MY DREAM KITCHEN…SO FAR

Steel kitchen ad from 1957 Canadian Homes & Garden magazine.

Steel kitchen ad from 1957 Canadian Homes & Garden magazine.

When my husband and I first decided to move and renovate this dated 1960s house our plan was to save the home’s kitchen. We didn’t mind the layout which was fairly open and spacious so it made sense to try to salvage the original knotty pine kitchen. I didn’t realize that knotty pine was actually quite a popular choice for kitchens in the fifties and sixties but since we’ve gotten into this project I have seen so many vintage knotty pine kitchens in vintage magazines and online. I’m sorry to say that although it is a beautiful wood with all of its natural knots and variations, I’m not a huge fan of the wood for a kitchen…or for my kitchen I guess. 

'before' of the knotty pine kitchen

‘before’ of the knotty pine kitchen

So we planned on having the existing kitchen cabinets sprayed with a high end white lacquer and replacing the hardware. We were quoted $2000 to have the cabinets professionally sprayed which seemed reasonable and would definitely be less costly than replacing a kitchen. I was a little worried that the knots in the knotty pine cabinets might bleed through in the future especially since we were planning on having them painted white. We have some wood trim in our current home that we painted white a few years ago that now has knots resurfacing as you can see in the photo.

Pine knots coming through paint.

Pine knots coming through paint.

 

I talked to the company who would be spraying the cabinets and they assured us that with a few coats of a strong sealant they used there would be a very small chance of knots coming through in the future. I felt reassured but still a bit concerned.

Then, in early fall, part of the kitchen ceiling caved in from the roof leak and after cleaning up there was some water damage to parts of the upper cabinets. We also noticed that some of the doors and drawers didn’t open and close well. Since we planned on removing the ceiling and walls in the dining room and kitchen to make sure no permanent water damage or mold would be an issue; we decided that it was best to install a new kitchen. I was fine with keeping the original kitchen but I have to admit, I am excited at the thought of planning a new kitchen. 

I love the look of mid century steel kitchens – beautifully simple and long lasting. The slogan on the Youngstown Steel Kitchens ad sums it up “cabinets of steel for lasting appeal.”  Unfortunately finding a true set of vintage steel kitchen cabinets is unlikely so for now I’ll just admire these vintage steel kitchen ads to get some inspiration.

Retro kitchen ad

kitchen ad for Republic Steel Kitchens from a 1957 Canadian Home & Gardens Magazine, kitchen available in yellow, turquoise, pink and white

Republic Steel kitchen ad from 1954 Better Homes & Gardens.

Republic Steel kitchen ad from 1954 Better Homes & Gardens.

Youngstown Steel Kitchens ad from 1954 Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Youngstown Steel Kitchens ad from 1954 Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Republic Steel Kitchen ad from 1957 Canadian Homes & Gardens magazine, kitchen comes in Prelude Pink, Largo Yellow and Tempo Turquoise (I want that!)

Republic Steel Kitchen ad from 1957 Canadian Homes & Gardens magazine, kitchen comes in Prelude Pink, Largo Yellow and Tempo Turquoise (I want that!)

The kitchen below is not steel but I really like the overall look of it. I pulled these pages out of a 1965 Family Circle magazine a few years ago. At the time, I had no idea that I would one day be designing  a retro inspired kitchen in a 1965 home; I just really liked the look of the cabinets.

1965 Family Circle magazine ad.

1965 Family Circle magazine ad.

The style of this 1960s kitchen is similar to some of the modern kitchens you can find in recent decorating magazines, especially the two tone upper and lower cabinets and wood grain look of the lower cabinets. I have found similar finishes in many of the latest kitchen cabinet catalogues I have. I like the simple white ceramic tile backsplash accented with a few starburst patterned tiles. The floors are a bit hard to see in the scanned photos but are described as ‘vinyl-asbestos tile laid with white feature strips to ‘make the kitchen seem wider than it is’. I don’t mind that look either (minus the asbestos) but flooring will be a whole other topic. I also quite like the rich turquoise of the upper cabinets (my favorite colour) but I don’t think I will be able to talk my husband into going with turquoise cabinets. We will likely go with a simple cabinet door in glossy white for both upper and lowers but we are also considering going with a woodgrain finish for the lower cabinets similar to the look in the above 1965 kitchen. I also think the chrome ‘pencil slim’ handles finish off the cabinets nicely. For our kitchen I also really like the boomerang style pull like in this kitchen picture. Reproductions of both of these styles can be found at Rejuvenation.

Vintage Younstown Steel kitchen.

We also plan on going with a simple glossy white tile backsplash. I’m thinking of incorporating this Italian made vintage mod bird ceramic tile in a spot in the backsplash for just a little added vintage detail. It is 5 & 7/8″ squared. I’m hoping to find the perfect retro laminate counter top to really stand out – Maybe Formica or Arborite? http://modranchreno.com/2015/01/formica-for-me/

Vintage mod bird tile.

Vintage mod bird tile.

 I would love to find a retro sink in good condition. A friend had sent me a recent ad for a turquoise kitchen sink that would have looked lovely but it had a couple of holes in the surface and although not all that noticeable I’d worry that they would start to rust so the search continues. I love the sinks in these vintage ads.

Briggs Beautyware sinks, 1951.

Briggs Beautyware sinks, 1951.

Kohler enamel sink, 1950.

Kohler enamel sink, 1950.

 

Creating a new kitchen also gives us options for the layout. We didn’t mind the original layout but we will be making a few changes. Instead of keeping the U shape we will make it a simple L shape and add an island on castors. I have always wanted an island on wheels so it can be moved from one spot to another as needed. Also, we will add shallow pantry cupboards on one wall which will be great for extra storage (they won’t be as deep as they appear in the image below.) The kitchen plan doesn’t look very vintage inspired at this point but I’m hoping that together with the right countertop, accessories, flooring and lighting it will. I would also love to get aqua blue retro appliances but that might be a goal for the future since we will already be going much higher than the original kitchen budget. 

Our budget doesn’t really include custom kitchen cabinets so we started the search at Home Depot (we will get a few more quotes from other places which I will add to the post as I get them.) Shirley at Home Depot was very friendly and helpful and was quite excited to work on this project. I brought a drawing and measurements of the current kitchen, our ideas and some cabinet styles and finishes we liked. She asked me several questions to get a feel for what I liked. The appointment only took half an hour and in about a week she sent me some computerized images of a potential set up for our kitchen and at no cost. I was very happy with the service and the first plan she sent. I met with her again recently and we made a few small changes and here is the updated design. We’ll see if this design will turn into my dream kitchen but for now I’m having fun with the planning process.

Kitchen design.

Kitchen design – Home Depot Thomasville Nouveau glossy white.

 

BOX OF ORIGINAL HOUSE GOODIES

original house stuff

I was so excited when the previous owner of the house found her parents original box of house ‘stuff’ which I imagine was the equivalent of my renovation binder of information http://modranchreno.com/2014/12/keeping-it-organized/.

The box included the original house plan, blueprints, cost quotes and receipts and some great flyers for everything from fridges to lighting to doorbells…oh my! Not everyone would get so excited about this find but for me, it was like being a kid in a candy store.

Some of the most interesting things were:

The original home plan ripped out of a home plan book which shows a few changes that were made including losing the master bedrooms en suite and walk in closet in order to expand the dining room and downsizing to a one car garage to create a larger mudroom and indoor stairs to the basement which were originally accessed in the basement.

Original home plan.

Original home plan.

 

 

And the original blueprints…

original blueprints

Here is the original blueprint for the front elevation of the house

This 1965 Beaver Lumber building materials catalogue is full of great product photos and illustrations.

retro home building catalogue

I love this set up for the back yard

 

retro building flyer

Notice the vinyl ASBESTOS tile…

Some lovely retro paint colours

Some lovely retro paint colours

I love all of these doors. My favorite would have to be the teardrop style.

I love all of these doors. My favorite would have to be the teardrop style.

Some fabulous doorbells and chimes

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I’d like the starburst design.

Some fashionable chimes.

Some fashionable chimes.

These photos show just a few of the fun advertisements in the stack of papers. There are some kitchen design flyers and pamphlets for lovely mid century lighting which I will share in another day.