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Carolyn’s gorgeous 1940s kitchen remodel featuring yellow tile with maroon trim

kitchen-beforevintage yellow kitchenEarlier this year, reader Carolyn asked for our help — how best to repair and decorate her 1947 kitchen. Since her original kitchen was in rough shape, we suggested that a complete remodel — in authentic vintage style, of course — and created a mood board to coordinate with her vintage Fiestaware collection.  Now, Carolyn and her husband Dennis (both shown at right) are back with the results — yes, they built new cabinets and went for yellow tile. Wow, is it ever beautiful. So much so that it will be featured in the local newspaper soon — go, Retro Renovators, go — show the world how it’s done!!

vintage kitchen remodelvintage yellow kitchenCarolyn writes:

Thank you, Kate and Pam, for your encouragement and inspiration. This kitchen could never have become what it has become without your resources, reader opinions, philosophy and just plain old kindness.

1940s vintage kitchen

I hate to think what this kitchen would have become (granite and MDF) without your advice, “Listen to your house.” My house is happy. We are thrilled. We’ve had some folks come to take pictures of our new kitchen to be published in our local paper.

vintage yellow kitchen

The cabinets were built by a local cabinet maker — John Petterson of Chico Custom Cabinetry, Inc. He used top grade wood (Maple ply interiors…no MDF!) and came up with some wonderful design ideas…like not too many glass front cabinets as I had initially wanted. As a result, the overall he balance of our kitchen turned out better. I insisted on the same cut-outs we had in our old kitchen. He did a wonderful job.

vintage yellow kitchenvintage yellow kitchen

Finally we can use this corner space with a new lazy Susan.

vintage yellow kitchen

Our other corner is useful, too. Our cabinet maker really pulled off quite a coup with my oddball requests. European hinges are apparently hard to install but, I like the look.

vintage yellow kitchen

My husband hand made all pulls and knobs using African Purple Heart wood.

vintage yellow kitchen

The precious tile above the sink was found at a local gift shop. Also, we kept the old housing for our above the sink light, instead of putting in a new pendant or other light. Easy breezy.

vintage yellow kitchen vintage yellow kitchen

The countertop and backsplash tile is yellow with maroon quarter rounds and “old school” box shaped edges from B&W Tile. The amazing vintage sizzle strips were found on Ebay.

[We adore your vintage liner tiles, Carolyn — way to match things up! Readers, see all our stories about liner tiles here.]

vintage yellow kitchen vintage yellow kitchen

The faucet is a Grohe — which I love.

vintage yellow kitchen

Our walls are painted Sherwin-Williams “Quartz White,” which is a sort of mauve. It really makes the yellow and maroon pop. I determined the color choice by the sizzle strip design and colors: maroon ribbons with a small diamond dot of mauve between. This really worked out well. I love the color contrast so much that I don’t want to fuss it up with shelving.

vintage yellow kitchen

We were able to restore and use the old fan housing while installing a new Nutone ceiling fan. I looked for metal covers and eventually paid some guy named, Gary, who had a hardware store somewhere in the Midwest. Unfortunately, the metal cover he sent was aluminum and not much better looking than the white plastic cover that came with the new fan.

vintage yellow kitchen vintage yellow kitchen

Refrigerator is an LG 10 cu. ft., which suits our needs and enabled us to enjoy more kitchen space. It is flanked by a skinny pull-out pantry that helps maximize our storage space.

vintage yellow kitchen

You’ll also see a new glass door put in beside our stove.

vintage yellow kitchen

I painted our old Dutch door to match the matte on the framed artwork.

vintage yellow kitchenCongrats on a remodel well done, Carolyn! Thanks so much for sharing the results with us — we are tickled that you were able to use our mood board to create the vintage kitchen of your dreams. Way to “Love the house you’re in!”

See all of our 1940s kitchen design boards here

love the house youre in

  1. Doris Eckey says:

    Beautiful kitchen! But it’s not uncommon for vintage fiesta ware to be [discussion on materials potentially used has been edited — see my response below and get with your own properly licensed experts to assess / decide – Pam ]

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