Knotty pine kitchen and more – in this month’s Old House Interiors

Old House Interiors - photos by Steve Gross and Sue Daly

The August issue of Old House Interiors features a Catskills cabin including several rooms decked out in 1950s knotty pine kitchen. I adore knotty pine, and if I ever finish off my attic – it’s getting knotty pine paneling finished with amber shellac.

Knotty pine was very popular in the postwar era – due to our country’s continued fascination with both colonial and our western-ranch heritage…because it was easy to DIY (in an era of much DIYing)…and because it was inexpensive.

One of the interesting points from the story – EVERYONE loves this cottage and the owner’s builder-friend is going to start replicating the look (and the small house) in other, new Catskill cottages. I’m tellin’ you, that whole 50s live small, live cosy and unpretentious thing – it’s big!

Pick up your copy of Old House Interiors in bookstores (like Barnes & Noble), or call the editorial office for a copy: (978) 283-3200 during ET business hours. Photograph(s) by Steve Gross and Sue Daley for Old-House Interiors.

Seems like everyone has knotty pine memories — what’s yours?


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


  1. Sumac Sue says

    When Wayne was a kid in the late 50s/early 60s, his father — a pioneer DIY-er — put up knotty pine paneling in the living room and dining area of their 1910-era cottage (along with a dropped ceiling of acoustical tiles — ugh). He also used knotty pine and acoustical tiles in the attic when he converted it into a bedroom for Wayne’s older brothers. Wayne later bought the house from his parents, so, he lived with that knotty pine for decades. He grew to hate it (and the acoustical tiles), but, the problem was that it just was not the right look in that lovely, Victorian-style cottage. We’ve seen knotty pine used in dens of 50s-era ranches, and it’s a really nice, cozy look.

  2. angela says

    My great aunt’s house is entirely paneled in knotty pine! My dad is moving into the house and loves the all the wood. In our rental the ceiling of the former sunroom is knotty pine and the basement has painted pine paneling. A lot of the houses I see for sale here still have pine dens and basements!

  3. chriss says

    I had a lead about 9 months ago on a lot of FREE knotty pine paneling from C-List. I didn’t get it as I was just a bit too slow with the e-mail. I was going to do my music room/den with it. I’m sorta trying to do themes with different rooms. My music room/den is going to be that sorta Adirondack lodge getaway room. What used to be my living room is now a fully functional Tiki Bar! My second bedroom is now the Theater complete with stadium seating (the couch is on a raised platform and is staged behind the love seat). I know, I’m weird.

  4. gabby says

    I am on my second Knotty Pine mid century kitchen. I see lots of folks who otherwise love mid century taking out the knotty pine and agree it’s time for a comeback. I had a 600 sq ft 1959 cabin ( no, really, it was that small!) that was completely knotty pine….walls, ceiling, floors, etc. It was already in the woods, so to relieve some of the “eyes follow you” effect I whitewashed the bedroom walls. Never again! It’s just fine the way it is.

    The best thing about a knotty pine kitchen is the near indestructability of the finish. Scorch marks, mold or greasy mess? Just sand it a bit and apply two coats of Bullseye Amber varnish. Within two weeks, the patina will blend with the rest and no one will ever be the wiser. Just the easiest to take care of ever.

    My sister refers to the traditional hammered metal hardware style as””Mister Ed”. She’s about right. The pix with the yellow oven will look much like ours when we get the clock fixed and back in. Wedgewood-Holly 1959-complete with Rotisserie in the lower oven.

  5. JO ANNE POWELL says

    I have a house in the Catskills and want to enlarge my kitchen. I have knotty pine cabinets now with the “Mr. Ed” hardware and need three more base cab and one wall cab for the expansion. Anyone know of where I can find these?

  6. Ann reid says

    I did not think that there was one other kichen in the entire world that had as much KP as ours does. Our kitchen is every inch KP except for a red brick fireplace that we have converted with a cream colored enamel stove gas fired insert.
    One of the biggest problems we had when we bought our house was how dark the kitchen was. We’ve been adding lighter features a little at a time. We also had a terrible time finding an extra wide stove, and The fridge isn’t right yet, but we take one step at a time there, too.
    Here’s my favorite part about our Knotty pine story- I never met my father-in-law, who had passed away long before my husband and I met each other. The day of the closing, someone asked the seller if she knew who had done the kitchen. Yep, it was my husband’s father.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *