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.

Not much to do with the window, either - it didn't get a whole lot of light and it looked out directly onto the neighbor's yard.


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)
Bosch dishwasher
LG Stove
LG microwave

All courtesy of 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 - 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 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.


  1. Someone just sent me a link to this. Very nice remodel! I think you did the right thing all around. Some people slavishly go by the actual time period, without adaptation, which I think is always a wrong move. I can tell you, now working on a second remodel and renting a space with an old stove many would kill for, YOU DON'T WANT ONE OF THOSE STOVES! Not only are they a monster to clean and get full of grease, they heat the room to boiling, and there is no ticking sound if the pilot light goes out. The broiler flame went out and we were being bombarded with gas for days before I finally realized something was up. I categorically HATED THAT STOVE. And, my next comment - just because something was put in during a certain time period doesn't mean it was in good taste, even then. That linoleum (tile?) was fugly. You made the right decision.

    Anyhow, looking forward to seeing other rooms. Great job. And we chose the same Samsung fridge and bosch dishwasher as well. heh heh

    1. @Lindy - this deserves it's own special reply - first off, I am glad to hear I dodged a bullet with that old stove - it never became an issue because it was never in working order and the new stove is great.

      But the refrigerator - how loud is your ice maker? I had read reviews on Amazon and BestBuy of people complaining about how loud the ice maker on the Samsung refrigerator was, and while I'm used to it already, guests are always asking me what "that noise" is. Great refrigerator otherwise.

      I will end by thanking you once again for leaving such thoughtful comments. Having never done this before, I am quite flattered by the attention!