Ruth’s blue Geneva kitchen… peach and pink bathrooms… and more


Ruth’s Geneva kitchen, pink bathroom, peach bathroom, Tennessee granite fireplace — everything in her 1957 Michigan home — are just fantastic. I thought that I had more Geneva metal cabinets in one place than anyone, but Ruth sets a new record. And look at it: A curvacious island… marble counter topped baking area … original range exhaust fan … and more. Ruth did replace the kitchen floor – so you also can ogle her design and see if it might be right for you. I think it’s terrific – the scale is just right and the soft gray and blue have just the right ‘coolness’ to go with the lovely light blue Geneva cabinets.

Read on for Ruth’s story…16 photos…and a link to more on her flickr stream…And when you’re done be sure to check out her new blog: No Pattern Required.

Ruth writes:

Hi Pam!

I love your blog and it has been an unending source of information for us since we have purchased our new home. At the time we bought our 1950’s brick ranch, we didn’t know anything about mid-century modern, but we knew we loved the way it looked. Thanks for helping us to restore our house to the style it was meant to be.

The house was built in 1956-57 and was designed by the homeowners. They owned if for their whole lives, and we purchased it from their daughter.

The cabinet colors are original, and totally awesome. I almost lost it when we walked into the kitchen for the first time. It was really well thought out and is so wonderful, the amount of storage space is just amazing. My favorite cabinets are the round ones in the front of the island, they are so perfect for holding big equipment that takes up counter space and big serving pieces. And to the right of the island is a whole extra bank of cabinets that serves as a pantry with extra countertop work space. In front of the long window and next to the oven is a low marble slab that matches the marble windowsills. Underneath the slab is 9 drawers, including drawers for flour and sugar, and a built in breadbox.

I wish I could think of more things to tell you, but if I did everything would end with an exclamation point. We love it! It’s fantastic! Cooking is a breeze! Etc, etc. 🙂

{I ask about the new kitchen floor and Ruth explains:] We are using Armstrong Imperial Texture Standard Excelon in Blue Cloud and Soft Cool Gray.

The living room might be awhile, we have to put up our gold atomic wallpaper and figure out how to make pinch pleat drapes out of our existing drapes!

Oooh, you know that “gold atomic wallpaper” is going to keep my attention on your house, Ruth! In addition to the images above, Ruth has posted more photos on her flickr photostream. Many thanks for sharing, Ruth!

  1. Kitschy Kimberly says:

    Ok, I am officially in love with this kitchen! A baking center,that island, the baby blue….oh my goodness!

    ~swoons and faints with envy~

  2. Tikimama says:

    Oh no, what is there left for me to say??!! I checked out all the photos on flickr, too, and you are one lucky duck, lady! I agree with Kristinski that I am so HAPPY to see a beautiful house, so lovingly cared-for all these years, go to someone who loves it for what it is and does not want to “update” or “remuddle” it! The changes you have made to the floors were spot-on though! Keep posting pics as you decorate this lovely space.

  3. Colleen says:

    Ruth, those blue cabinets are BEAUTIFUL!!!!! What a find! And I am SO jealous that you have the original plan! I wish I had mine! I called the planning department on the off chance that they may have it still (on file or scanned in) and was told that while it MAY exist, their filing system for the old stuff is so bad that they are lucky if they can find something from a few years ago let alone 59. At least he was kind enough to take down my information and promised to call me if a miracle occured and he stumbled across it the next time he goes to the storage facility.

    I’m originally from Michigan and my parents designed and built my childhood home in the late 60’s/early 70’s. They built the downstairs first and lived down there while they finished the upstairs. Because of the stages the downstairs was much more vintage 60’s with metal edged laminate and metal ringed sinks. We had speckled 60’s tile and marble windowsills too… Ah, memories! Thanks!

  4. Joe says:

    Talk about inspiration for the Geneva kitchen I have waiting to be refurbed and installed. I never thought of using the two quarter round cabinets on an island.

  5. Maureen says:

    What fun! I am most envious over the rounded island in the kitchen! The builder was so meticulous in providing incredible storage and workspace in the kitchen!

  6. RetroRuth says:

    Thanks for the compliments and support, everybody!

    Colleen – I was so stoked to find those plans. It is so awesome to have the plans to an older house, it was so fun to see what the owners originally intended and what changes had been made.

    Joe – You should use your round cabinets in an island, too! It looks so wonderful.

    Thanks for all the feedback and envy, too! I was kinda scared to mess stuff up when we first started giving the place a little facelift, but this room has really built up our confidence!

  7. Cheryl says:

    Ruth; what a great job you two have done on the house. If you don’t have enough fabric to make pinch pleated drapes you know where to find more!!! Love you lots!!! Mom

  8. atomicgrrl says:

    Oh my giddy Aunt!! I pride myself on being comfortable,happy and content with what I have but those feelings just went right out the window! How amazing. I can’t believe the condition of the tile in the bathrooms, the cabinets and, well EVERYTHING! Hard rock maple built in storage areas….girl you are living the dream. Enjoy!

  9. Jan says:

    About making pinch-pleat drapes – my mom and both my grandmothers’ drapes were essentially a huge square/rectangle of fabric with a special pleating tape sewn across the top. (I remember putting the three- or four-prong curtain hooks back in my grandmother’s drapes after spring cleaning). That would seem like an easy way to make them, unless they don’t make that tape any more?

  10. Mary Ann Williams says:

    I too have the blue kitchen with the push button stove. But the someone replace the stove top. Have the original oven!. Lived in 3 Homes and all had Geneva Kitchens WOW. (Webster Groves, MO)

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