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1953 Sears steel kitchen cabinets — painted pink — take center stage in Monica’s 900 s.f. cabin kitchen remodel

Pink kitchen retro remodel
See Monica’s kitchen remodel in the same house

We love pink kitchens, and we love stories of readers who take a big gulp and dive into their design projects “the hard way” — hunting down salvage, finding the hard-to-find, tackling DIY when standard just won’t do, and putting it all together in their own unique way. Bit bad by the mid mod bug, Monica (shown, right) sums up the journey that she — and many of us, I suspect — undertake with our Retro Renovations:

Our simple project that would easily have been completed in a few months and a trip to a big box store turned into over a year of hunting and gathering, repainting, refinishing and reupholstering.

Indeed! Today, let’s take a look inside this pretty in pink retro kitchen inside the family’s weekend cabin: 

Adrian Pearsall sofa

Monica wrote (several emails edited together):

Hi Pam, We added onto my grandfather’s hunting cabin to make a very special weekend home. We refer to it as the cabin. It’s less than 900sq.ft., but it lives much bigger. 

The kitchen is new construction. My grandpa built a little camp house, 12 x 24, it didn’t have electricity or running water. We moved it from the backside of our property to the hill where it sits now. We added an equal size room onto the front of it and another onto the backside of it. All the work from beginning to end was done by my family members. Only the bathroom tile, the cabinet paint, the sheetrock and the flooring were done by contractors. It has truly been a labor of love!

The retro look started with finding an Adrian Pearsall sofa at the beginning of the project. While I was trying to gather information on the sofa I stumbled onto your blog and the rest, as they say, is history.

pink kitchen with retro stove

Our simple project that would easily have been completed in a few months and a trip to a big box store turned into over a year of hunting and gathering, repainting, refinishing and reupholstering. I poured over your blog, scoured e-bay, searched craigslist and basically lived on Pinterest to get the job done.

The only person who worked harder to make my dream of an honest to goodness mid century bungalow come true was my amazing husband. I love the result so much that we are in the process of designing our mid century ranch dream home right now. I already have the bathroom fixtures for all 3 and 1/2 bathrooms! Each one is a different pastel! I want to build a brand new home that could have been plucked right out of 1956. I tend to take a few liberties, everything isn’t vintage, but what isn’t definitely has a retro feel to it. 

kitchen seating under a window

A little about me: I’m 39, married for 20 years to my high school sweetheart, have 3 kids, I homeschool, I love cooking, travel, architecture and decorating! We live on a ranch in Texas surrounded by family and friends. Life is grand! As you know doing it the hard way is a lot of work, but worth every penny and step. 

Thanks again for taking the time to look at my “ baby”, and thank you for your blog, without it I never would have discovered my passion for the fabulous 50’s and 60’s. Thanks for all your inspiration and your dedication to the fabulous 40s, 50s and 60s!

Best Wishes, Monica

pink kitchen with retro appliances

Resources for Monica’s pink kitchen remodel:

  • retro laundry room with sears steel kitchen cabinetsKitchen cabinets — The kitchen and utility cabinets (shown right) are Sears and were dated 1953. I scored them off of Craigslist. We have, of course, repainted them in pink and mint. My husband and brother custom made the lower corner shelves to coordinate with the uppers. 
  • Appliances: The appliances are GE Artistry (now discontinued).
  • Kitchen faucet: Dishmaster
  • Countertops: “Blanco Carrara marble. We chose to have it honed instead of polished. I like the softer look and I thought that it looked closer to the laminate tops of the past. I haven’t had a problem with staining but it is soft and scratches easily. I like to think that the scratches and other imperfections that develop over time just add character?
  • Ceiling light: The atomic light in the kitchen is the 24” midround in chrome made by Practical Props.
  • Tile backsplash: Floor and Decor Festival Dark Gray II penny round tile.
  • Accessories: The Lincoln Beautyware (affiliate link) canisters and wall dispenser were EBay finds.
  • The barstools and clock are not vintage, I purchased them from Amazon (see some similar designs here / affiliate link), but they have the right retro lines to fit right in!
  • Paint colors:

What a fun project, Monica, to get the opportunity to renovate an entire cabin. (We are going to take a look at your bathroom tomorrow.) The kitchen is just darling, and the story, just as great! And speaking from personal experience I will add: Your children will grow up … beaming about this kitchen (and their mother and father’s adventures to create it) even if they don’t totally appreciate it now. Thanks for sharing your story, the resources, your photos, and your inspiration with all of us!

  1. Monica Cantrell says:

    Thank you! It was fun to give new life to something most people would consider trash. They truly don’t make things like they used too!

  2. Monica Cantrell says:

    Thank you? the flooring is Pergo brand laminate in a hickory wood grain. It’s super easy to care for and didn’t break the bank.

  3. Monica Cantrell says:

    Thanks for the compliment. I hope you found the post from earlier. Anyone who knows me knows my motto to live by is don’t work harder, work smarter? I would have pulled my hair out trying to make Roman shades from scratch!

  4. Monica Cantrell says:

    Thank you for your kind compliment. It means a lot coming from someone who is a professional!!!

  5. Josephine Howland says:

    I am delighted to see your kitchen. Your cabinets appear to be the closest I’ve found to the Mongomery Ward pink cabinets that I bought on Craigslist. Mine also have curved upper drawers. I have a single sink with double drainboards. My set has the 54″ sink base, an 18″ and 24″ base cabinets, and several upper cabinets. I’m planning on remodeling the kitchen in my mobile home with them. I still will need to get cabinets for our peninsula. but I can paint them to match the cabinets.

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