Fold-down electric burners and other treats in Bonnie’s 1958 kitchen

vintage fold down electric burners in bonnies 1950s kitchenBonnie is the proud owner of a 1958 “dream-home time capsule” and sent us some photos of some of its awesome original details to ogle and envy. I am particularly loving the coral countertop and cast-iron painted planter box — this color looks just lovely with the classic, 1950s natural birch plywood cabinets, don’t you think? Boo to the hoo that Formica discontinued the coral boomerang laminate, but I bet we can find something close in a solid for sure and maybe also in a subtle tone-on-tone pattern. Oh. Bonnie’s kitchen features these fabulous fold-down electric range top burners. Another 1950s innovation that… didn’t make it longterm. We see this occasionally in the wild. So cool to see them in this time capsule kitchen. Party on for more photos … and Bonnie wants our advice on regrouting the pink (of course) bathroom tile –> PAM! Hello!! My husband, boys and I have just moved into our very own dream-home time capsule from 1958. Also attached are images of our original 1958 kitchen with orange counter tops, space age wall oven from Fridgidaire, and flip down range…. We plan to work on the kitchen to gain more storage space and counter space in the future. Currently, though, we are going to live with it to make sure whatever design we come up with is thoughtful and meets our needs. We plan to keep it as original as possible to honor the architecture and time period… We will also be working on an original galley kitchen to make it more large-family friendly. It’s outfitted with a chrome flip down range, fridgidaire space-age wall oven, original cabinets, and orange laminate counter tops with metal edging…

Also, I noticed you love original lighting. All but one of the fixtures in our home is original. We are going to try to restore the finished on the lights to original brass (they are pretty dingy right now). Yet another idea for the blog… 🙂

It has a classic pink, baby blue, and black bathroom that must stay…the problem is MOST of the grout in the shower is cracked. A lot. Any suggestions on how to save the tile and repair the grout? I hunted around for some suggestions on this site but didn’t find anything specifically about the grout situation. Would love to send you some pictures, if you are interested, and possible do a feature about this “save the pink bathroom”. :)Here is my pink bathroom in need of some repair…the grout in the shower and around the vanity is cracked. I was wondering if you had seen this before and if you knew of any way to fix it…we really love the original tile and want to keep it!!

Thanks so much for the inspiration from the blog. We love being in a home with a past! Bonnie

BONNIE! Thank you! What a lovely home, and you are SMART to take your time contemplating any changes (that aren’t related to enviroment and safety, of course).

Regarding fixing the old grout:

I don’t know about the grout. I am pretty sure that I have read that old grout can be Dremeled out. Very painstakingly. Then regrouted. *Some therapy*.

Replacement tile:

If you want replace that edge piece, my key suggestion is to work with World of Tile. Chippy always needs a real live sample to make a color match. But maybe she can tell you before you have to remove the piece to send to her, whether she even has something in the family. Golly, it looks like only a teensy chip. This may be a really lame idea but: Build it up, little by little with nail polish? That color of dark burgundy chocolate brown is popular today, I think! Again: I ain’t no properly licensed professional — on both these questions, best to consult with one.

Readers: You ever dremeled out old grout and then regrouted? Did it work out beautifully, or not?

Regarding your your kitchen:

You didn’t ask me for decorating advice, but you know I can resist: Wallpaper — vintage or reproduction vintage — for those soffits, dear? And the kitchenette wall? With coral in it. Note, I’m calling your countertop and the cast iron decorative piece coral, not orange.


  1. Terry K Clark says:

    Regarding a possible repair with nail polish – yes! It can work! And if the results are not to your liking? Well, there is the polish remover option. But I have had excellent results with nail polish repairs on burgundy tile.

  2. Cherilyn says:

    Still looking for someone close to San Diego who can work on my moms 4 burner fold down stove. Any ideas? It is frigidaire rbw84

  3. Eric Vaughn says:

    Does anyone know how to remove the Frigidaire fold-down burner/ We’d like to take ours out and have it restored.

  4. Debbie says:

    I have the exact same 1958 Frigidaire space age oven. I have been trying to find parts because it doesn’t heat as well as it used to. Any tips you can share? Thanks!

    1. Tammy says:

      I have one too, likely 1957 because that’s when my suburban Minneapolis rambler was built. Dread the day it goes beyond repair but no plans to change it til then

  5. T-Lynn says:

    I bought a small home in Northridge, CA that had the four separate fold down burners. Loved them!!! Now that my husband and I have moved back east and live in the house that his parents had built in 1958(?), we found that his mother had these same four burner fold-down units. I almost cried when we found that they had been removed when his mother remodeled the kitchen. Does anyone know if it is still possible to buy them somewhere and have an electrician install them?

    1. pam kueber says:

      T-Lynn, these show up occasionally on craigslist. I do not know if they are to code. Check with your local building inspector/electrical inspector, and I bet they can tell you. If they are green-to-go, then start watching craiglist like a hawk. See our story (use Search box) on how to set up craigslist searches.

    2. Cindy says:

      My daughter and son in law have a fold down stove they are replacing. All 4 burners work perfectly. How would you suggest going about selling this

      1. Joe Wider says:

        Cindy, I have a friend who’d love to buy it for her home. Her’s have been jury rigged by too many well-intentioned handymen. She asked me to look and see if there were any available online.

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