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Diana’s early 60s oak kitchen with plank doors and colonial hardware

1963-retro-oak-kitchen-yellow-and-aqua-linoleum-floors.jpg 50s-great-wood-cabinets-with-caloric-appliances415.jpg

Diana’s 1963 home in suburban Pittsburgh includes something that I haven’t seen in the flesh yet — mid century oak cabinets in a “planked” style, complete with colonial wrought-iron hardware. Planked cabinets are one of my favorite all-time looks. Of course, Diana noticed right away that her “Koenig Cabinets by Elish & Co.”  are a great match for the cabinets featured in the vintage Caloric kitchen featured on the homepage of the site in the new multimedia box. I know of at least one company that offers planked door style today – Omega/Dynasty. Read on for more from Diana – including the brochure (saved from the dumpster, of course) created to market her Ryan home. 

Diana writes:

…The photo of the “vintage Caloric kitchen”… looks eerily like  our kitchen in our 1963 house in the overall design, the oak cabinets, the hardware, and the built in appliciances. I love that photo. We live in Mt. Lebanon, a South Hills suburb of Pittsburgh. Our house was built in 1963 and it was the spec house for this model. We still have the original pamphlet that was shown to folks who viewed the house. It has the 1963-pittsburgh-retro-kitchen.jpgfloor plans and other info about the original house.  My husband found the pamphlet in a pile of recycling papers that the previous owners of this house left for us to leave out with the trash. My husband thankfully decided to look through the recycling papers before setting them out and we were so elated to find it and so disappointed that the previous owners would think to even trash it. The photos of the exterior show what our house looks like, there are two others in our development that we’ve seen. But, the others have been updated unlike ours, which is still pretty original in floor plan and other features.

[I asked her about the few updates they’d made to the kitchen – and LOVE that dinette set, swoon!] The counters are corian, we really struggled with putting that in. I wanted something retro like Formica but my husband really wanted something without cracks and nooks. So, we compromised and got corian, which we both figured was the least intrusive of the newer materials. Yes, the floor is marmoleum, we had a lot of fun putting it in…

  1. RAS in DC says:

    Two big thumbs up! Not only does it look great, but it seems like a nice place to hang out with friends and family.

  2. Diana says:

    We have mixed feelings about the flooring. I love the materials, the colors, and the design (which was mine). However, we weren’t as pleased with the installation. I think if one wants to use these marmoleum tiles (called “Click”) then one should make sure to hire someone who has had lots of experience installing them or do it yourself if you can. One good thing about the Click is that they float so there is no need for a sub-floor.

    Marmoleum also sells sheets but those require a sub-floor and therefore are much more expensive. If we had to do it over, I’d probably use Marmoleum again but I’d consider the sheet and make certain that the installer had experience required for the job.

  3. matt says:

    hello! i think your kitchen looks stunning! im looking for “retro” flooring too and came across the Anderson flooring which i thought was a good option and think it looks great in your kitchen. was your pattern based something you came up with on your own or based on something you saw somewhere?
    thanks!

  4. Kari says:

    The dinette is wonderful. We need one exactly like this. Any suggestions? We are not having luck with ebay or craigslist…

    Are you interested in selling?! 🙂

  5. Diana says:

    Hi Matt, the floor pattern was something I came up with. The new floors are actually Marmoleum, which can come in sheets or in individual squares that snap together. We got the squares (called Click).
    Kari, I don’t want to sell the dinette set, I so love it. I got it on ebay after scouting for a couple months. I think you just have to be persistent in your search. I did a local search on ebay too so that I could save on shipping and up my price for the dinette. It was still super cheap ($140 for the entire set).
    Diana

  6. Margaret says:

    Actually, your Corian counters may not be that far off the era. I live in a building from the early 1960s that still has lots of original owners, who recall ordering up their color scheme for the kitchen (they installed appliances to match the color of whatever geneva steel cabinets the buyer selected and had both matching and contrasting formica counter colors). Anyhow, I had to replace my counters, though the cabinets are going strong, a couple years ago, and put in white Corian, without much reflection more complicated than I like it that you can bleach them clean and thought the integral sink was kinda cool. As the workmen we hauling the pieces of it up to my unit, I ran into one of my older neighbors who admiringly exclaimed how she did like a modern touch for kitchens as modern as ours ; ) and how she’d been a bit cross that Corian had hit the market just a year or two after she’d bought her unit because it was more modern and chic than marble, which is I guess the material Dupont was marketing it as an ersatz for, and exactly the look she thought the kitchens were going for!

  7. Steve Killingback says:

    I have just purchased a ‘Alexander’ home in Palm Springs, CA that has the original kitchen and appliances still installed. I am about to start planning the renovation, including an extension to enlarge the kitchen and install a new kitchen (I know, shock horror!), the original kitchen is almost identical to the one in the Caloric ad on the front page, including the yellow appliances, the look like they have almost never been used.
    Does anyone know who may be interested in buying the whole kitchen and what kind of price I can expect to achieve?
    Regards, Steve.

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