I launched a new feature on the blog a couple of days ago. Click here to see the new –> Postwar Steel forum where you can buy and sell vintage steel kitchen cabinets.
Take a look, and you will see that it’s entirely focused on vintage steel kitchen cabinets: Buyers, sellers, owners & curious fans alike.
So far, I’ve identified 30+ different brands of steel cabinets from the postwar period.
I am very confident that, over the next several years, the demand for these incredible vintage cabinets will really boom. It’s a pain to find them, haul them, repaint them, reinstall them…yes…but the results are priceless.
I would love it, if readers who already own the cabinets will contribute to the forum. Please feel free to:
- Let me know if you have a brand not listed – I really want to complete this archive listing
- Add photos of your kitchens – photos are super easy to upload
- Add info you have on your cabinets – for example, the cover of a brochure, if you have it
- And, add listings for cabinets you might see in your local craigslist
I am really eager to catalog all the existing brands for all of us to enjoy and share. Thank you!
Look at how PINK this kitchen from 1956 is!
It seems to be a good match for Sherwin Williams’ Flamingo Pink, although I’ve never seen anything quite like it for cabinets, and I find it hard to believe it sold in great numbers.
<—— However, I spotted this other 1956 photo with similar “Rose Red” (as per the brochure) shades – so it clearly was being offered as a decorating choice, and is quite pleasing in other rooms, I think. The wallpaper in the thumbnail (click to enlarge) to the left looks really beautiful.
Hmmmm….I can certainly see this tile as an accent tile in a powder room, where making a huge impression/big splash is always welcome. Or, in a daily bathroom, if your goal is very sweet. BTY pink and peach are great in bathrooms – the mirror reflects the color onto your face, and makes you look younger 🙂
Note: Please see a real tile sample, if this interests you. The scan does not do it justice — it appears much closer to the color of the kitchen cabinets, while the scan shows up duller. It really is quite beautiful. If you click over to the Sherwin Williams paint palette, same story.
Note: Click on photos to enlarge for better color scrutiny!
From all the advertising material that I own, it appears that kitchen cabinetry was mostly white into the early 50s. Until then, ‘white’ still communicated “sanitary” – which was very important. But… we made it through that phase of kitchen concerns, and in the mid-50s, “exuberance” kicked in big time — giving us flamboyantly colored cars — and kitchen cabinets, too. The trend continued well into the 60s, when wood including natural finishes conquered. But that’s another story for another day. I promise.
I’m posting several photos of beautifully colored 50s to early 60s kitchens. A couple of things to note:
- Notice how it’s not the just the colors that are unique — but also the way they are combined. For example, in the blue kitchen above, we get a green-yellow (chartreuse even) sink.
- In addition to the colors I show here, also pick up the print version of the Sherwin-Williams Suburban Modern palette for interiors (also shown thumbnail above). For cabinets I love the: Pinky Beige, Appleblossom, Sunbeam Yellow, Holiday Turquoise and Chartreuse. If you want to repaint your white cabinets — and for trim — use the Porcelain. This is a palette that never stops pleasing and must be a key part of your mid century renovation arsenal! I recommend getting it in print, because my scanner and all our computers can only do so much re: actual color resolution.
- Finally, remember that there are plenty of examples of mix-and-match color schemes. That is, one color on the base cabinets, another usually but not always ‘lighter’ color on the wall cabinets. This was particularly true the later you go, and really, you can see the idea in many kitchens of the period if you count the countertop as a major color element …. lots of contrast … and embrace of color!