Elizabeth’s 1965 kitchen before and after — from gloomy … to retrolicious

Yesterday, Elizabeth invited us to weigh in on floor tile choices for her blue bathroom Retro Renovation. Setting up the story, I came across an earlier email that I had let fall through the cracks. She had sent me a photo of her pink kitchen refresh in progress. Good news about the time lapse, though: Her work is now finished —  and goodness, wait until you see this transformation!

pink kitchen
And after!

I asked Elizabeth about the kitchen. (It’s in a different house than the one with blue bathroom.) Following is a lightly edited version of our emails:

pink kitchen

Dear Pam:

This house is my 1965 house. It is named Diamond Crest because it has adorable diamond shaped windows on the front side panel. (And because diamonds are a girl’s best friend.) I mentioned I was buying it in that old original article–or maybe in the comments thereafter, I don’t remember now. I bought it in October 2014!!! It’s 99% done now, but it took forever because we would get to doing other stuff.  I was reading your recent “The Hard Way” awards, and thought, GEEZ! Even when all you do is throw money at a project, it still ends up being hard! My husband, who is NOT a plumber, had to install the floating toilets because no one else knew how.

It is a darling 1,774 s.f. house and my goal was to change nothing, only restore it to perfection. Plus better. 

Diamond Crest had been a rent house and the landlord put in that same beige Mexican style tile that is on every current floor in Texas. I had all of that busted out even though it was brand new because THAT’S NOT MID-MOD. (Luckily the terrazzo entry hall and pink tile bathroom and mint green tile bathroom floors were left intact.)

retro pink kitchen

Elizabeth shared the resources she used:

So for the kitchen and adjoining laundry room floor, I found something from the Azrock Collection: Cortina Grande Solid Vinyl Tile in the colorway “Kink”.

The laminate is Abet Laminati Rosa Crazy Horse. It replaced beige (possibly original) beat-up laminate. It was not easy finding pink floors and pink countertops, let me tell you.

The kitchen light is a Saturn Three Light Crystal Drum Foyer Pendant that I bought online from AllModern.  [Pam here: Tried to find it, seems discontinued.]

But it was easy enough finding pink appliances, of course —Big Chill!) 

vintage pink kitchen renovation

And she continued:

The construction is 100% complete. I put in adorable pink window shades because I know it will take me forever and a day to find the fabulous floral pinch-pleat draperies I want. I bought a $5 t-shirt from WalMart about four years ago and IT has the exact pattern I would love on it! I’m never going to give that shirt away! Think Dorothy Draper, I guess. Also, I still need to curate the place with décor. I get busy with other stuff, and it just sits there for a while.

But you have heard much more than you bargained for. Do know that every single purchase was made in consultation with retrorenovation-com-staging.enwf9w61-liquidwebsites.com! (And that was a lot of purchases!) So you were my constant companion through this, even though you didn’t know it!


Yowza! Thank you, Elizabeth. I simply cannot imagine being unhappy in this kitchen!!!

More stories about Elizabeth (shown above, from our 2014 story) and her other projects:

  1. Lori says:

    What a transformation for the best! Absolutely love it!!! You did a fantastic job! Thank you for sharing it. Gorgeous!!

      1. Pam Kueber says:

        Trina, the floors are Johnsonite — see the name of the design in the story. They are not laminate. It appears to me that Johnsonite was purchased by Tarkett. Check there to see if this product is still available. Good luck!

        1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

          Thanks for the sweet comments, everyone! I still love my pink kitchen! Regarding the pink tiles, I see the link in the story doesn’t work anymore, but if you google for Azrock Solid Vinyl Tile Karim Kolors Kink 16×16 you should probably be able to find them. We used them in our more recent house as well, in a checkerboard pattern! The colors are called “Kink” for pink, “Khite” for white, and “Koise” for Turquoise, and “Krose” for Rose (a darker pink). They’re all pretty colors!

  2. Wanda says:

    Oh, Elizabeth! I LOVE your pink kitchen. I am 75 and well remember Pink in places like all of my bedroom in the 50s. Recently, I have been looking at the metal and vinyl dînette sets. I want an old one…..I found Big Chill last week and found the pink refrigerator…and we were about to have to buy a new one but my husband wanted water and ice to come out the door and Big Chill doesn’t make those, yet! So when our frig went out on Monday last I had to have one that fits in the smaller refrigerator hole in our old house and it is NOT pink! Alas. You give me hope for the future. Thank you so much for sharing and I am very glad I happened upon your story and pictures. (I live in Anna, Texas). ?

  3. Elizabeth from Texas says:

    Oh yes, they’ll bring them inside! Probably a little higher charge for it. I’m sure it explains on their website!

  4. KennyT123 says:

    The kitchen is marvelous. Did Big Chill bring them in the house. Last I knew they only did curbside delivery–you’d think for the price they charge they would deliver them inside. My house rises about 3 steps above the ground so the thought of having something dropped off at the curb and my wheeling it up those stairs keeps me from seriously considering them.

  5. Diane says:

    I am going to look at this kitchen for five minute each morning to start my day off right! Thank you for sharing! I LOVE it!

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      Diane, that is the sweetest thing to say!! Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
      Elizabeth from Texas

  6. Joe says:

    This is beyond gorgeous. It is stunning and literally took my breath away. I mean, the pink appliances, and hood. . .

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