Vintage 1966 kitchen — St. Charles mixes wood and metal, and harvest gold and avocado arrive!

1966 St. Charles Kitchen cabinets

How about this fabulous 1966 St. Charles metal and wood kitchen?

1966 St. Charles kitchen

1966 St. Charles kitchen
click to enlarge photos especially the first one!

  1. Cool how it combines wood with metal. And French Provincial wood, no less.
  2. This was part of the transition to kitchens that looked like furniture – like the rest of the house, which was now encroaching as ‘open concept’ design truly takes hold.
  3. Awesome oven and range. So Samantha Stevens!
  4. Great mix and match of colors and materials as you move from space to space – showing that your retro kitchen does not have to be all matchy-matchy – works especially if you have a large space to work with, keeps the eye moving.
  5. Peek at the wonderful green patterned sofa, and painted panel walls in the adjacent family room.
  6. And here we have — harvest gold and avocado together! By 1966, the 70s have arrived!

One change that I would recommend: I think it’s much smarter to have the working sink positioned between the fridge and the stovetop, rather than at the far end. Much better for working efficiency.

Want to start re-inventing this look for yourself? There a large set of St. Charles cabinets, in Denver, just posted this week on the Postwar Steel Forum (top nav bar) that has a similar look. Snap them up, and you are well on your way to funky town!
St. Charles kitchen cabinets for sale in DenverSt. Charles kitchen cabinets for sale in DenverSt. Charles kitchen cabinets for sale in Denver

  1. Derek says:

    Well, I have been into retro vintage for 30 years now. I am 49 and as a kid I hated avocado green. I now love it. I just did my kitchen in red-orange formica and avocado green appliances and it looks gorgeous. In fact Apartment Therapy just did a spread on my apartment iin Los Angeles.

    So what someone may have disliked in the past isn’t always what they like now! I can attest to that. As you age your taste changes.

  2. Ann says:

    we just bought a home with an original St. Charles kitchen. Does anyone have suggestions about updating? I hate to tear it out.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Ann — see all my Kitchen posts, and under that category, all the post on steel kitchen cabinets. Also – the galleries… this blog probably has 1,000 stories on ways to update your mid-century kitchen.

  3. Josie says:

    My mom raised me with her ’70s design ethos…I still tease her about a color scheme of: Brown, Jute, Tan, Chocolate, Rust.

    Wood doesn’t get painted on her watch, and no window is safe from an army of potted plants.

    Its not what I like for myself (I actually like the ’30s-’50s stuff she says is too old for her) but it will always be homey to me.

  4. Danielle says:

    where can I find information on a Tappan “Fabulous 400”? I have a gas one. It needs some work, but I love it, and I cannot find any informaton on it. I don’t even know where to find the model number.

  5. Lane_in_PA says:

    I did not know that about steel cabinets and vermin. But it makes absolute sense.

    Except that sometimes the little furry rascals find a way to get into the drawers via the foundation walls of the house. And build a nest in the utensil drawer.

    No room for error and gaps when installing said cabinetry.

    I grew up with avocado green, and I am still stuck on green.

  6. Mooski says:

    My stove! I love it!

    Okay–the actual discussion. Style. When the 1966 house was built, the second sink might have been for hand washing only. My aunt had one, no one could wash in her kitchen sink. PSYCHO!!!!

    My parent’s home was a 1956 cape with a yellow bath and kitchen with birch cabinets with wroght iron. Lots of chrome all over the place, the counter edge a hootie ring on the cast iron sink. Very 1960-ish.

    The kitchen and bath were destroyed in a fire when I was 6. Lighting strike and thankfully no one injured. Unfortunately, all of the ‘cool 1950’s stuff was gone, gone, gone. We had to live ‘at camp’ the whole summer while the house was rebuilt. Mom had no say in the house beyond the cabinets and insisting on the tub being fully restored.

    CRAP!!! Think of the trust. My dad was a sweetheart and tried to pick what he thought she would like. Very classic, but Harvest Gold appliances. It still looks pretty decent, except for the cheesey particle board panelling in the kitchen. Put up to replace the sunshiney tile that melted.

    The ‘divorced mom’ in our neighborhood had the ‘modern mission’ furnitue. Funny, I love red, but when I think of it at her house, it makes me feel sad!

    1. Mid Mod Pam says:

      Hey Mooski, I don’t think your aunt was bonkers – about her sink, at least. I recall having read that way back when, there was a strong belief that disease could be prevented by not mixing food prep with handwashing and bathing in the same sink. (I am not sure which was supposed to be the disease carrier – the food or the outside dirt!) Steel kitchen cabinets are actually an outgrowth of the desire early in the 20th century for ‘vermin-free’ cabinetry — you first saw steel used Hoosier cabinets – the mice and bugs could not chew through steel – then the material was translated to fitted cabinets.

      1. Anastasia says:

        They separate sinks in food service as well for the same reasons, lol! And as for bad memories “tainting” our likes and dislikes and I text book on that one. I was adopted as a 10 year old, certain colors I JUST CAN’T TAKE as they come from my “before” life. And as far as what I really can’t take, it’s old cabinetry. Yep you hit it on the head…..It’s what might be IN the old cabinets that make me shudder, yuck! LOVE Pam’s metal kitchen, lol!

  7. LaurenBecks says:

    I love this style of interior decor. I grew up extremely poor being shoved from one set of grandparents to the other. My parents weren’t married when I came along and never married. I guess if abortion was legal when I was in the making my mother would have disposed of me but as luck would have it I was born and raised by poor grandparents who had no decorating style at all!
    I love rich bold colors and this style.
    I married a rich man 20 years ago and we finally built our dream home and yes it’s decorated totally in early american and 1970’s colors.
    My friends “adore” my new home and my retro decorating style.
    Ebay and other online shops made it easy to purchase so many of my retro home decoratives.
    I appreciate this style and dive in head first

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