Retro Design Dilemma: Choosing colors for Michaela’s knotty pine kitchen

knotty-pine-kitchenDesignDilemmaReader Michaela needs no convincing when it comes to loving her knotty pine kitchen — yes, knotty is nice! However, she’s at a loss when it comes to some decorating questions. Smartly, Michaela is starting small by trying to figure out what color to paint the ceiling — bright white? Off white? Beige? She’s also wondering what color appliances would look best in the space, since she plans to replace them over time. And what about the table? Michaela says she would love to add some color to her kitchen somehow — through the appliances, counter tops or some other way — and she needs our help to decide which direction to choose. Opportunity to play decorator, dear readers!

knotty-pine-kitchen-cabinet

knotty-pine-kitchen

Michaela writes:

Basically I’m looking for help not so much to redo my kitchen but to tweak it here and there so it just has a nicer, fresher feel. For example, the white vinyl vertical blinds will likely be replaced. I’m also replacing that grate on the ceiling and painting it white to match the ceiling. I’ve done a lot in terms of just cleaning up the look. Little things like replacing all the big white ceramic knobs on the kitchen cabinets with more original-looking antique bronze small knobs.

Knotty-pine-kitchen-cabinetsMy main question right now is which color white color to paint the ceiling to go with the knotty pine. I will also slowly be replacing the white kitchen appliances with black appliances. But for now I just want to start with painting the ceiling a shade of white, and there is a laundry room next to it where the ceiling needs to be painted as well.

knotty-pine-kitchenI have the same issue in the living room. The rest of the house has knotty pine ceilings. Anyway suggestions on the color of white would really help me a lot. I don’t want to be too creamy, and stark white may not be the best. But I just don’t know. Every white has certain color undertones and I’m unclear how to proceed. BTW I’m keeping the little vintage lamps you see in the first photo. They’ve grown on me. Just need to work on cleaning them. Lots and lots of cleaning!

knotty-pine-kitchen-wallsP.S. I’m on the fence about the table and chairs. They were there in the house when I purchased it. At first I h***d them. Now they don’t seem as egregious. Someone helped me arrange the chairs differently, taking some of the chairs away from the table which makes it seem more homey. But I’m being offered good money for this table and chairs. So advice on this will be much appreciated. Eventually I’d like to redo the flooring. But it’s in such good shape I can’t see replacing it right now. Eventually I’d like to replace each appliance with a black colored appliance as they die away. And I’d also eventually like to change the countertops to something other than white. Just because …. I like color.  I know granite may go away soon in popularity, but I picture a nice black brown purple eggplant type granite. I have it in my other kitchen…I think it would look great in there.

Ok readers — now we need your help. What color would you paint the ceiling? How about the appliance color?

Thoughts on window treatments or other ways to bring more color into the space?

***

Pam & Kate’s ideas for this knotty pine beauty:

knotty-pine-kitchenWhen it came to Michaela’s knotty pine kitchen — which has many original, fundamental features that we love! — the first thing Pam and I both agreed on was that it could be even prettier with the addition of more color. While we loved the table that was already in the space, we both felt it could be switched out to immediately bring more color/interest down to that end of the kitchen. Since Michaela loves and wants to keep her colorful slag-light pendants, those are the start for building out the color palette — and they are a great start.

We love the way deep emerald green looks with knotty pine, so I searched and found this vintage teal green and cracked ice table from Ebay seller siloview. The table’s decorative scalloped design mimics some of the scalloped woodwork in Michaela’s kitchen. The chairs — which are new reproductions of classic diner chairs from Vitro – match the vintage table beautifully and add more color and pizazz to the space. (Photo of green Vitro chairs from Classic Kitchens.)

When it comes to the appliances, Pam and I were concerned that black appliances are too dark for the space. We’d much rather see Michaela use almond, white or if she’s game — vintage appliances — in her kitchen. Pam reminds us that there are plenty of 30″ vintage electric ranges — like this vintage Kenmore electric stove — out there.

full-swing-textiles-juniper-barkclothTo pump up the color even more, we suggest that Michaela consider window treatments using barkcloth like that from Full Swing Textiles Moonlight in the Pines barkcloth in Juniper to make some valances for the over the sink window, patio slider and large window by the dining area. This pattern is great because it picks up the green from the table and chair set, the yellowy orange of the knotty pine wood and flooring and has pops of red and black to help tie in accent colors in the room — such as the vintage lights that Michaela has grown to love. It also brings home the “woodsy” feel that we suspect Michaela likes — we saw the moose tray hanging on the wall near the table.

Michaela, you also can hunt for vintage fabric or vintage valances…. and be check out our story, 7 places to buy barkcloth, for more barkcloth possibilities at a variety of price points.

For the patio slider, the valance will help cover up the very practical vertical blinds on the patio door. On the other two windows, making cafe curtains from the same barkcloth will help spread the color, pattern and softness throughout the room. . If Michaela needs further light blocking on these two windows, a roller shade can easily be added underneath the valance.

One final thought: Decorator Pam says she is thinking all the window treatments in this room would look better if they are boxy and tailored, rather than gathered and flouncy. “Box valances” can be pretty easy to DIY.

Practical Pam has been reading about window treatments and energy-cost savings:

And, Practical Pam says: If you completely box in the top of the valance, you can help prevent drafts. How? A completely blocked in window valance (top part and sides both enclosed) blocks the movement of hot air being drawn from behind the top of the the curtain or other window treatment on to the window glas . When this occurs — and when conditioned-warmed air hits any part of a cold window — that’s convection: The warmed interior air gets cooled as it hits the glass… then falls to the floor… your heating system kicks in to warm the air again… the air rises to the ceiling as it is warmed… it gets pulled by convection toward that cold window… and the whole cycle occurs over and over again. This why it feels “drafty” by windows.

Convection that creates drafts can be diminished if you tightly cover a window in a window treatment — but you need to seal the top (behind the curtain), the sides, and the bottom, too. The very best window treatment way that Pam knows of to to prevent drafts — and to cut heating costs, too: Solutions like Window Quilts that totally seal that window up so that no conditioned-warmed air can touch that cold window. Virtually every other window treatment is going to let that cold air seep into the house to some degree — that conditioned-warmed air will flow to the cold window through the open folds and gaps in window treatments…

knotty-pine-kitchen-walls

paint by number paintings vintage

Read our big story about the history of Paint By Numbers. Above: Reader Troy shows us how massing to create an awesome display is done!

Okay. Back to decorating. Speaking of the moose tray that Michaela has hanging on the wall in her dining area, we think that it — and the small painting on the opposite wall — are too dinky for the wall space — those big walls offer a terrific opportunity to add color and personality! One idea that could suit this retro kitchen: How about starting a vintage paint-by-number collection — like these vintage paint-by-numbers from Ebay seller dayzeemaydog and hang them in a gallery-wall like installation on each wall. This will add interest and more color to the space, plus it gives Michaela something fun to collect over time.

Another way to pump up the color in Michaela’s knotty pine kitchen — bring in a second color from the light fixture by adding some colorful dinnerware like fan-favorite Fiestaware in scarlet red. Be careful, though, Michaela — with most any design palette, we’d recommend going slow with the addition of color. Start with two colors — one is a ‘main’ accent color — in this case the green… the other — in this case, the red — is the secondary accent color. The risk if you start bringing in more colors is that it becomes… chaotic. Take it slow.

knotty-pine-kitchenWhen it comes to the ceiling color, we think the stark white shown above might be a leettle too stark. To be sure, a brite white ceiling is going to reflect the most light back into the kitchen. From a practical, “I want light”, “I need light” standpoint, a #1 go-to solution is to paint your ceiling brite white and bounce a lot of light on to it. In the kitchen work area — that for sure is happening now. But, the question is… with all that lovely warm knotty pine, can we knock the white down a bit and still have enough light in the space? You could try it –>

knotty-pine-kitchenAbove: Instead, Pam suggested we try a light beige color for the ceiling, perhaps something along the lines of Sherwin Williams biscuit, which is a beige with warm orangey undertones similar to those in the knotty pine. If we didn’t want brite white, we would try a color like this. Note: Pam says that in her downstairs family room — which has original cherry paneling — she painted the ceiling S-W Beige from the Suburban Modern Palette (use the Search box in the header area at the top of any page to find our stories about this important go-to palette). The S-W beige looks great — the ceiling actually reads as “white”. BUT, Pam’s family room was designed to be overall dark and cozy — not  a space she wanted to be lite and brite. So that is the trade-off you are playing with when making this color choice….

You’ll also notice that I removed the black and white checkerboard tiles in the kitchen back splash, which to us competed with the serenity of the knotty pine and read more as diner retro than the woodsy, knotty pine retro we are going for. Since Michaela is thinking she will replace the counter tops (and likely the back splash too) at some point, for now she could do a quick fix like reader Lori who painted her ceramic tile backsplash. If Michaela decided to take on painting her back splash, she could paint the black tiles the same color as the other white tiles so they blend in. P.S. Michaela, Pam says she kinda likes your counter tops. Ripping them out and replacing them will be costly and a hassle. So maybe… live with them at least a year… do more research here on Retro Renovation… and take your time in making this decision.

Armstrong Embossed Inlaid Linoleum flooringArmstrong #5352 — woot!

Lastly, both Pam and I immediately exclaimed how lucky Michaela is to have one of the most desired patterns of retro kitchen flooring in her kitchen — Armstrong #5352. Michaela, did you realize???? Again, we suggest that you study up on this design, then live with it for at least year to see if it grows on you like the light fixtures did — especially since you say that the floor is in great shape.

Though the most popular color way of Armstrong #5352 was the brick red, we think the warm golden color way in Michaela’s kitchen is just dreamy. Michaela — do you know some of our readers would do just about anything for that flooring?

All that said about this flooring, though: Precautionary Pam advises: There can be vintage nastiness in our vintage houses such as as lead and asbestos in the old materials and their layers — Michaela, this includes flooring like this — we don’t know what era your flooring is from, what’s in it, or what adhesives were used to install it; before you proceed, get with our own properly licensed professional to assess what you have so that you can make informed decisions. Readers and Michaela: No advice on this issue allowed in the comments — Get With Your Own Properly Licensed Professional to Assess What YOU HAVE So That YOU Can Make Informed Decisions.

More knotty pine love:

Great space, Michaela, let us know what you decide! Meanwhile, here are a few knotty pine inspirations from our archives, golly, we’re just basking in the honeyful glow of it all!:

knotty-pine-rec-room-with-sputnik-light-and-fireplaceAbove: The time capsule house with FIVE vintage pastel bathrooms also had this fantastic knotty pine basement!

beautiful knotty pine kitchen on retro renovation blogAbove: Knotty Pine and turquoise together – ‘Betty Crafter’ says, Yes to the Knotty Pine.

knotty pine kitchenAbove: Eartha Kitsch respectfully retained and revived the Knotty Pine kitchen in her 1956 ranch home.

vintage-knotty-pine-bar-basementAbove: This 1940 time capsule in Seattle had the same Knotty Pine loving owners for 70+ years — and quite possibly the most impressive basement we’ve ever seen.

knotty-pine-porchAbove: Jeff worked hard to add detail to his Knotty Pine den – finding a place where you can still buy scalloped, mid century style Knotty Pine cornices and molding.

knotty-pine-tikiAbove: Knotty Pine isn’t just for the kitchen — in this Retro Design Dilemma, we helped reader Jeanne come up with ideas to decorate her Knotty Pine bedroom with Tiki flair.

vintage-knotty-pine-kitchen-460Above: Back in 2010, we gave reader Tracy ideas for decorating the Knotty Pine kitchen in her 1962 ranch house.

knotty-pine-formica-1952Above: Back in 1952, Formica already knew that Knotty Pine was nice in this vintage advertisement.

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Comments

  1. Patty says

    If you get granite countertops what will you do with the black splash? What color is that tile?

    The stove looks okay but I think white appliances brighten the space.

    Experiment with color with tablecloths on your table that would go with your granite color preference. I’m thinking bright white on ceiling.

  2. Kkmk says

    Congrats on scoring a kitchen with what seems to be original cabinets. I would look for ways to break up the expanse of beige. I think the current ceiling color looks OK. Perhaps use the lights you want to keep to pick colors for other elements. Pull colors from it for canisters, window treatments, tablecloth, bright dishes or accessories in the glass-front cabinet, countertop, flooring, and maybe even appliances. I would also consider adding glass to a cabinet or two on the other side of the kitchen – perhaps next to the sink. Replacing the light by the sink area could be another opportunity to infuse some retro pop into the space.

  3. tailfin says

    Your cabinets look to be in amazing shape, so congratulations on finding a home with original cabinetry!

    You mentioned replacing your current appliances with black ones as needed. I’m a huge fan of using vintage appliances and would encourage you to consider making an effort to find turquoise appliances.

    Even if you choose black appliances, I think turquoise looks spectacular with knotty pine, and I think it should be your accent color. Find vintage turquoise kitchenware and display it throughout.

    I would also suggest going with a bright white for your ceiling. Off-whites always look dirty to me, and too many have brown undertones. You’ve got the brown covered with the knotty pine and the flooring, so no need to add any additional brown to the palette.

    Good luck with your project. Please show us after photos when you’re done!

    • Janet in CT says

      I totally agree with tailfin on the turquoise vintage appliances or at least find an old stove and get a new Artisan fridge, but if you are keeping the floor, yellow would be fantastic. My first impression was replace the knobs with copper ones but I see you already did that. My first kitchen had them and had copper appliances and the same floor in the darker reds which looks like an Armstrong original. Sorry to tell you those floors last forever and it will probably outlast you! I am not a fan of tile countertops so that would be my biggest suggestion, to find a colorful formica and replace them. One thing I love but maybe it is too dated to the eighties is painted cabinets. Someone who contributes alot here, maybe Hannah, painted the FRAMES only of her cabinets and kept the door and drawer fronts and I think it looks terrific. This is a bit more drastic but something you could consider. Your table looks like a really nice large one with alot of great chairs so if they need reupholstering some day, that would add color but if in good shape, what sense is there to doing that right now?! And yes, stick to bright white and lots of accessories; I am always amazed how just adding a colorful tablecloth can make such a difference.

      • Janet in CT says

        Forgot to add, I love you knotty pine walls by the dinette. If I had them, I would cover them with paint by number pictures in a heartbeat. So classic with knotty pine!

  4. Roundhouse Sarah says

    No need to overthink this ceiling color…. If it’s just a version of white you are after there is such a thing as just asking for ‘ceiling white’ at the paint store. If you want white, just pick that and be over it but if you want a color on the ceiling (which can be really cool), then I’d go for a light blue to balance out all the warm tones of the wood. Same goes for decorative colors for curtains, rugs, appliances etc. keep the main colors on the cool side.
    If it were my kitchen…. I’d paint the ceiling ‘ceiling white’, white appliances perhaps that GE artistry line in case they come out with color panels, replace countertop and backsplash with aqua laminate. Leave the floor alone for the time being and replace the light fixtures…..
    Good luck!

    • Steve says

      I was going to suggest the GE artistry line too. I think they would look really good here. Is this a second home? It has sort of a vacation-y, lake place vibe.

  5. Anastasia says

    I think what adds “insult to injury” for Retro “haters” is that she has gorgeous wood cabinets AND gorgeous paneling! WOW! But I can see how you might feel odd about it if you’re not into the “log cabin” look!

    I personally would get some amazing appliances (however you want to do that) in awesome colors & coordinate with fabric & maybe either use fabric or paper for the glass. Even in small doses (I have solid cabinets & even adding vinyl clings adds to the kitchen) a little goes a long way! Plants, rugs, decorate the tiles (variety of ways)!

    The cabinets & paneling are AMAZING but yeah it’s just plain. Unfortunately not much you can paint. But yeah you scored a gorgeous place, the paneling in houses here (where real wood would get gnarly too quickly) is more like black/brown plastic. Yours is a beautiful example of WHY it became popular in the first place! ENJOY!

  6. Connie says

    This is a score!
    I would skip the aqua and turquoise and go for
    warm reds and browns.
    If you can find a red fridge, that would be a great
    focal point – you could add to that with some red accents (knobs perhaps)
    I think black would also bounce nice in the room – just
    Make sure you get a fun color in there somewhere.
    :)

  7. Sean says

    Light turquoise, light peach/orange, vintage- rustic pieces, pine cones, tartan plaids, Put chrome pulls on those awesome cabinets! Formica counters with chrome edge! Awesome kitchen!

  8. says

    Well right now your kitchen has a bit of a split personality. You have bright white and cobalt blue tile countertops, I think, and a very gold/beige floor. The lights are more in the floor direction.

    If this were my kitchen, I’d try to use very cheerful pastel colors, which I think look great with knotty pine, and I’d probably keep the appliances white or as some suggested, source vintage ones in similar cheery colors.

    That said, you like the ceiling lights, which are colorful and go in the amber-ish direction, you like black appliances, and it sounds like the colors you’re leaning toward are kinda deep and earthy. I’m picturing this bringing you in kind of a gentleman’s club (cigars, not strippers) direction. You’ll have a lot of stained wood and deep colors. I’d consider an off white with an amber undertone.

    If you look at Betty Draper’s kitchen you’ll see that there are earthy colors and the whites aren’t really white. http://retrorenovation.com/2008/08/18/recreate-don-betty-drapers-50s-mad-men-kitchen/

    On the other hand Eartha Kitsch went in the opposite direction with pastels and whites that read as white, not cream. Normally I’m not a pastel guy but I really like the way they balance out the knotty pine here. http://retrorenovation.com/2010/02/23/a-1956-knotty-pine-kitchen-respectfully-retained-and-revived/

    It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind that you want to move in the first direction, but possibly with a bit more color. I wouldn’t mix these two, so the white counters and appliances don’t really fit your vision. But it’s natural wood. It goes with everything. Both of these kitchens look pulled together. You can do whatever you want!

    • stacia says

      Yes, I was thinking of Betty Draper’s kitchen too. Green or red formica countertops like Pam sources in the story…

  9. stacia says

    Those cabinets/walls are fabulous! If you’re keeping the hanging lights anyway, use the colors in those. Yellow, green, blue (?) and especially red. It is easy to find yellow and red vintage pieces. I would get red appliances, fridge, stove, microwave. Curtains with a vintage print would look great at that window, especially with the wavy wood valance. I just made some using a vintage tablecloth I got for $5 for my own kitchen window. That table is cool but it looks like maybe the chairs have been recovered at some point. Be on the lookout for vintage chairs to go with it–a mixed bunch of yellow and red. Or recover the ones you have. Finally, the counter/backsplash looks very 80s. I would take that out and replace with a colorful formica. You could do that for only a few hundred dollars. If you’re replacing the fridge eventually anyway, consider painting the one you have. There are tutorials online for doing that, recovering the chairs, replacing the counters, everything. Fun projects!

  10. lexavline says

    I love the fixtures above the table! Maybe work with those colors? Redish laminate countertops would look awesome.

  11. Kirsten says

    I would avoid black. It’s too dark for pine cabinetry, I think. It’l make the room kind of gloomy and plain. Pine is perfect for a wow in it’s environment. Indulge in color to set it off.

    I’d replace the backsplash with something that can be adaptive over time such as subway tile (square tile can be off-putting to the eye as backsplash). Then, you have a wonderful opportunity to create color pop with the appliances! Turquoise, or red to pick up those hanging lamps… or pick up a color from your floor tile. (It looks like there might be baby blue in the flooring; it’s hard to see in these small snaps.). You don’t have to buy all new ones either. Just paint the ones you have. For the small amount of wallspace not covered in pine, try a secondary pull from the floor (something light) or a nice buttery yellow.

  12. Lynne says

    I’m commenting without reading, so I apologize if I cover an area that’s already been discussed.

    I think you need to keep a white, or at least very light ceiling. The wood cabinets soak up light in quick hurry, so I’d keep it bright, and I’d use a slightly glossy paint.

    Knotty pine is kind of “busy” and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I would be careful in how much pattern I brought in. Let the knotty pine be the star.

    I would start small. Paint the ceiling. Get curtains/drapes up. I think your kitchen has a rustic charm to it, I’d like to see a plaid on those windows. Maybe colors that tie in the little lights you like? Get an area rug for in front of the sink.

    Then, take a step back and see what else it might need. Don’t go crazy with “stuff”.

    As for appliances, I’d just stick with white. The counter and back splash look to be in good condition, even if they aren’t your cup of tea. I’d do the other small things first (canisters, rug, etc) then if and when you replace the counters, the rest of the room will tell you which way to go. Still, I’d keep it simple and let those cabinets do all the talking.

  13. Lynne says

    Oh, one more thing…the hardware on the cabinets, is it copper? If it is, run with it. Copper is fantastic. Canister sets, those jello mold thingys, planters, something copper on the center of the table.

    If you would do any light replacement, there are some wonderful copper fixtures.

  14. Katy says

    Red! some retro look. maybe Big Chill… or Cream with colored handles. They are quite easy to paint yourself or have done

  15. says

    The paneling and cabinets look like they’re in beautiful condition! The only things that are jarring to me are the countertop and backsplash. They look like the wrong era to match the knotty pine. I’d swap those out as well as the florescent ceiling light. Any color appliances will work – especially if you can’t afford the more expensive colored ones. The white fridge looks perfectly fine to me but maybe the stove looks like it might be the same era as the backsplash so the black front is jarring. My mind sees it as a black hole in the space. If you don’t have a ton to spend, I’d spend money on that countertop and backsplash before I’d replace a perfectly good white fridge.

    Bring color in with some vintage dishes and fun finds in that built-in hutch. It’s screaming to hold some color! :) Maybe some fun barkcloth curtains on the window? I love the flooring with the knotty pine.

    • pam kueber says

      I hear what folks are saying re: the florescent light. But… I spent some time two years ago helping my mom freshen up her kitchen — she has a florescent light EXACTLY like Michaela’s — and golly jolly, does it ever brighten up the kitchen. It’s darned impressive. Haha: Retro.

      P.S. My first spelling was “flourescent”. I think that’s when your blender goes crazy and the cookie dough ends up on the ceiling.

  16. says

    I agree that you might play with the colors from the hanging lights. For the ceiling I’d go with a white that has a bit of yellow in it. I’d do it carefully, though. A little yellow goes a long way. (If you follow the link in a prior comment to Betty Draper’s kitchen, you can see that color on the door and walls in the background.) The other option I see is an eggshell white. That would work for sure, but it’s a bit neutral and blah in comparison. I’d stay far away from black appliances. Not only aren’t they period in any respect, to me they look like Darth Vader, who I’d never invite into my kitchen. I’d go with the earth tones of the 60’s/70’s (avocado, chocolate, burnt orange) or stainless, which pretty much has no character (but hangs onto finger prints and drips like crazy) or keep it white which is what I remember from the 50’s. I understand your feeling about the table. It doesn’t work for me either. If you wanted to make it period, you’d put a plastic tablecloth on it, or something red checkered–or both! Or you might prefer a real wood table and chairs that go better with the knotty pine.

  17. Donella says

    Hello!

    How about painting the ceiling sky blue or light aqua? It would balance nicely with the paneling, and give you the color you are looking for without being overbearing. I can also see this with either blue/aqua appliances, stainless, or black/white could also work. Then replace the countertops (I know, eventually) with something light, like a whitish and non-busy solid surface – perhaps something like a Caesarstone Ocean Foam or Nougat. Then replace the backsplash with a very airy/watery blue/auqa glass tile in a random pattern & white grout… or a piece of back-painted glass. As for the table & chairs – I love them! But I could see the chairs recovered in a buttery yellow vinyl. The bluish ceiling & backsplash with the light yellow chairs would pull the light fixtures in really nicely!

    I also can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that you are planning to get rid of the vertical blinds. The world should be rid of every vertical blind ever made! A sheer or lightweight drape in a pattern that pulls in the colors from the light fixtures would be a perfect compliment!

    Then (again, eventually, I know), I would love to see the floor replaced with a VCT tile in a checkerboard or random pattern of light colors.

    Good luck, and I hope to see an update as things progress!

      • Donella says

        To each their own, I suppose. But I despise them. Curtains, curtains, curtains. And again, curtains.

        I’m not a big fan of blinds in general though, unless they are nice wood blinds or shutters in the right setting, or cordless honeycomb blinds.

        • pam kueber says

          Pinch pleat curtains are my all time favorite, I am the blogosphere’s #1 cheerleader and proponent of pinch pleats. But for a patio door so tight in the kitchen like this…. I don’t think that’s what I’d do. Too much stack back — and in this case, all the stack back would need to be on the right side… pushing all the curtains into one asymmetric block (and one of the beauties of pinch pleats is their lovely soft symmetry.) Wide horizontal venetians will weigh too much… Roller shades also will be too wide to endure… For light control and ease of use, in this space, I might end up with verticals, they do have their purpose. Maybe not brite white ones though… maybe there is another material or color that would be less in your face

          • Donella says

            I’m a big fan of sheers on a rod at patio doors. They are easy enough to just pull open or closed (if you ever actually close them – we never do), and there’s no necessity for a lot of stacking at the sides. I have a 9ft 3-panel patio door with two sheer curtain panels on a rod, and when they are open they’ll squish down to only 8 inches or so, if I really want them to.

            Sheers will also allow in the abundance of light that patio doors provide, in addition to obscuring – but not completely blocking – the view when they are closed.

            Aesthetically, vertical blinds will always be my last choice. But the main reason I despise them is that awful clank-clank-clank and perpetual movement whenever anything touches – or even walks by – them. Like nails on a damn chalkboard.

            My mother-in-law loves them. It’s actually a bit of a joke between us.

            • pam kueber says

              I hear ya. Not my fave either, aesthetically, but functionally, they have their place. If you want blackout control — for harsh sun or the black hole of darkness at night or so’s peeples can’t see in your house at night — they have their benefits.

              • says

                I’m struggling with this very issue in a big way. I might end up building a tall garden wall, or just know that I have to put a shirt on to get a glass of water at night, or stop minding if the neighbors see me in my underwear. I’ll probably go with Alternate 3.

  18. Robin, NV says

    What a great kitchen! I love that floor, I would keep it and use its colors as a jumping off point for other things.

    1. I wouldn’t go with black appliances here. The kitchen is already a little dark and I’m afraid black would just create holes. White or almond look quite nice against knotty pine. Others have mentioned turquoise vintage appliances but they can be hard to find and spendy to buy.

    2. If you’re thinking of redoing the countertops and backsplash, I’d go with laminate in bittersweet and just paint the backsplash a creamy off white. Or pick a laminate color that works with either the floors or the stained glass light fixtures. Personally, I would shy away from dark colors for the countertops. I think it would make the kitchen seem dreary.

    3. I like the table and chairs but if you’re not into them, I think a round wood table and four chairs would look good. Something like this: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Dining-Room-Bar-Furniture/Country,/style,/711/cat.html?sort=Top+Sellers

    It sounds like MIchaela leans toward a modern look rather than a retro look but I think she can find a happy medium. I know Pam and Kate can figure it out anyway.

  19. Portoar says

    I think bright white on the ceiling would be too stark. If you have Benjamin Moore in your area, I would check out their Navajo Wite, it’s a great off white without yellow undertones and would work well with the knotty pine. I agree that you should avoid black appliances. you can bring in color by replacing the tile backslash and countertop. With those cabinets I would suggest a retro formic, which is inexpensive and environmental friendly.

  20. Glynis says

    What about re-doing the backsplash in a silver chrome or brushed stainless diner look? It will reflect light, and goes really nicely with uniquely colored counters. You could pick a counter top color from your beautifully colored lights! You have choices in colored counter tops now too – you can choose a formica product (we have a very bright green with the chrome trim) or you could get some stilestone (or material like it). I LOVE the table legs, they are really nice – actually I like your whole table set, and I think once you start making changes in the kitchen that bring back that look of “the era” it will really feel at home. You may want to do something like cover the chairs (actually, a pretty easy project) in a color also in your lights eventually. Personally, although the floor is in good shape, I think it isn’t an attractive color. But it’s something that can wait until you put money into projects you feel “need” to be done first. Again, I’d choose colors from those lamps and just get VCT or if you like ” real” tile – use large square tiles that kind of look like VCT flooring and use those. Orange and green squares would look fantastic.

  21. Jacki says

    I agree with Connie on the copper accessories; copper and knotty pine just seem to be made for each other. Have you thought about Pink appliances. I have seen them in old decorating magazines matched with knotty pine and it looks surprisingly good. I bought mine off of Craigslist and Ebay. A word of warning on the tile backsplash, when we had the ’70’s replacement tile taken off the wall in our kitchen, it tore large holes in the wall and we had to have a contractor in to repair it before the formica backsplash could go up. What a fun project, good luck!

  22. Rebecca says

    I would start with lighting. Where the cabinets are well lit they look awesome! Some recessed can lights over the stove sink and island would brighten that place up fast! If you dont want to do that maybe replace the florescent fixture with one of those cool modern track lights . I would also suggest a glass front door or two and maybe paint tbe interior back wall an accent color. Maybe the fridge too. :)

  23. Diane says

    What an awesome kitchen! You’ve got some great bones to work with! I would like to add that I am also in the ‘no black appliance’ group because it’s not true to period and I think you will find that they will overwhelm the space. I agree that the new GE Artistry series might be great for you, retro vibe, energy efficient AND good price! (bonus that they are thinking of adding color panels if you want to go ‘wild’ later.) One thing I would very much recommend is lowering the fabulous stained glass pendant lights (they are a little too close to the ceiling) most Mom & Pop type hardware stores offer lamp re-wiring – and it’s super cheap (like $10) new/longer chain is also cheap. The bottom of the shade in my dining fixture is 35″ above the table surface – I’m 5’9 and do not bump my head when I lean over the table, etc. Since you love those fixtures USE them as your inspiration for window treatments, etc. I always think of my ‘must haves’ and the ‘hardest things’ first as in what ‘must’ I have in my design (sounds like you have the lamps) so what is the next hardest thing to find… is it window treatments (or something else?) I think the last thing you should ‘worry’ about is ceiling paint. Paint comes in a million colors and is easy to change. Everything else -well THAT’S another story, lol! (btw, it kinda sounds like you want that purple/brown granite? Maybe the you could buy a large (cutting board size) scrap from the yard and live with it for a while… that’s a major design element you will want to consider.)

  24. Marcia says

    We had those vertical blinds too, and dumping them really opened up the room. Some floor-to-ceiling curtains on a rod in bronze or copper to match the paneling would make the room look taller. What if you tried a piece of painted canvas (I’d say in pick up some red from your light fixtures) as a temporary area rug in the table area? I think you can back it with a coating to make it slip resistant.

    What great built-ins! Good luck, whatever you choose.

  25. Mary Elizabeth says

    First, I love, love, love your kitchen, with the built-in glass cabinet, etc. But it appears to me that the tile countertops and backsplash are black and white, not cobalt blue and white as one reader thought. That may be why you are thinking of black appliances. I agree with others that the choice of black would be too dark for the space.

    Ceiling: We like Benjamin Moore Waterborne ceiling paint. It dries to a flat finish and covers up various repairs and imperfections in the ceiling. It comes in a standard white, or you could tint it. I’d advised sticking with standard bright white, which goes with the most color variations in your decorating.

    Start small, is my advice. Don’t rip out any countertops or buy new appliances just yet. Pull from the light fixtures for your color inspiration. Start with curtains or a little valance and either a vintage table cloth or placemats in the same print as the kitchen curtain. The nice thing about curtains and tablecloths is that you can experiment with colors you like and considerably brighten your space in the meantime. I found a vintage fruit print for my kitchen in a yellow/gold background with various other bright colors–blue, red, green. I bought fabric and made my own place mats to match.

    Dining set: If your table is in good shape, you can just replace the laminate top with one of the bright colors in your curtains. Similarly, you can recover the chairs with a brighter color.

    Finally, your glass pine cabinet is lovely and is a potential decorating plus. But it seems to be full of neutral, colorless objects, such as glassware. What about filling it with bright vintage china or, as one reader did in her vintage kitchen, a collection of primary colored Pyrex dishes?

    Once you have experimented with colors you like, then decide on the major renovations, such as a new countertop or appliances.

    • pam kueber says

      I always love to read your ideas, Mary Elizabeth. Have I told you lately how grateful I am for your daily participation!!!!!! I truly truly truly am! xoxoxoxoxoxo

      Okay, though, now I need to say: No recovering the original faux bois laminate on the table! If you want a table with color laminate on top — sell or swap this one, okay?

        • Mary Elizabeth says

          I have to say, too, that with the hairpin legs available from several vendors, plus some plywood, plus some laminate in the color of your choice and perhaps a bit of chrome trim, you can have a mid-century laminate top table of your choice!

    • Cynthia Swatek says

      Paige,
      Buttercup yellow is perfect!
      If knotty pine was given a name by a paint company, (it’s really an orange-ish brown) it would be called, “Pumpkin” or some other name autumnal in theme.

  26. Lisa says

    If you want to add color to the room, I’d consider changing the countertop and backsplash. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to change the look of a kitchen. IMHO, black or stainless steel appliances will overwhelm the space. If someone’s offering you money for the table, you might want to take them up on it and get something on a smaller scale in the wood family. Forgo the vertical blinds in favor of color curtains. Also, consider adding a pop of color to the back wall of the china cabinet. Love the knotty pine!

  27. Cynthia Swatek says

    Michaela,

    I’m glad you’re keeping the lights – they’re fun and perfect for the space.

    Knotty pine is very orangey-brown in color. I’m afraid that if you went with black appliances and black counters it might look like Halloween in there…

    If you wanted to be crazy (in a good way!) you could go with red appliances.

    If you wanted to keep it simple you could go with tan appliances – I think they’re called “bisque”. Black or white appliances might look too stark with the pine.

    If you go with a white, use one with a yellow-orange base (not blue or green), definitely “off-white”.

    I would keep it simple with patterns on countertops. Paige’s suggestion of buttercup yellow was inspired!

    Have you considered painting the ceiling anything but a shade of white? I think a pale, pale blue would be really pretty.

    I hope you post pictures as you make progress! I look forward to hearing what you do.

    Nifty kitchen!

    • nina462 says

      I have a knotty kitchen ….with black appliances. They came with the house and I do not like them! Although they match the handles on the cabinet door and the light switches – it makes my kitchen too dark.

      Also, they show every speck of dust and animal hair (although I keep a very clean kitchen & don’t let the kitty climb on the counter)….whenever the sun shines through the kitchen window in the afternoon.

      Just some thought from someone who has the black appliances :(

  28. nina462 says

    as a fellow homeowner of a knotty pine kitchen & basement – I’d go for the woodsy turquoise theme; or the yellow & red accent. Actually, turquoise, yellow and red all go together :)

  29. June Cahill says

    I agree with Cynthia and Nina – about the black appliances – and then coupled with the darker counters – I’m afraid that’s a whole lot of dark!

    Of the various kitchens above, I LOVE the kitchen with the turquoise counters – fun to get sunny yellow with turquoise ( or I also love the idea of red appliances – but not necessarily with the turquoise.)

    I LOVE the lighting over the dining table! And maybe add some fun ceramic pieces that mimic the colors in the lights.

    And, I think that dining table (do you have a big family? or maybe dinners where friends join in? – You’ve got a lot of table room and seating there!) is fabulous in the space. Maybe put some colorful chalkware planter in the middle of the table for a little color? If you’re ‘up’ for a new table, I think that knotty pine screams for one of the vintage tables (similar to the one you already have) but with a colorful top!

    You know, I have my parents carmel/maple bedroom furniture and I’ve added orange and greens – It looks really nice, but I’ve got a LOT of light in the bedroom! Depending on the natural light your kitchen receives will depend on how ‘dark’ you can go with your appliances and counters… (also adore the built-in hutch!) – You’re SO lucky to have such a wonderful knotty kitchen – and so lucky you appreciate it!:)

  30. PAppel says

    I like the countertop as is. White cannot be beat for versatility. Please think of the money you will save in nor teplacing it.
    My suggestion is: instead of painting the black tiles white, why not paint them one of the colors to be used – either the main green color (something similar to the background of the material used for the window treatments or your accent color.

  31. tammyCA says

    Wow, wonderful knotty pine kitchen & living room, too…and, you have that terrific display cabinet. This kitchen gives the vibe of a warm hug. Liven it up with some color in vintage tableclothes, curtains and colorful Mid century pottery & dishes in the cabinet. If you look at vintage tableclothes/fabrics you will see great color combinations and patterns..then you could pull the colors from them, like here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/176315957/vintage-40s-50s-barkcloth-tablecloth?ref=sr_gallery_7&ga_search_query=yellow+tablecloth+barkcloth&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_view_type=gallery
    My advice is not to go with black appliances (nor stark white)..it will look very out of place, too modernistic with the warm wood & it will stand out like a sore thumb. I think the white/black tile also doesn’t match up..those would be great in a white cabinet Art Deco kitchen or ’50s diner type kitchen, just not here.
    It’s okay to have small shots of black, like in black iron handles/hinges, that was how they were back then.
    What about warm copper for appliances? Like here: http://www.houzz.com/photos/542154/Fall-Parade-of-Homes-2011-kitchen-grand-rapids
    Houses in the ’40s/’50s had copper accents, like those jello molds on the wall, tea kettles, lamp shades.

    I like the colorful light shades & you could pull color from them for inspiration.
    Also love the “Paint by Numbers” idea & colors board Pam & Kate put up. If you can find those landscape ones (painted well) at yards sales you’d be very lucky as they are $$ on ebay. I tried to just paint a new one myself & believe me, it is NOT the same..the vintage are better.
    Instead I found some small copper frames at the dollar store and put vintage linen postcards in them & hung them on my brick wall..love them.

    • tammyCA says

      Btw, a trick a grandmother told me to avoid large nail holes in nice paneling (or walls) use instead “strong” sewing needles..just tiny holes.

      • Allen says

        My restore in Chattanooga has around 50 of those copper microwaves in the photo brand new in the box. They have a display out and look very nice.

      • tammyCA says

        I just randomly searched & pulled up any appliance in coppertone & that came up. I wasn’t even sure they were around, I was just thinking of those “appliance shells” that was recently posted & wondering if copper was a choice..I also came upon this “dishwasher shell” in copper: http://www.frigodesign.com/custom-kitchens/appliance-frames-and-panels/one-piece-dishwasher-panels-shell-design.html
        I just think those copper stove hoods & back splashes I’ve seen in posters homes are cool so why not appliances?
        As for the needles to hang pictures..I’m not sure how much weight they hold..I haven’t tried it yet, but I was going to try the T-Pin needles..the T is kinda like a hook. I just don’t like putting big nail holes in my plaster walls.

    • Allen says

      You could try pickling the finish. There are many ways to do this that you can find online. You could practice on a spare piece or on the inside of one of the cabinets to try it out.

    • says

      Stains usually penetrate into the wood. You could sand it out, but that would probably be pure torture if you’re not talking about a flat surface. Or embrace the dark color. A friend of my mother’s bought a really awesome Tudor house with very dark woodwork and decorated in dark, earthy colors, and she said “in England they would have brightened this room with chintz.” If the dark color makes sense architecturally (which it certainly does in a Tudor) the task at hand is to find a way to make it work for you without damaging the architecture.

    • JP says

      It’s wall panelleling, not cabinets, and it’s on all the walls of a late 40s Cape addition. The previous owners enclosed and finished the covered walkway between the garage and the home and we plan to use it as a dining room. The stain is really, really dark. I’m almost tempted to paint it, if I cannot lighten it…

    • pam kueber says

      And also: If you are new to your old house, go slow. Live with stuff a year (unless their are environmental or safety issues) before messing with original surfaces. Study up on them. You might change your mind — and save $$$ in the process.

  32. linda h says

    I was going to suggest that ” moonlight in the pines” fabric. I had seen it and thought about buying it to recover an ottoman.

  33. Bob Connor says

    One other improvement to consider is to replace the fluorescent light with 4-5 recessed pot lights. I did that in our early 70s kitchen and it looks more high end for the period. The light is also more warm and enhances colors too.

    • lynda davis says

      I absolutely agree with replacing the fluorescent light with recessed lights. Lighting makes a big difference in the room. I think I would carefully try to paint the black tiles, maybe a pale gold to go with the floor. You might try finding some of the decal/cling product that would stick to the tiles for a quick fix. The table is big and nice for dinner for a crowd or for projects. The Ethan Allen maple type of dining set would look nice too. I would put colorful dishes in the glass cabinet that look nice with the colorful light. Draperies or curtains would look nice to replace the vertical blinds. If you want to redo the countertop, I would just go with a laminate and then paint the backsplash. I too vote for the white appliances for the room.

      • pam kueber says

        I *think* I disagree re the lighting — in one important respect. I really think that the fluorescent lighting that is there will illuminate the space much much better than cans. This is a topic I need to research more and then write about… But the basic issue is: Cans only throw light DOWN. For maximum brightness in a room, you want to get light up on to the ceiling, too, as possible. I read something about this on Martin Holladay’s blog. I will add this to my list.

        Do recessed lights look more “high end”. Yes, in our culture currently, I’d agree. But I don’t think this light a room as well…

        • says

          Agreed. I had a small argument over this when we were redoing my grandmother’s kitchen in a high rise. The ceiling had to be framed out because it was reinforced concrete, so we needed to add a cavity to for the electrician to run wiring. In a space about 8×12 there are now 2 overhead lights and a few under-cabinet lights spaced out, and it works great. If I had lost the argument the ceiling would be 4 inches lower and there’d be like 10 recessed lights. I would highly recommend adding under cabinet lighting if you have shadows that bother you since when you’re working at the counter you’re not blocking it. But really, some kitchens today have so many recessed lights I feel like putting sunglasses on.

        • Anastasia says

          Ambient vs. task lighting debate? The cans would be task lighting, strong & powerful for that one location.

          For a room like this it needs to be spread around to avoid “black holes”, definitely!

        • Bob Connor says

          Pam, actually I must have lucked out with our can lights as they turned out to light a 10′ by 20′ kitchen well, in fact, if you put on other lights they can be rather strong. I used Commercial electric 6″ pots with a ridged baffle with GE 15 watt compact fluorescent lights equivalent to 65 watt incandescent bulbs. I have building experience, I am not a lighting designer but used my own judgment and installed 6 fixtures to replace 1 4 lamp fluorescent fixture (I know, I know, I won’t tell how I did it). Even though light is directed down, It seems to be spread out enough. This summer, I had a cut on my ankle and my mother dressed it and she said doing it under one of the lights helped her see better so that’s a good feature too.

          • Jacki says

            I know this is late in coming, but has anyone thought about Solatube skylights with the light fixture option. I recently had two of these retrofitted where the original flush ceiling lights used to be. If you are not familiar with these they give off a tremendous amount of daylight. With the optional light kit they are each 60 watts, but because they are installed in the reflective tube, the light is much brighter. I am constantly trying to turn off the light switch that isn’t on. I was amazed at how well they fit in style wise in my ’63 pink kitchen. You might want to look them up, they are truly amazing!

  34. lisa in Seattle says

    Cute kitchen! I agree: out with the fluorescent light. If recessed lighting is too complicated to install, maybe track lighting would fit the bill. I have it in my kitchen and love being able to aim the lights where it is needed. You can get fixtures that take small halogen bulbs for a sparkly look, or ones designed for “normal” lightbulbs, but use LEDs for energy efficiency.

    I also suggest you consider putting either white/cream or a color in the back of your hutch. You can paint it, but since the wood is nice I’d suggest painting pieces of foamboard instead and installing that behind the shelves.

    Finally, although stainless steel appliances are not so beloved on this forum, personally I think they look wonderful with a retro kitchen, especially knotty pine. Many of the ones available now have curvy fronts and handles that to me recall the early 50s in spirit. And they can lighten a space very nicely.

  35. Sarah says

    Knotty pine has a lot of pattern to it – so I think that a solid color countertop/backsplash is a good choice. One interim step that might make sense would be to paint/seal the grout with a lighter color – minimizing the grid pattern that is prominent currently. That would stop the pine and the grid from ‘competing.’

    I also think moving away from fluorescent light is an excellent idea. Fluorescent is so harsh – and a better lighting situation would significantly affect your other color choices…

    • Stacy says

      I just want to agree with Sarah about painting the grout to eliminate the obvious grid pattern. When I was re-doing my kitchen, new counters were not in my minimal budget. I used DIY grout stain/paint from the local home improvement store to match my (tan)grout to my white tiles and the result was fantastic. I went from hating my “outdated” tile countertops to loving them and honestly not wanting to replace them after all. Definitely helped me to love the house I was in!

  36. Jonny says

    Not sure if anyone else mentioned it yet, but there’s no reason you can’t paint your appliances any color you want. I have the same fridge, I replaced the big plastic handles with some chrome ones and painted it red to match the rest of my kitchen.

    I like your cabinets, your floors, and your light fixtures, and I think the ceiling can get a clean recoat of plain white. I personally would paint the stove, hood, and refrigerator an eye catching color (pink or aqua) and I’d either sell the table/chairs and buy a set with some real color, or I’d dye the vinyl to a brighter color (yellow or red maybe) and add color that way.

    Maybe some cool curtains and chrome handles with back plates for the cabinets to finish it all off. A weekend and a couple hundred bucks is all it’d take.

    • Laurie Louise says

      Jonny–Can you share details on painting your appliances? Auto body shop? DIY? We’ve just bought a house with lovely original wood cabinets and no working appliances. Can’t imagine black, white or stainless there, and may not be able to find suitable retro before we move in. Our kitchen is calling out for color and we want to oblige it!

      • Jonny says

        I have a pic of my repainted fridge on the giant uploader from a week or so ago if you want to see what it looks like, I’d post a pic here but I don’t think that’s allowed.

        The handles I used are grab bars from the back seat of a 1954 DeSoto car. If you go on ebay and search for “Desoto seat handles” you’ll find some. I screwed them right through the sheetmetal on the door and they still look great and never worked loose. I also swapped out the little plastic Frigidaire Gallery emblem with a big gold V and a generic but cool looking emblem (from a ’57 Chevy trunk and a ’62 Chrysler grille, respectively)

        As for the paint, I did it right in my kitchen with Rustoleum spray cans, cost me about $8. I filled in the holes from my old handles with auto body filler, but a snap-in plastic plug would have worked fine, too. I taped it off good (overspray will get everywhere), roughed up the shine on the original paint with a scuff pad (Scotch-brite), and sprayed.

        It turned out real nice. I love the vintage fridges and if I ever found the right one, I might buy it, but the new paint makes this one fit right in and it’s still efficient and quiet.

  37. Linda says

    Pam’s mock up is great. The teal is nice with the pine. If it were me, I would go with a buttercup yellow accent instead of the bright red. Super love the paint by number wall (or could do some other art collection…string art, gravel paintings, clocks, whatever). I’d vote for white appliances, white ceiling. In the interim I would paint those colored backsplash tiles the teal color so that its one solid stripe of teal. The current dining table is nice…but the color in the mock up one really pops. You could get the same effect with a tablecloth though. Happy vintaging!

  38. Jennifer says

    Lots of great ideas from everyone!
    Here’s a suggestion as you are waiting for appliances to die–go ahead and paint them now! I know you could go the powder-coat route, but if you want to DIY and you know it’s going to be temporary, and/or you want to try before you commit, we discovered that it was really easy to paint appliances with appliance paint with color added. (I got Rustoleum.) Now, the guy at your local store is going to be reluctant to do this because appliance paint isn’t the same formula as the paints for which they have mixed the shades, and so the color may be a little bit off from your original choice. However, if you get a small amount to test and you don’t need an *exact* shade, you should be okay–you only need a quart for all the appliances in one kitchen, anyway. (Perhaps if you are painting anything else, start with the appliances and then adjust other colors’ tones.)
    It’s not only easy to paint appliances, it’s cheap! And it totally jazzes up the space.
    Our choice for a not-cute, not-vintage, just tired fridge was a light jadeite color; the cabinets went to a jade/emerald hue as an accent with a similar jadeite on the rest. It looked homey and retro.
    Good luck with your decisions!

  39. lisa in Seattle says

    The blog YoungHouseLove just posted articles about both the grout paint AND appliance painting (they did the fridge). It was within the last two months.

    I know high heat paint is available for the stovetop, but personally I’m not sure I would trust it to wear well and not outgas when the burners are on. So, my suggestion is to paint the fridge and the warming drawer below the oven, and I would not choose black but instead a retro appliance color that goes with whatever you choose. Not sure what to do about the dishwasher since the white control panel will remain.

    Really like Sarah’s idea of reducing the “grid” look of the tile by painting the grout, and the YoungHouseLove folks made it look fairly easy — they did a floor, so a much larger area. You buy special paint made for the purpose.

  40. Dan T says

    This is a particularly challenging kitchen, I think, because there’s so much of the knotty pine — combined with the intricate floor and tile backsplash, it’s busy on busy.

    I really think Betty Crafter’s example leads the way here — I know the poster wants granite, but a bright, solid laminate like that continued from counter to backsplash gives the eye a place to relax from all the pattern and detail. And it’d be a lot cheaper! I’d spend the savings on the appliances, going with a color-matched vintage stove and stainless for anything new.

    Getting a good polish on that floor (no idea what to use, I’ll admit, but it can be done!) would go a long way, too.

  41. Randerson says

    I, too, would ditch the fluorescent lighting. In with cans, track, and undercounter lights. Vintage Coppertone appliances, copper accents, including the copper backsplash panels you can get at HD etc, and floor has to be Armstrong 5352 in red! All are findable, except the last one, waaaah!

  42. lisa in Seattle says

    Randerson, the copper backsplash is a very good idea. But I think a Marmoleum floor would look as nice as the Armstrong, maybe even nicer

    Another idea for this space is to go with every thing white except the pine and keep things rather plain except for a little cottagey ruffle or lace on the curtains..

  43. Scott says

    Call me crazy but color-freak Scott says play off those fantastical light fixtures and order up yourself a retro-diner set with one red, one green, one yellow, and one blue chair.

    Or if six chairs two each of red, green, and yellow. I have non-knotty original wood about the same color, sort of a honey shade, and found a big dose of bright accent (in my case red) really made the room come to life.

  44. Bree says

    I know I am going to get lynched on here, but I have this exact flooring and I want it gone! What is the best way to remove this type of flooring?

    • pam kueber says

      Oh well! Hey: Please know that the materials and layers in our old houses — including flooring — can contain vintage nastiness such as asbestos and lead. Please get your own properly licensed professional to help you determine what you have so that you can make informed choices. I don’t allow readers to answer these kinds of questions here — get your own pro. Good luck!

    • Anastasia says

      Again, to echo Pam & Kate, My dad (who is a building inspector) did an old house. The correct answer is, I kid you not, VERY carefully AND in accordance with your area’s regulations on the matter. & that’s just the throwing away part, removing it is another beast.

      Which is why the old Historic hotel in our area is taking SO LONG to restore, there’s more then most people think going on!

      & no lynching here.

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