Maile’s tiny 1970s galley kitchen was dark, narrow and covered with years of grime — but that didn’t stop her from seeing its potential to be delightful. With a careful budget to overhaul the space — including moving a wall — Maile made a plan to maximize her kitchen, while adding some cheery color on the countertops and flooring. The result of her hard work is a functional and sunny 1940s-style kitchen that makes Maile want to bake the day away.
My home is a double wide that was built in ’77. The elderly couple that lived here smoked… and the whole place had that ‘old, grimey’ odor. Anyway, as you know back in the ’70s, kitchens were so much tinier. This was a galley kitchen that had 24″ floor space between sink and stove.
The construction of the cabinets was just about a step and a half above cardboard, and there was such an appalling lack of space utilization. The faux wood paneling and tiny stainless two side sink made everything so dark.
I used Wilsonart Laminate 4916-60 Sweet Corn for the countertops, with stainless edging that my contractor got (not sure from where), Armstrong Marmorette NATURCote LP020 Sweet Grass (this is commercial grade, but extremely environmentally sound, and will require a professional floor layer as it is persnickety for the DIYer) on the floor. Thanks to Retro Renovation, I found the Hudee ring for the sink. I got the sink from a salvage store for just $40! It was a mess, but with Bar Keepers Friend, I got it bright white again. The paint is Behr, from Home Depot.
I’ve inherited many items from family and have collected items to finish out the look. They are my inspiration pieces. Among all the items in the kitchen, I have something from each of the women who have influenced my life. Every time I cook, they are there in spirit with me. It’s always a good time!
I have found a late ’40s vintage Magic Chef gas stove, but it’s sitting in the garage until I can get it retro fitted for propane, (an expensive proposition!) Waiting to build up the piggy bank. The only guy in the area is quoting up to $1,500. Plus buying the tank, etc. When they remodeled, I had them do the gas piping. Looking forward to cooking with fire again!
I had them build a low cabinet to put the refrigerator on. I have a bad back, and bending over is a big problem for me. Having the fridge up on this pedestal makes it so much easier, and the lower cabinet drawer is perfect for baking pans and such.
I hope that this covers it. I’m happy to answer any other questions or more pictures. I must tell my husband at least once a day how much I love my kitchen now! The only drawback it that it makes me want to bake and cook ALL THE TIME!
Wow Maile — what a transformation. The kitchen feels so much cleaner and larger now. I love the combination of the yellow countertops, aqua flooring and vintage jadeite accents. And — we LOVED that you showed us your inspiration pieces — we strongly encourage readers who are trying to decide colors for their kitchens or other rooms to do the same — that is, look for items in colors that sing to you and build your space from there. All the better when the pieces have sentimental value! Pam and I both also have items from our mothers and grandmothers and aunts in our kitchen — what a great way to stay in personal touch with those memories, every day. 🙂
Also, what a great idea to raise the height of your refrigerator to improve ergonomics. This reminds Pam: Her aunt Mary Anne did the same with her dishwasher.
Thanks so much, Maile, for sharing your space with us1