Wood-Mode kitchens from 1961 — Slide show of 15 photos

vintage-wood-mode-kitchen-cabinets-1961Let’s hear it for well-made, wood kitchens in mid-century homes. There’s virtually no name bigger in wood cabinetry than Wood-Mode. Their website says they have been in business about 60 years — that puts their start right in the heart of the postwar boom. This catalog from 1961 shows cabinetry made in three woods — oak, maple, and knotty pine. There were four door styles — Colonial, Contemporary, Provincial, and Classic. (Compare that to the dozens of door styles available today. Another example of how, “Life was simpler back in the day.” And, there were 22 natural finishes and 12 enamel finishes. (Okay: Complexity here.)

If you have original wood kitchen cabinets… and they are in good shape… please think twice about repainting them. Over time, and as we continue to get our heads around this mid-century look, I predict that “original patina” cabinetry like this will become even more desirable.

Enjoy the slide show — these are also great fun to scrutinize for design ideas and accessories.

  1. HRT says:

    Great to find this post! We live in a home built in 1966 and it has the original cabinets. I’m trying to find the name of the manufacturer…and I think it could be Wood-Mode based on the slides #6 & #13.

    Do you know where I could find more pictures so I could determine if our style is Colonial, Contemporary, Provincial, or Classic?

    We were planning to paint them white… but now I do not want to! I think the natural wood could be updated (maybe with white quartz countertops!?) but I want to get the details application off the face. Sand & re-varnish.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Hi HRT, I don’t know for sure. You can try the Building Technology Heritage Library to see if they have any catalogs. Also, you could try Wood-Mode itself.

      1. HRT says:

        Pam, Thank you, for these suggestions. I am getting fascinated with discovering the origins of these cabinets, and the style name, and that of the hardware, as well. I think I will contact Wood-Mode, and I’ll definitely check out the Building Technology Heritage Library site. Best, HRT

  2. Tom Spangler says:

    I have ixl cabinets installed in 1966. Is the original stain still available. I need to do some refinishing.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Tom, I don’t know the answer to this question. Be reminded there can be hazards in old products and their layers – get with a pro to assess what you have so that you can make informed decisions how to handle. For more info see my Be Safe/Renovate Safe page >> https://retrorenovation.com/renovate-safe/

  3. Jim laderer says:

    I have kitchen cabinets looking for replacement hinges and hardware. Where can I find them. Stickers on my door says IXL goshen inc.

    1. Kaydee Roden says:

      Jim, I have the same brand in Alabama. I have restored my hinges and hardware with a lot of brassco polish, baking soda, and hot water… and elbow grease. 🙂 Have you tried to clean them up or are you missing hardware?

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