One of our resolutions for 2013 here on Retro Renovation is to start featuring more fabulous vintage home improvement catalogs — featuring kitchens, bathrooms, decorating, light fixtures, house plans — the list goes on. What better place to start this new series than with a fantastic 1958 kitchen catalog from Sears — with 32 pages of great information and style — oh if only we could still order from this catalog. The optimistic color combinations and fun designs will have you wishing that one of these kitchens could magically appear in your own home.
So many of the kitchen plans featured in this catalog have such a cheery feeling to them. The cover image shown above illustrates how happy the inhabitants of the house are with their Sears kitchen — and why wouldn’t they be? A lovely yellow cast iron sink surrounded by a charming dotted laminate counter — greenery sprinkled around the kitchen — and of course that comfortable custom yellow booth seating that they are so enjoying.
Check out this lovely yellow and mint green duo. The before and after illustrations are fun to see. The storage space that was added alone — what a life saver. The counter top and flooring are a great pair — and I like how they matched the refrigerator to the cabinets and the stove and oven with the tile backsplash. My only question — what happened to the cat?
The natural birch kitchen above is warm and inviting. It even has a dish washer. My favorite part — that linoleum floor — I bet that wouldn’t show any fur balls and the inlaid border makes it feel special.
Here’s another vibrant kitchen — with a fun floor pattern that coordinates with the wallpapered soffits — yum. I’m not sure where they stashed the fridge in this kitchen, but the rounded knick knack shelving around the windows and at the end of the cabinets makes me cease to care. This would be such a great kitchen for entertaining — with the open plan and the cook top in the middle of the room, it would be so easy to simultaneously cook and socialize with party guests.
Another great layout for entertaining is this “attractive fir kitchen” with breakfast bar. Can you just imagine having your morning coffee and cereal at the breakfast bar, while gazing out the strategically placed window as the morning light filters in? Pure bliss.
Or how about this sunny space — with its warm wood and lemon yellow color scheme. The argyle-esque wallpaper on the soffit coordinates so well with the window treatments and the upholstery on the stool. The interior designers and graphic designers sure were able to have a lot of fun in 1950s kitchens — so many of the kitchens in this catalog give us a primer on how to combine real pattern and real color beautifully.
Here’s a classic white and red kitchen to consider — with the addition of several other colors — blue, green, and yellow. There is a lot of color in this space, but it all works together so well — which just goes to show you how versatile white kitchen cabinets can be. I for one, would have never thought to put a deep blue floor in my kitchen — but in this case it really does make the room.
Of course the colorful steel kitchen above is my favorite of the bunch — hey, it’s pink –what did you expect? But for those who prefer mint or yellow, Sears has you covered. What I wouldn’t give for pink cabinets with matching pink appliances. The dark, monochromatic patterned linoleum floor and the cracked ice laminate counter top edged with metal really set off the light rosy pink. Just heavenly.
Here’s a yummy kelley green booth with matching cracked ice, steel rimmed laminate table top — perfectly nestled under the windowsill full of lush, green plants. The fern printed curtains add to the greenery theme.
This Sears kitchen catalog even has illustrations to help you choose the perfect laminate counter top for you kitchen — if only we had these bright and colorful options today instead of the sea of greige “Graveyard of the Atlantic” colors that currently fill the market. One can dream, right?
If you’d like to ogle all 32 pages of this vintage Sears kitchen catalog, check out the gallery below — it contains a wealth of information on cabinet sizes and kitchen layouts and is chock-a-block with great vintage illustrations — which we’ve inserted at even larger sizes. Which kitchen would you choose?
Thanks to the MBJ Collection / archive.org for featuring this catalog via Creative Commons license.
Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image: