The kitchen was the best preserved, though ultimately the least useful, part of the house.
The stove in the photo above was an old 36" Anderson stove. A little googling revealed that it must have been original to the house, as Anderson stoves went out of production in 1953.
Alas, it did not work (as in it would not light), and the sellers decided to dispose of it before I could stop them.
The floor tiles were very period, but I had a feeling that it would take about two months until " wow - these old tiles are so f'ing cool looking" would turn into "ugh - these old tiles are so f'ing ugly"
Ditto the bright pink countertop. The color was funky, the laminate in good shape, albeit a little nicked and scratched in places with dirt caked in around the metal trim, but it did not extend out far enough to add in a dishwasher.
And there was no way that I was going to live without a dishwasher.
Further shortening the pink countertop's life span: the cost of replacing the beat up farmhouse sink below, which is much larger than any sink you'd see today and took up way too much of the limited counterspace.
The door on the left effectively sealed off the den from the kitchen
The cabinets were in good shape. They just needed some touch up.
I had briefly considered keeping the green paint with shellac finish (I have a bench I made in camp when I was 9 that has the same finish) and the cabinets had the same exact faux mediterranean wrought iron handles my parents had in the apartment I grew up in.
There was also a noisy and rusty cord-operated ventilation unit.
Changes were mostly cosmetic: The cabinets got painted Icing on the Cake (light blue) and West Coast blue (the darker one) Benjamin Moore colors that are carried out throughout the house. (I admittedly got the idea for two-tone from Mad Men and the Draper's kitchen.)
I removed the door here and brought it into the garage, in case I have a guest staying in the den, but it's nice to have that room open to the kitchen.
The new blue Ceasarstone countertop matches the blue cabinets (and you can cut things on it) while the new Elkay sink (with In-Sinkerator garbage disposal, Grohe faucet/hardware) gave me back a bunch of cabinet space.
New stainless steel appliances all around:
Samsung refrigerator (French door, freezer on bottom, lots of room)
All courtesy of BestBuy.com and a careful reading of their user comments section
Nespresso coffeemaker via Amazon
Waring blender is a period-appropriate hand-me-down (I believe it had been one of my parents wedding presents in 1958. I've had it since college - it still works.)
Marimekko Kipness curtains
faux vintage red clock from Target
real vintage George Nelson/Noguchi ball clock from Smithsonian store
Floor is a wood laminate put down by Carpets by Jeffrey (they also sanded and stained the rest of the floors in the house - that made a huge difference.)
Paint job by A Brush Above.
Cabinet hardware from hardwaresource.com - some big chunky industrial looking handles from Emtec and matching hinges
Old school diner table and chairs found by googling "50s diner tables and chairs" this was from the appropriately named BarStoolsandChairs.com. It's made new to vintage specs, but the look is exactly what I was hoping for.
So while the kitchen retains its very 1950s look, it does so without sacrificing modern amenities or usability.