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Christine gives her pink 1962 Lyon kitchen some retro TLC — including Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart First Lady Pink laminate

The oven in Christine’s kitchen — complete with original-finish pink Lyon kitchen cabinets — finally gave up the ghost and could no longer be repaired. A mini-makeover was soon under way — and the “after” — just lovely! Double-happy for me, Christine was able to use our new laminate — Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart First Lady Pink — for the project.  Christine has been extremely generous in providing detailed information about the contractors and resources she used. 

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Christine writes (edited to combine multiple emails):

Hi Pam:

I finally got a chance to take some pictures of my pink kitchen remodel. As you’ll see it was designed around the original 1962 Lyon steel kitchen cabinets.

Above: Before. Alas, the oven could not be fixed.

My pink oven broke, and the appliance company in California, which I found through your blog, and which sent me parts in the past, couldn’t rebuild the part I needed this time. So I had to say good-bye to the oven, hello big counter top and laminate wall.

retro boomerang laminate

I started the remodel the same month you released your laminate line. SOOO lucky for me! The installer even created matching grout so the counter and backsplash look seamless. Thank you for creating this wonderful boomerang laminate. I LOVE it!! I wish I could’ve used it in so many more places, but some got broken during the remodel.

When we took the pink stove out we found two glitter laminate chip samples —  one for the kitchen and one for the pink bathroom. The pink counter in the pink bathroom had been removed before we bought the house. I tried to salvage the gold counter top but the biggest piece was damaged by the oven that sat on it. The other side I had planned to reuse in my basement, but it didn’t work out. I gave the largest, nicest piece away so it wouldn’t go to the landfill.

As you know, I’m still trying to sell the left over Wilsonart pink pieces on craiglist (links long gone.) I was able to use a lot of the pink laminate I bought — I use smaller pieces as place mats, the front of my old stove cabinet drawer, or other DIY projects. It won’t go to waste — it is just TOO cute! I just kept trying to find more counters around my house to use it on.

Taking photos of my current house and the materials used made the biggest difference in being able to find similar or the same materials in today’s market. Several of the contractors had great ideas on how to use modern materials to create a timeless look. Jay Potter at The Floor Store suggested I use Wilsonart Satin Aluminum laminate on the edge of the kitchen counter to replicate the look of a metal edge. This idea saved me money and allowed me to wipe crumbs off the counter without catching them on a metal trim. I loved the look so much and wanted as much consistency as possible, I redid every counter in my house with the metal edging — three bathrooms and a laundry room.

It was the laminate installer, Allan Knutson of Adams Interiors, who suggested I get custom-colored grout to fill in the gap between the countertop and backsplash so my little kitchen felt bigger, I wouldn’t have any trim to collect crumbs and it would truly look seamless.

My general contractor, Sean MacNeela of Corrib Construction, usually works on big houses with big budgets that feature the highest end styles. But as my neighbor who also owns a 60s ranch, he knew a lot about the value of good bones, mid-century styles and how to find those same materials in today’s building market. 

Most of my supplies were purchased from our local building materials shop, 52nd Ave. Hardware.

They were all happy to help me find just the right lights, wood, colors and materials needed to help me keep my kitchen in the mid-century where it belongs.

Thanks, again, for your interest in sharing my experience so others don’t have to look so hard. Please keep sharing stories — you’ve helped me fix, replace and find new ideas that are allowing my house to go back in time.

Fondly,
Christine

The resources that Christine used in her pink Lyon kitchen refresh:

Above: Toward the end of setting up this story, I asked Christine if she could send a photo of herself to include with it. She asked if I wanted her to set one up with her wearing her mother-in-law’s 1960s prom dress. Heck to the yeah! And oh my, it’s fabulous, she looks fabulous in it, and they both look fabulous with the pink kitchen! It’s a fabulous fest!

Thank you, Christine, for so much time to write up your resources, take photos and invite us into your kitchen. Which is, of course: Perfect! 

  1. Teri Easterday says:

    Christine looks absolutely fabulous in that awesome dress!
    Thanks for sharing your cute pink kitchen!

  2. Lori Scott says:

    Love it! I still have the original gold flake counter tops from when my grandparents installed them Job well done!

  3. Vinny Lee says:

    LOVE the metallic edging! I’m gathering info/ideas for a 1950 kitchen remodel and love metal edging, but remember food catching in it when I was a kid!

  4. Linda says:

    Me too! I have a large chip (>2 in.) off my 1960’s laminate edging and have been considering an aluminum edge, but this seems like a great alternative. I’m thinking of DIY’ing so less intimidating as well!

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