Webguru Kit gave me this little toy now that I’m taking lots of photos. A slide show that I can link to my flickr account. This is Maryanne’s garden in Pittsfield, Mass. — a true oasis that she created in her little 50s neighborhood. Um, it only took her 13 years, she said.
Yesterday I repeated my new summer Saturday morning routine: Sleep in, drink two cups of coffee really fast, check the blog and emails, then head to an estate sale. Heck yeah there is more →
On Thursday we looked at Catherine’s 1948 Ohio kitchen and bathroom. She wants decorating ideas that will bring these firmly into the modern era and to complement her growing collection of Drexel and Heywood Wakefield furniture — along with her young family’s needs. With this post, I will start with the kitchen. Ad image: American Standard 1948.
This house was built in 1948, which you can clearly see in details like the tile. Anytime I see the punches of black or darker colors like maroon, I think ‘deco / streamline’ – which clearly preceded 50s atomic.
40s look: If you want to be true to the 40s basics already in your kitchen, I’d recommend you go with colors from that palette – as seen in the wheel above. And in fact, I really like the red/violet floor from Marmoleum that picks up these tones. You’d have to go get some samples and see — but it could be fabulous in terms of picking up your burgundy.
I also see in your kitchen a red-white -blue theme possible, which was very popular in these patriotic time – when dads were welcomed home from the war, and all was right with America (as in the lead photo). Starting with your burgundy trim – how about adding a blue linoleum floor, blue laminate countertops, a sweet colonial-modern retractable lighting fixture, porcelain white painted walls, a set of 2-3 framed prints, and curtains trimmed in burgundy.
Early 50s atomic: All that said – you seem to really want to pull this kitchen decisively into the modern era. If so, I think you can do it while still keeping your steel tile walls with that burgundy punch. How about: Charcoal boomerang laminate (set into the existing frame), a neutral ivory VCT sheet or tile floor, a retractable ceiling fixture, all tied together with a patterned barkcloth valance for the window that includes grey, black, maroon and porcelain white.
In both cases, if there is room, how about a smallish 50s laminate table and chairs. Something with a crackly finish, lots of personality. The retractable light goes centered over it.
Regarding the stove, fridge and possibility of more cabinets: Yes, if you can find a corner pieces and extend the kitchen into an L — that would be great. You are going to have to be patient, though, as well as tenacious to watch for the pieces meant for you. A lazy susan that connects to a vintage stove (yes!) then a small cabinet on the other end, would be great.
Without seeing the layout of your kitchen – it’s hard to say regarding where to put the fridge. Do you have any space to recess or otherwise ‘build it in’ somewhere? That would be ideal. As far as brand – I think that reader sentiment right now favors Fisher-Paykel, in white. The size is right, and it’s counter depth.
Catherine, this is already a long one, so I’ll come back with bathroom ideas on Tuesday. Hope this helps. You know, the thing to do is to …. go get samples, put them down and see what “clicks”… Pay attention to decorating that you see and like and analyze why it works … You are so young, you already seem to have a great eye and the enthusiasm … Don’t stress, have fun.
I have 100+ draft posts in the wings – and this is one of them. New reader Anita says that she’s been looking through the site for retro cabinet pulls – so I thought that I’d better get this one up. It’s a beautiful – admittedly expensive @ $23.90 — atomic pull from Crown City Hardware.
Importantly – this one comes in two sizes, including with a 2-3/4″ spread. I recall a reader looking hard for this feature – I believe that 50s metal kitchen cabinets had this spread.
If you are looking for cabinet hardware – check out my Category of the same name. And Anita – let us know what you decide!
I am now the proud owner of a binder of large, vintage 1954 Armstrong advertising comps — created by Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, Inc., and signed off by Max Banzhaf in Floor Division National Advertisements. Pretty cool, huh?
Meanwhile – readers had been asking for more living room ideas — and I found some great ones in here.
In this modern-yet-classic interior, the designer begins with a very neutral brown/wood backdrop, adding medium blue, chartreuse and smalled punch of red to the mix. Overall – a delightful yet easy-to-live with look.
Click to enlarge and there are some fun things to notice:
- Horses here and there
- Pinch pleats that don’t take themselves too seriously
- A peak into the kitchen, with the chartreuse carrying into that space
- Look at the floor as it also transitions into the kitchen; there’s a change in the tile color to redefine the new spaces.
Meanwhile, I’ll feature more from my proprietary stash (different from what’s in the books) over time.