Catherine & Jonathan revive their vintage Geneva cabinets in this retro fresh remodel


Jonathan and Catherine
Jonathan and Catherine

Reader Catherine and her husband Jonathan loved the original steel kitchen cabinets and tiled walls in their 1950 Cape Cod kitchen, but the room was feeling tired and needed some freshening up. After seeing Pam’s story recommending Azrock flooring as an authentic 1950s style floor choice, Catherine knew it was the right fit for her kitchen. After installing the new floor, painting their original Geneva cabinets, and adding new butcher block counter tops and a stainless steel sink — Catherine and Jonathan’s kitchen is ready for its close up.

kitchen-remodel-beforeCatherine writes:

Hi! A while back I saw a recommendation on your website for Azrock flooring for authentic 50s kitchen rehabs. You also stated that you’d like photos of completed renovations using this kind of flooring.

butcher-block-counter-topOur kitchen renovation, using Azrock Raw Silk, is complete– and it looks great! We also spray painted our original Geneva cabinets in the kitchen to coordinate, and added a butcher block counter top plus drainboard sink (both from IKEA), to complete that 50s feel.

The house was built in 1950 (a Cape Cod, probably what you might call “colonial-revival”), and I believe all the tile in the kitchen and the bathroom is original to the house.  The walls are all plaster, so it would be an incredible feat to even try and rip the tile out to recreate it.

azrock-floor-tilesThe tile in the kitchen is pure white, and the 4×4 backsplash extends throughout the room.  The man we hired to spray paint the cabinets said that the cabinets were originally white in color.

There were one or two broken tiles in the kitchen when we moved in. We weren’t able to find a 4×4 tile the exact same shade of white in the store, but when we moved the cabinets out to paint them, we just carefully removed one of the intact tiles behind the where the cabinetry had been and used that as our replacement.

vintage-kitchen vintage-retro-modern-kitchen vintage-modern-kitchenThanks for all the wonderful suggestions on rehabbing we’ve received from your site.  It’s been an incredible resource of ideas for us!

cabinet-pull-vintage(Also, we live in a St. Louis suburb, so finding missing hardware for our Geneva cabinets online locally here hasn’t been a problem either…)


vintage-modern-kitchen-whiteCatherine and Jonathan — you did a great job breathing new life into your kitchen. Everything looks terrific — including vintage Geneva kitchen cabinets, the counter tops, the floors…. and it is very cool to see those original, ceramic tiled walls — we don’t showcase those often enough. Thanks for sharing  your results with all of us.

  1. Pam Kueber says:

    Hi Jamie, we typically don’t get into issues like this here on the blog, there were so many designs. Not sure where to point you. Meanwhile, be sure to Renovate Safe.

  2. William C Rackley says:

    I live in a 1926 home in Birmingham Alabama with the original Geneva cabinets and I need 10 of the ceramic inlays but do not know where to look. They are identical to the ones in your photo. Do you know what site I can order them from? Thank you so much

  3. Stephanie says:

    We have the same hardware for our Geneva cabinets and are in desperate need of the white plastic part. Please let me know where you found your hardware.

  4. Chris says:

    Hi I am looking for handles and plastic plates for are Geneva cabinets where can we find some thank you

  5. pam kueber says:

    Hi Chris, this question comes up a lot. I don’t know of any replacement sources made new today. Some people salvage old cabinets just for the handles. I’ve also heard people talk of making their own using 3D printing. Good luck!

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