A 64-year-old Geneva kitchen that looks like it was installed yesterday

vintage geneva steel kitchen cabinetsTime capsule eyed candy today: Reader Carol bought a 1956 house that came with a second kitchen that was barely used. The original Geneva steel kitchen cabinets were installed in an a catchy beige and yellow color combination. And, the cabinets include lots of extras. Let’s take a look!

geneva steel kitchen cabinetsCarol writes:

Hello, The house was built in 1956 and remains mostly unchanged. The house is quite large, and this kitchen is an extra that seems to have been very lightly used.

This is not my main kitchen. I try to split my usage between this kitchen and the main one upstairs. I think this downstairs kitchen was originally built for entertaining purposes as it is right next to a pretty fancy wet bar.

bread box in geneva kitchen cabinets

The Geneva metal cabinets came with several extras, not just the bread box you recently posted about, but also three canisters, a silverware divider, towel bar, and cup hangers.

vintage crane kitchen sink

This kitchen has a Crane sink and a super cool 1961 stove that works great. 

Oh my, what a wonderful kitchen, I thought, when I saw these photos come in. Like I said in the introduction — it’s really great to see this color combination in the wild!

As follow up, I asked Carol: Can you tell me and readers: What did you first think when you saw that downstairs kitchen?! 

1961 GE stove range

She replied:

This kitchen was one of the last things I saw during the house tour.

cup holders for kitchen wall cabinet

By then, I was so overwhelmed with the original features throughout the house, I could hardly believe this kitchen that seemed almost unused for 60+ years.

pull out appliance holder kitchen cabinetpull out appliance holder

Even today, I still can’t believe the cabinets, counters, and stove all look like they were put in yesterday!

kitchen cabinet towel holder

The house is everything I wanted but never thought I would be able to find, I spend an absurd amount of time thinking about the house/furniture, and I never forget how lucky I am when I walk through the door.

kitchen drawer silverware holder

Thank you, Carol, for sharing photos of your kitchen with all of us. HOW LUCKY your house is to have found YOU! It’s amazing to see kitchens of this quality, in this shape, still out there — and so wonderful that you are preserving it for a new generation!

  1. Maria says:

    When you look up “pristine” in the dictionary, there should be a picture of this kitchen. Most kitchen elements (cabinetry, appliances) manufactured today, regardless of price, aren’t half as well made as these well crafted vintage ones, and won’t last a fraction of 60 years. Thank you to the lucky homeowner for sharing these photos!

  2. Anita says:

    We inherited my mother’s house when she passed away. The home was built in 1953 and like yours had a lovely stove with a “baby” oven to the left of the large oven. I sure miss that handy little thing. We moved away in 2001 to a house built in the mid-’90s. I enjoy my home, but a lot was lost in kitchen planning over those 40 years.

  3. DJ Sparkles says:

    Your second kitchen beats my one and only kitchen by a mile! I am so in love with your kitchen! Congratulations on your wonderful house (of which I hope we get to see more of!) and bless you for recognizing a gem when you see it.

  4. Jeanmarie Zalinka says:

    Swoon! It’s heartbreaking that many of the older homes have lost their original charm and character due to ‘upgrades’. Such a lucky find! Thanks for sharing. It gives others hope that there may still be some out there!!

  5. I’m so jealous and happy for her all at once! I’d love to have a second kitchen and if either of them looked like this, I’d feel incredibly lucky! I love that two toned stove too.

  6. Katharine Carroll says:

    Just beautiful! Clean, simple lines! I had to save some of these pics for my next kitchen! Truly a gem!

  7. Maria says:

    Yes, I’m with the others, because golly if this was the last thing you saw in the house after being sold on it, I hope you share the rest!


  8. Amber says:

    Ohhhhh how beautiful. A lightly used downstairs spare kitchen…makes me wonder if this was a canning/summer kitchen maybe? Or maybe the downstairs was intended to be rented out, but then wasn’t?

    Anyway, no matter, I LOVE that color combination of pink, yellow, blue and brown. You can see how that might look overwhelming in a vintage print ad where the color is done up a tad, but in real life in a color accurate photograph in a simple kitchen it actually looks quite harmonious, not overwhelming at all. Very, very nice.

    1. Jamie says:

      Here (in Michigan) we have seen many houses with “downstairs” or basement kitchens. They were used for extra prep space and an extra oven on occasion but mostly used as the main kitchen during get togethers and parties. We had a neighbor years ago who used to throw roller skating parties in her little basement.
      This is such a wonderful kitchen I have to wonder what the rest of the house looks like!

      1. Amber says:

        That is fascinating, thank you for the information! I live out in California (the Land of Few Basements) so we simply don’t have any of these that I have ever seen in our old ranchers or farmhouses. I’ve always liked the idea of having a second kitchen for just what you described, but in my mind that always seemed so lavish and expensive! But I guess when your kitchen as a whole was smaller, you’re using laminate instead of stone countertops, and the rest of your house was generally smaller, you could afford to do that. It’s pleasing to know there was a time this actually happened.

  9. Carol says:

    Thanks everyone for all the great feedback!! The house really is amazing; even though it’s been through several owners no one made any truly devastating changes.

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