Vintage St. Charles kitchen cabinets – in terra cotta – for sale on the Forum


Over on the Forum, a homeowner in St. Louis has posted a set of vintage St. Charles steel kitchen cabinets for sale — with their original terra cotta paint. I’d noted this color in a brochure I have dated 1957 — a year in which the company spotlighted a number of fantastic colors and designs. But, this is the first time I’ve seen terra cotta in the flesh, and I like it. “Rust” actually has been on my mind a lot these days — I’m putting it on my list of *hot* colors for 2010. Note in the kitchen design above: The rotisserie operating in the bricked-in, built-in barbeque… the white wall cabinets that lighten up the terra cotta and play off the mortar in the brick…and the scalloped cafe curtains. Great kitchen. And great cabinets, asking price $5,000. Gulp. Prices keep going up, didn’t I tell ya.

  1. Laurie says:

    My husband and I just bought a home that was built in 1960. It has a vintage St. Charles Kitchen in a green. The seller left the original invoice for the kitchen and it was over $3,000.00 in 1960. Steel is not cheap and lasts forever if taken care of. We are super happy with it but will probably paint it white. IKEA sells cheap stuff that will not last. There is no comparison. These kitchens are worth 10,000.00. Go price steel. You just have to find the right buyer and be willing to wait.

      1. Laurie says:

        There are a few spots that are rusty. What do you recommend to remedy this problem besides sanding and painting?

        1. pam kueber says:

          Laurie, I am not a DIY expert. I do want to repeat this precaution, which you may see in many other places on the blog: Old paint can contain vintage nastiness such as lead; be sure to consult with a properly licensed professional to make sure you understand what you are working with and to make decisions how to handle.

          See my kitchens/Steel kitchens category; there are stories about other readers who have repainted their cabinets using various methods. You need to research and make your own decisions…. Good luck.

  2. mary hershelman says:

    Love love love the terra cotta….I myself painted my GE metal cabinets with Rustoleum Spray in Pretty Pink, but was really looking for a Coral or a Terra Cotta. Still love my Barbie Dream Kitchen though….maybe when I get the gumption to repaint in 10 more years I’ll be thinking Seafoam or Periwinkle…. yes, periwinkle….mmmm

  3. Rose Johnson says:

    When I was redoing my kitchen in 2003, I bought a few cabinets from Restore, the Habitat for Humanity store to go to for tons of great old, vintage materials. For one complete GE kitchen then, I paid $75.00 and did not take every cabinet.

  4. Chris says:

    No disrespect taken. We don’t have the time to refurbish these cabinets and thought the alternative – i.e. city dump or garage storage is an option. We have NO IDEA how much to ask for the cabinets, but for the person who has time or simply loves vintage, these cabinets could be SWEET. Ten years ago or ten years in the future for us, but unfortunately, we don’t have the time.

    ***MAKE AN OFFER***

  5. 52postnbeam says:

    Yes, I agree with Shane. I don’t mean any disrespect to the sellers because they’re probably just extremely enthusiastic about what they have (who can blame them?), but the price is high and not indicative of the current market. As the unofficial cabinet – searcher for the forum for the past 3 months, I can state that there are very nice sets still available, a full kitchen can still be found for less than $1500, even in color. I just don’t want people who have yet to find their dream kitchens to get discouraged. When a vtg kitchen costs as much as a new one from IKEA, vintage lovers lose. All that said – beautiful kitchen in excellent (not mint!) condition. 🙂

  6. Shane says:

    Yeah the prices are going up, but I wonder what these people are basing that off of? Just because they aren’t “white”? Because they are “vintage”? You see that alot on Pawn Stars on the History Channel. People have something old and think it’s worth a mint. The guy on Ebay w/that ’56 GE pink and white kitchenis still selling that stuff at $1,956 (LOL) which is below resonable, but he started at an arbitrary $10, 000. I was VERY fortunate to find my butter yellow full YK set at a great price! With original gray Cracked Ice formica and stainless edging/backsplash. As you say “The Retro Renovation Gods smiled on me”. Wait till you see the full set of floral pinch pleat drapes I scored…..HEH!

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