorgeous red chairs ever. Here’s another view:


The dinette set in Brian and Keri’s kitchen. (Photo by Brian McHugh by way of a post at Retro Renovation,

Now, the Manse kitchen’s walls are not, and will not be, anywhere near that bright a shade of turquoise; while I love it in the photos of Brian and Keri’s kitchen, it’s a little too bright for me. But I am just thrilled at how that splash of red in their kitchen looks so great against the aqua blue of the walls and the white of everything else in the kitchen.

I think the prospects for that red refrigerator ending up at the Manse are getting brighter all the time.

11 thoughts on “In which I am convinced that turquoise and red can work

    • Uh-oh – now you’re worrying me, Kirwan, just when I though I had settled on the red fridge! Well, it won’t be time to buy it for quite a while, so I have lots of time to think it over. Maybe it’s just that you don’t love red quite as much as I do!

      • The turquoise you’ve selected is a soft colour which, when added to the large windows and white ceiling gives a bright restful room. Red, at least for me, is a noisier colour – best as accents. As you observe, however, it’s also not my favourite colour. K

      • The dealer is located in Fenton Michigan – about an hour away from us. There were many, many things on her Facebook page that would work very nicely in our house! Sadly, with our dollar being so weak, I can’t justify the trip.

  1. Now Katherine! !!!! We’ve never met face-to-face, but we both know full well, that if I went to Yesterdays Treasures in Fenton MI, I’d find PLENTY of things not only for the Manse in Queensborough, but also for the little Mid Century Modest in Walkerville! Then I’d have to cram everything in the Prius AND deal with the driver – who by that point would have tired of taking pictures of barns and would be fast becoming extremely cranky. He gets very surly when I buy chairs; no sense of adventure!

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