Lori’s pink, blue and yellow retro kitchen: A whole lot of lovin’ fun!

“…We rented a truck and loaded up
all the metal cabinets and brought them home.
All they really needed was a good cleaning
and then we attached them to the walls.”

blue yellow and pink kitchen with black and white checkerboard floorsI count five cooking surface, two refrigerators, four Mixmasters — and a whole lot of lovin’ fun — in Lori and Ed’s super happy aqua, pink and yellow retro kitchen. Lori seems to be a woman who knows her mind and makes things happen. She also is not afraid of color, and of mixing it up. This is a good one — one of the happiest kitchens ever! Lori writes:

Hi Pam,

I’m so glad that you liked the pics of our house. It’s really been a labor of love. My husband was transferred from his job in Atlanta to North Carolina ten years ago. So when we started our house hunt we decided to look for a house built in the 50’s that we could redo. We found this house almost immediately and saw tons of potential in it even though the current owners had pretty much destroyed any of the original fixtures and finishes in the house. There was carpet on all the floors and cheap vinyl peel and stick tiles on the kitchen and bathroom floors. And the walls were all painted a drab shade of beige.

I have to admit our toughest renovation project was the kitchen. Our kitchen is huge and runs almost the full length of the side of our home. We’ve got two working 1950’s fridges and my Turquoise GE LIBERATOR stove is used on a daily basis.   And our kitchen opens onto our outdoor patio. We literally gutted everything out including the cabinets, sink and floor. It took us over a two-week period to gut the kitchen and then install the metal cabinets.  And then it took us two weekends to put down the Marmoleum floor.

vintage mixmaster mixersWe started searching on EBAY (love EBAY) for metal kitchen cabinets and were fortunate enough to find a complete set of YOUNGSTOWN KITCHEN metal cabinets in AQUA from a seller in Detroit. Our family is from Ohio, so on a trip to visit them we rented a truck and loaded up all the metal cabinets and brought them home. All they really needed was a good cleaning and then we attached them to the walls.

vintage youngstown kitchen cabinets in blueAlso I found a complete grouping of  GE TURQUOISE cabinets from an EBAY seller in DAYTON so we picked up that set as well. And we just combined the Youngstown and GE cabinets to add lots of extra storage space and counter space.

boomerang formica

The counter tops are all original YELLOW/AQUA boomerang laminate that came with the GE cabinets.

black and white kitchen floorI also bought on EBAY all the yellow/aqua tiles, they are HOMART ORIGINAL 1958 tiles, that you see on the walls and we designed a pattern and then put them on all the exposed walls. They had wood paneling originally in the kitchen that someone had painted, so it wasn’t useable so we decided putting tiles up were the way to go.

ge liberator stoveAs for my 1956 AQUA GE LIBERATOR stove I bought that on EBAY as well from a lady in Cinncinnati Ohio. It was her original stove.

And the Yellow FRIGIDAIRE fridge, another EBAY buy from a gentlemen in Columbus, Ohio.

ge wonder kitchen in pinkAnd my pride and joy the 1956 PINK GE KITCHEN CENTER from a gentleman in New York. Again it just needed a good cleaning and my husband wired it up for the lights and we’re working on getting the stove, dishwasher and dryer/washer combo working. He’s an electrical engineer so that comes in handy.

As for the flooring we had originally put down black and white VCT tiles when we first moved in, but they were so hard to keep clean so last year after seeing the Marmoleum on your website we decided to put that down on our kitchen floor. We bought the black and white click loc Marmoleum tiles and then we put them on a horizontal slant rather than just a black and white checkerboard design. I think it really sets the kitchen off.

Our light fixtures we got from a seller on EBAY from Arizona. They were actually in a CHURCH cafeteria that had been built in 1959 and they were original. And they were in like new condition.

vintage sunbeam mixersAnd then all the little details from the SUNBEAM mixers, waffle irons, cannisters, etc. we pretty much have bought those along the way..where else but EBAY. And my little kitchen table and chair set was a great find at a local flea market for $50.00 and even though it was not in the best of shape with a little elbow grease and wax it came out really great.

I hope everyone enjoys the pics and our TALES of KITCHEN RENOVATION.

Consider us “addicted” to your FANTASTIC RETRO RENOVATION website.

Have a great day!

Ed and Lori

Yowza. I spy and ask Lori if she and her husband painted the vertical blinds. She says:

Yes we did. We bought Krylon Plastic spray in Butter Cup yellow for the kitchen. And in the living room we used the Ballerina Pink in Krylon Plastic.

That is amazing attention to detail. And I must add: One of the reasons that this kitchen *works* so well even though it is chock-full of color and accessories, is that it is so tidy

Beautifully done, Lori and Ed. Thank you so much for sharing.

  1. Ellen says:

    Hi Lori,
    Great job!!! I was wondering where you bought your flooring? I’ve had a hard time finding the black and white marmoleum.

    1. Lori Tevis says:

      Hi Ellen! I’m so glad you liked our kitchen and the flooring. The best price we found on the Marmoleum is a website: coolgreenfloors.com
      Jane is the customer service person there and she is fantastic. You are buying directly from FORBO through Jane so the price is the best around. The flooring we used is called: RAVEN (black) and BARBADOS (off white). WE bought the 12×12 square tiles that click together and it was pretty easy to put together once you got the hang of it. And of course we placed our floor in the horizontal pattern so that made it a bit more challenging. I’ve had it for over six months and it looks as fantastic as when we put it down and I use my kitchen a lot including spills on the flooring, which wipe up like a dream. And once you place the order it usually only takes about a week to ten days to recieve it and the shipping costs are very reasonable. Hope this helps and good luck with your flooring project! Lori Tevis

  2. Ro Conforti says:

    Hi Lori:
    I am considering buying a 1957 home with original St. Charles white metal kitchen cabinets. I’d like to keep them but how to clean them best? Yours look amazing.
    Thanks for any advice!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Ro, I have lots of stories on steel kitchen cabinets including, as I recall, original instructions from St. Charles. See my Kitchens/Steel Kitchens category up top. Good luck. By the way: St. Charles cabinets are AWESOME.

  3. Karyn Cleavely says:

    We recently went to an auction at my old high school which is being torn down and a new one is being built. When we got the home ec room, I about died. All around the room, the cabinets were Geneva Kitchen units. But they wouldn’t sell them because of some contract with the demolition people. But I did convince them to sell me the hardware. So I now have a box full of the handles from these cabinets, plus a few of the Geneva medallions from the panel under the sink. If anyone needs them, please put them in contact with me.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Karyn, we have a buy/sell Forum all about steel kitchen cabinets — I am sure if you leave a message there you may find lots of interested folks. Once there, can you post a photo of your handles? There were two different types for Genevas. https://retrorenovation.com/forums. THANK YOU!!!!

  4. Aurora says:

    This kitchen is absolutely amazing. It’s like stepping back into the fifties but better! WOW!! When can I come for dinner?? Kudos.

  5. kathy d says:

    i am considering using my parents’ 58 refrigerator but I don’t know how practical and difficult it is in modern times with the whole defrosing thing and of course the small freezer space. What is your experience and opinion of this?

    I love your kitchen, it is beautiful and wonderfully designed. You are a genius in retro decorating!!

    1. Lori Tevis says:

      Hi Kathy D,

      I’m so glad you like my kitchen. It is my favorite place in the house and I love to bake there. It is a bit of a challenge using vintage fridges to store your foods, particularly the frozen foods. I have a small chest freezer in my laundry room I use for most of the frozen food. And thankfully this fridge is self defrosting so all I have to do is keep a watch on the spill pan beneath it to be sure that there’s not excess water in it. Thanks again and have a wonderful evening. Lori T.

  6. Anthony Simpson says:

    Love your kitchen the colour and the way you were able to build it. You would think on paper it would not work but it so does.

    If I asked my kitchen designer they would faint. We are doing a kitchen renovation. But we are using modern materials to emulate the look.

    I only hope our kitchen in a small way can emulate the style you have achieved.

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