A Colonial-meets-Modern 1960s kitchen to make you very, very happy


Click image to enlarge

Wednesday night, 6:15 p.m…..I kind of had a bad day today, the very first bad day in a long time, as I am a pretty upbeat person and generally take everything in stride. So… when I turned to write the blog, I looked for something that would make me very happy. And it’s this 1961 illustration.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

  1. The simplicity of the graphics and the way it focuses on the mom, the dad, the happy daughter. Life does not get any better than these kinds of moments.
  2. The wallpaper. The geraniums in the window. The coffee pot – water running into it – in the sink.
  3. The curtains. If I had double-hung windows that framed out like a picture window, I would definitely use this approach – two stacked rows of pinch-pleat cafe curtains. Sweet.
  4. The cabinets. Notice that they are beaded wood doors, and see the colonial hardware. I imagine that they are oyster colored, like the oyster in the Omega post I did a while ago.
  5. How it all comes together: The color combo, which is so unexpected today. The Colonial-meets-Modern look, overall. This illustration shows how very nicely it can be done.
  6. Oh yes, and of course: the General Supply Company, 620 Lehigh Drive, Easton PA stamp. Provenance even.

I think that Kohler did a series like this. I’m on the lookout for the rest!

  1. sablemable says:

    In our 1958 built home, the wood cabinets were stained an orangy color that made the kitchen look small. We stripped them down and used white paint diluted with water and used clean rags to apply it to the wood (we applied the thinned paint, waited a bit, then wiped it with a dry rag. We did this several times). They came out that fabulous blonde wood look that was so popular. I think the cabinet wood is fir, according to my husband. We didn’t use a clear sealer afterward, but even after 15 years, the color has remained. I’ll probably do the same, eventually, in our newest ranch, which was built in 1955. I love the look of blonde wood.

  2. Pingback:Retro Renovation » A vintage 1949 bathroom — simple pleasures for people who’d been through a lot

  3. 50sPam says:

    –> Femme 1, can you put a photo of your kitchen into a comment (if you’re okay with everyone seeing it), and we can suggest options for you? I just upgraded your “permissions” as a regular contributor, so I think that means you can now upload photos when you make a comment, if you like. I trust you! If you’d prefer not to, send me the jpeg directly at pam@retrorenovation.com

    Meanwhile: Do not fret about 15 years ago. We all have done stuff that was right for the time, and may in fact still be just fine. Hey, I love the sound of your scalloped, routed edges!

    Finally – thanks – I had a much better day. Very productive, and everyone is in such a good holiday mood!

  4. maddy123 says:

    Love the illustration. The coffee pot in the sink is an unusual touch.

    Great website. I look at it every day!

  5. Femme1 says:

    Yellow and black, what a strong statement!

    I have to admit something that I’m very ashamed of (in a renovation kind of way). When we moved into our ranch house about 15 years ago, I tood the old wood cabinets down and had them stripped (they were very yellowed from the old varnish). That’s not the bad part. I used a Minwax white stain on them for making them look “pickled,” which was very trendy at the time. I’ve liked them, but they don’t really look 50s. But I guess they could fit into the “antiqued” sort of look that was around in the 50s and 60s. Believe me, my mom antiqued everything in our house in that era. (OH, by the way, practially every kitchen in our neighborhood in that era had those wrought-iron-looking hinges and handles.)

    But here’s my dilemma. What do I do with these cabinets now? I’m not sure what wood they are—could be birch, or even poplar (often used in Indiana), but they have a lovely grain. I don’t even know if that stain can be removed! I’ve been thinking of painting, but I love the wood. They have a routed outline (the corners are scalloped) that originally was painted black. I did clean and re-use the original copper hardware. Any suggestions as to which way I should go on these?

    Pam, I’m sorry you had such a bad day yestereday and hope you’re feeling better now. You certainly help my day along with all the work that you put into this blog!!

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