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. Marie Gamalski says:

    Elizabeth…OH MY!!! I jumped up and down when I clicked on your kitchen!!!!! Immediately texted the Hubs regarding his next project, that floor is AMAZEBALLS!!! Went right to the site and ordered my samples and hoping they have the coordinating treads, risers, and nosing for stairs. Squee!!! Love, love LOVE!! Is that laminate you ran up the wall for the backsplash??

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      Thank you very much, Marie! I don’t know about treads, risers, and nosing for stairs. I’m glad you love it! And yes, it’s the same laminate used for backsplash (Abet Laminati Rosa Crazy Horse). I know in pictures it’s hard to tell if it’s the same thing.

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      Looking at the before and after picture now, after not looking at the “before” in about three years, I can’t believe how much brighter it is, either!!! Thanks!!

  2. Maria says:

    What a great kitchen!

    I would love to know where you got your cabinet hardware as well I want to redo mine from the original hammered copper to a chrome to match the appliances.

    I too have a pink kitchen, but it’s all original and needs help. Right now I only have the original pink cooktop and wall oven, I kick myself when thinking I got rid of the original pink Fridge When it died instead of seeing if it could be fixed.

    I’ve been at a loss in trying to come up with a plan to spread the pink around the kitchen because I want an atomic look and not a cutesy one as a lot of pink kitchens have been done. You’ve done a great job and given me some ideas and a lot of inspiration! I love the floor it’s such a statement piece. Makes me consider painting my old tired original floor to see How much I like it before committing to a new one. I’m also on the hunt for some great fabric to do the curtains in.

      1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

        Pam, I looked it up on Lowes.com and here are the cabinet pulls I used: Style Selctions 3″ Center to Center Polished Chrome Arched Cabinet Pull $1.98 (Item #231701, Model #Z830-3-PC). And also Style Selections Polished Chrome Round Cabinet Knob $1.27 (Item #231699, Model #Z829-37-PC). I considered these a great bargain, which was wonderful because I needed so many of them!! Thanks for all your research and being our reno-guru!!

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      Thanks, Maria! I got the cabinet pulls from marching into the Lowe’s in Marble Falls, Texas and buying them right out of the bin! It seems like they were less than two dollars each. I’m so happy for you that you have an original pink cooktop and wall oven! And I’m sorry about your pink fridge. I wouldn’t have been able to part with anything pink. Heck, for that matter, I have a blue and a yellow toilet parked in my backyard, just to rescue them from the landfill! I love colored appliances and fixtures!! Good luck on your kitchen project!!!

  3. Kate says:

    This is the greatest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. SERIOUSLY. I think I stopped breathing for a minute.
    wow. Just, wow.

  4. Marie Gamalski says:

    Elizabeth, I realize how gauche this will sound, and MORE than a bit impertinent…, but I was wondering if you might share the $ per box of the Azerock tile, understand, I will understand if you choose not to…

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      A fair question, and neither gauche nor impertinent! The price quoted by a floor store in Austin was $250 per box!!! So we ordered it from the local True Value hardware store in the small town where Diamond Crest is, for $167 a box. Still outrageous, but much better. But where else can one get those colors?? It seems like they said there were 55sf of the 12×12 tiles in the box.

      1. Marie Gamalski says:

        Thank you for replying Elizabeth… we’re going w/Krose!!!????????… ill shop around in the Phoenix area for the best $, but your reply gives me a nice baseline to work from. Going for full house ????????????????really just can’t wait! I realize this choice will make all the “what about resale!!” people cringe, but just makes ME grin ear to ear!!! Thanks again for the advice, Marie

  5. jeannebodine says:

    I am so jealous! I’m in the middle of an addition and renovation and things are going horribly. I’m on my 3rd designer and she is the worst. I just can’t get a decent floor plan or see how the colors I picked will mix together. All I want it retro, retro, retro but it isn’t turning out that way:( We’re living in chaos and my husband has Early Onset Alzheimers (the reason for the addition to make one floor living. Oh boy, I only wanted to say what a beautiful job you did and all I did was complain!

    PS – I still have my pink bathroom upstairs and am a proud signatory of the Pink Bathroom Pledge.

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      JeanneBodine, thank you and I wish you the best of luck finding someone who can make your retro dream a reality. I have had very poor luck with designers myself. And I will pray for God’s healing and peace for your family.

  6. Joanne says:

    THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY! To have a kitchen like this would be so joyful….such an inspiration!
    Congrats on the beautifully done reno!

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