50s or 60s kitchen cabinets – new, in planked wood – another appropriate look


This is my 2nd of several planned posts on wooden kitchen cabinets. In this one, I want to promote what I think is a great look for mid century kitchens – plank-style doors. In fact, I wish I had a second home to do this in, I adore the look so much!

In this 1957 illustration, you can see how this look melds colonial with a whiff of modern. I actually saw a kitchen just like this in a tony ranch-traditional house in Stockbridge, Mass. — painted a creamy grey/white like the ‘oyster’ below — and it was stunning, really warm and inviting. I would definitely use a painted finish. And note, Acorn Mfg. makes great wrought iron hardware for kitchen cabinet pulls, but if you’re painting the cabinets a lighter color, I think that quieter pulls would be preferable. In my mind’s eye, I envision a ‘hammered pewter’.

Omega has doors that are a close match to the 50s 60s planked look, along with several factory-finish standard colors that would work just beautifully. Getting the factory paint in a custom color adds another 20%. As I’ve written before, Omega does very well in consumer ratings. It’s very good to study up on the quality issue – as your cabinets really should last forever. To be sure, installing a mid century look in a mid century home means never looking out of style! BTW – many excellent design touches to learn from in this 1957 illustration as well — this is a beautifully executed kitchen!


  1. Amie says:

    We have a HUGE kitchen full of these groove like cabinets though they were all custom built. They are SOLID and in great condition and due to the amount of cabinets, a complete remodel is not happening yet. Do you have any pics you could email of kitchens like this that have been painted? Thanks!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Amie, poke around the site, many photos here… The galleries in particular may be helpful.

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  4. 50sPam says:

    That’s great news, Northern Guy! I’m going to look through my archives for more photos of planked wood cabinet kitchens and post them for you and others. So stay tuned, I’ll try to get to this within the next 10 days or so. Meanwhile, congratulations on your new/old house 🙂 Let me know if there are any retro reno questions/issues that I can help with! Pam

  5. northernguy1960 says:

    Hi Pam. My wife & I just moved into our “new-old” home, and I was pleased to discover that our cabinets are in fact Wood Mode oak cabinets, and near as I can guess, made after 1956. They needed a good cleaning, but are pretty much intact. They’ll definitely be staying!

  6. northernguy1960 says:

    Incredible! I just found this site and this particular article and thought “hmm, that picture looks familiar”. I then opened the picture files of the 50-60’s ranch my wife & I just purchased and we have the exact cabinets as shown in the illustration! I wish I could post a picture. When we first saw the house I thought they must have been a from a 70’s renovation. I guess I’ll have to rethink the kitchen remod I had planned.

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