‘Betty Crafter’ says, Yes to the Knotty Pine!

knotty pine kitchen blue appliances‘Betty Crafter’ wrote me a happy email and sent me these happy photos, which reminded me that I need to start another microsite in the same vein as Save The Pink Bathrooms. Only the new blog will be called: Say Yes to the Knotty Pine. Don’t try to buy the url away from me. It’s mine all mine buwahahaha. Meanwhile, here is Betty’s “miracle” story and more photos of her gorgeous time capsule knotty pine kitchen…She writes:

beautiful knotty pine kitchen on retro renovation blogWe just bought the house less than a month ago so we have a long way to go, but here’s our short story so far!

built in shelves in mid century knotty pine kitchenMy husband and I decided to move because although we lived in a pretty fab 50’s house in a great location, it didn’t have the original kitchen and bathrooms I’d always wanted.  Just before our house hit the market, I saw this one online.  I almost stopped breathing.  I really didn’t think a house like this existed!  Turquoise counters?  Knotty pine paneling in half the house? A pink AND a green bathroom? Fireplace? Creek? Barn?


“It looks like the inside of a Spartan trailer!”  I squealed.

1950s intercom systemI immediately called our realtor who refused to show it to me because: “I’m already showing that house to two clients who DON’T have homes to sell first.”

Well I was so insane for this house that the hubs and I drove there and convinced the seller to show it to us herself!  Upon seeing it in person I was even more sure this was home.  It’s a miracle we ended up here because we weren’t the only ones who loved this house.  But luckily for us the other offers fell through just about the time we got offers on our home, and here we are! 

dinette chair for knotty pine kitchenWe don’t want to change much because the house is pretty much perfect.  We tore up the carpet to install green apple VCT in all the areas with the knotty pine paneling and hardwoods in the rest of the house.  The turquoise stove and bar chairs came with the house – lucky us! Otherwise it’s all original.

Is it possible to be in love with a physical object? I could not love my new house any more. Also, I’ve started a blog — Betty Crafter — to chronicle our caretaker and preservation efforts if anyone’s interested…  The pink bathroom has an unfortunate 80’s vanity, but I found a pink wall hung sink for $5 on the forums here that will be going in soon. Then some fresh paint inside and out and a Crestview Door and we’re done!  My main concern is preserving what’s here.  There are a few stains on the counters, and I’d like to find the best way to clean them and protect them from future stains.  I also need to give my paneling the “Eartha Kitsch treatment” but they are in pretty decent condition as is.

Also, in one of the first shots I sent, that is a NuTone Intercom/Radio that even goes out to the barn!  We even have the owner’s manual – when we moved in there was a file folder on the counter with every receipt for service and owner’s manual to everything in the house since the 70’s.

betty crafterThanks for thinking my dream kitchen is as awesome as I do!

Crikey! BC, you have some mighty fine happy going on there in your little piece of time capsule paradise. I love the way you used the fabric on the kitchen chair to choose your floor color and tie in with the skylark blue Formica countertops. I also LOVE the way the peninsula eating area curves out, from the bottom (eating counter) to top (prep counter) — what a great idea from the past. Send me pics of your other projects when they are ready for prime time. And: A barn and a creek? Those, too!  Tip: for cleaning countertops, our reco is Countertop Magic


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    • char says

      I also have new/old house of my dreams – in Florida Gulf town w/ turquoise walls, screened lanai w/ pond – slowly furnishing w/ vintage & ultra modern – turquoise & chartreuse everything and lots of trailing philodendron & no videos or music before 1963

  1. Marjorie says

    We had the same stove for many years. My mother absolutely refused to get rid of it until it was literally on its last legs. It lasted from 1953 to the mid 1990’s. The push buttons that controlled the burners had different colored lights which fascinated me as a kid. Thanks for the happy memories seeing your stove. Love your kitchen too.

  2. Mark E. says

    A total, total c-o-m-f-o-r-t kitchen. My only suggestion is to re-locate the paper towels away from the area above the range. We would all be so very sad if the unthinkable were to happen.

  3. George says

    Agree with Mark E. about the paper towels. You can find some great period paper towel dispensers on ebay. Lincoln Beauty Ware says it best.

    The only other thing I’d change is that modular phone plug. Get the proper four-prong push-in plug for a place that’s so visible up above that countertop.

  4. Johnny 5 Fachy says

    Absolutely fantastic and I’m so happy you appreciate the beauty of what was considered a high end luxury look back in the day! My dad and uncle built a family room for my aunt back in the mid1950’s when I was a kid and it was, you guessed it, knotty pine from top to bottom and so warm, inviting and beautiful! Enjoy your home, it looks great, love your style and passion!

  5. Phyllis Dollman says

    A friend of mind shared the photo of your kitchen…and it’s very similar to my own, but without the lovely turquoise stove & countertops, or bar seating area. When we bought this house in l977, a huge selling point for me was the knotty pine cabinets in the kitchen, one wall in the living room and wainscoting in the dining room [now the computer room, that still has the original brass & crystal chandelier, pulled up high, since no longer have a dining room table underneath]. The kitchen’s original subway style, white tile backsplash around three walls, is still in excellent condition but the white with brown ‘speckled’ countertops I thought needed some refurbishing. After reading these blogs, tho, am thinking I shall consider they have a marvelous patina…and, willingly, leave them alone! 🙂 Thanks for this site. I’ve never commentedd on a blog before, but feel like I’ve found some brand new, kindred spirit, best friends!

      • Phyllis Dollman says

        Thanks for your reply of welcome, Pam. As for the photos & comments, another ‘feature’ I didn’t realize we had that was so desirably retro as well…the NuTone radio/intercom, throughout the house. As the years past, it started having so ‘static’, we pretty much ceased using it…but it remains a visible presence. I just never thought of having it even checked, much less repaired!

        It wasn’t until I saw the rest of the photos, after coming ‘on board’ the blog site, that I additionally fell in love with her gorgeous display cabinet, unseen in the original photo.

        I’ve had various shelves & cabinets in & out of my kitchen, [upon which I could display wonderful family pieces, deserving to be showcased], but currently have two parrots & cages against the one sole painted wall, alongside the table & chairs, so the display shelves had to go back to another room.

        Surely someday I won’t be dealing with bird feathers & constant cleanup with them, in the kitchen, along with the dog & cat & people, coming’s & going’s through the ‘heart beat’ room of our house. In the meantime, I need to work harder on eliminating the high degree of clutter that has crept into my surroundings, over the years…and those lovely posted photos make me want to git h’er done, already… and allow the basic beauty of my home’s rooms to re-emerge as genuine living space, not a warehouse! Thanks everyone, for inspiring me…

  6. Katie says

    Oh wow! I seen this and immediately showed my children. They were amazed at how similar our kitchen looks! I have that exact hood too! We also have a den behind the kitchen with the real wood plank paneling complete with nook beds on either side of our oversized fireplace and built in book cases.

    I recently bought a 1950s house complete with a pink and blue master bath that had some updates (no tub anymore) before I purchased it. The small downstairs guestbath is blue and yellow. Of course I was so wanting to get rid of the pink at first but now want to actually restore it back to the original look. I cannot wait to keep reading!

  7. Dan says

    As a 30s 40s guy, I just want to point out that, as seen in a lot of movies from around 1940, knotty pine was already popular by then in the hipper trendier suburban homes.

  8. Roberta Jones says

    This is completely FABULOUS. I have never seen a better color combo to go with knotty pine. My house originally had knotty pine but it was replaced 20+ years ago. I love my house anyway and have many 50’s features in it.

  9. linoleummy says

    Your knotty is SO nice, BC, I’m sending this to my cabinet guy to de-blah my tired out eighties kitchen. Thanks Pam for showing us the way!

  10. Penny says

    You would not be able to pry me out of this kitchen! I love it! You are so blessed to have been able to buy this house. Congratulations to you and your family!

  11. C. Telfer says

    Although not as knotty as you I have a super 70s 80s kitchen. Comments such as “Why don’t you let my friend choose you a nice new kitchen?” make me cringe, the whole point being it’s not new just mellow warm and lived in. We love it.

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