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How to update this mid-century kitchen?
tbhattac
November 17, 2012 in Design Dilemma
This is the original kitchen in my 1965 mid-century home. We purchased the home 2 years ago and have been renovating it slowly ourselves. Our floors are hardwood and the backsplash is the original subway tile and it is in great condition. We found a box of extra tile in the basement and its Villeroy and Boch. The counter is white formica. The cabinets are structurally in excellent shape but there is a little bit of wear around a few of the knobs and some fading from the sun on one side of the island. The fridge is a subzero. The knobs and recessed light figures are all chrome. The pinch pleat curtains were probably replaced in the 80's and they are a really nice linen but I am kind of over the colors and would like something more contemporary. They do, however, open to cover both walls where they are situated.

We want to update the kitchen but stay true to the mid-century aesthetic of the home. What we've done so far: The hood used to be orange but we painted it with stainless steel spray paint and it looks really good. We replaced the kitchen faucet and the old cooktop with a new Bosch one. Other than that, we haven't done anything to the space. We cannot afford to gut it but we would like to update it--budget is about $10K.

Here are my questions.

1. Should we paint the cabinets or try to refinish them? I personally love the idea of gray cabinets but I'm not sure if they would work in my MCM home.
2. Any ideas on countertops?
3. What color for the walls?
4. Should we keep the chrome hardware on the cabinets?
5. Ideas on new window treatments? Should we have curtains or another type? I'm thinking geometric patterns for the fabric. We need light control as our kitchen faces due east.
6. What kind of light fixture should we put over the table?
7. The table is from our old house--any ideas on how to update it or should we get a new one--my dream table is a Saarinen tulip table for this space.

Our style is a warm contemporary. Thanks for your help!
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Dytecture
Here is an example of mid century kitchen with update cabinet fronts, neutral walls, and chrome hardware.


November 17, 2012 at 10:28am     
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Nancy Hehmann
If you do not want to start totally with new cabinets, you can buy new doors. Sometimes you can order them online, or at HD or Lowes or have them custom made. Subway tile seems to be making a resurgence. I would get granite in a white with a veining of some color or white marble to go with it. Granite or marble really creates a wow factor.They will put in an undermount sink. Go to more than one shop b/c there is so many great selections and prices - more than one estimate of course. If you want to replace appliances, try Black Friday. Last yr my husband bought a great refrigerator online from home depot or lowes and then ran to the store to make sure it was what we needed. We got tremendous savings.

Black parsons chairs (leather) make a round table look more modern. I would go to Lowes or Home Depot or any lighting store to see what they have for a new light fixture.
November 17, 2012 at 10:30am   
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tbhattac
wow...thanks! it looks so similar even though mine is 47 years old.
November 17, 2012 at 10:30am     
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tbhattac
Thanks Carolina! I prefer to keep the subway tile and it's a bit unique becuase it is much longer than what you find at home depot/lowes. I was also thinking granite or quartz in white with a gray veining.
November 17, 2012 at 10:35am     
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
What about a taupe color for the cabinetry and then a quartz countertop. Here is the link to Cambria countertops. I like the Bellingham, Brentwood, New Quay or Praa Sands.
http://www.cambriausa.com/our-collection/design-palette/
November 17, 2012 at 3:47pm   
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orangecamera
I love the way your kitchen looks, and wouldn't change anything substantial. With cabinets that old, they probably would look fantastic being refinished but in the same color they are now. Maybe they don't even need that, but just a good professional cleaning and sealing will bring them back to their original splendor. You have the kitchen many of us wish we had, so if you are going to replace the cabinets, please consider making them available to someone else (Craigslist, Freecycle...or ya know, send them to me!)

I would change 3 things. 1) your curtains. There are so many really nice fabrics available. If you can't find readymade curtains you like, a large fabric store in your area will either make curtains or refer you to someone who does. 2) your table and chairs. The Saarinen tulip is perfect. Of course, probably not in your budget, but a good replica will be. 3) Light fixture. I'd go with one very large white organic-shaped orb.
November 17, 2012 at 4:27pm     
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parisgirl1970
Deborahs 'Bellingham' countertop granite is magnificent w/ your subway tiles. The cabinets are really beautiful and painting them --no! Clean and maybe have the cabinets touched up where they're worn or restain them and replace the knobs w those long grab handles. Maybe a softer deeper color for the kitchen, in the same family the counters will be. Maybe Roman shades for the kitchen windows. and a few pops of color in strategic spots around the room. eating area? Table & chairs are cute-but printed curtains look too heavy & like the 60's. Sheers are timeless and softer, diffusing light but able to se out of when closed.
November 17, 2012 at 4:29pm     
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surfor
why would you even consider replacing the refrigerator and cabinet knobs or painting the cabinets? Replace the counter tops with a white quartz or a marble with veining...you might consider painting the walls a mid century color such as a turquoise...a white tulip table and mid century chairs would work - a plain drape/curtain fabric to work with the color of the walls...mid century modern is about minimalism and simple structural design.
November 17, 2012 at 4:36pm     
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tbhattac
thanks everyone for your comments thus far! I'm really beginning to see my kitchen in a new light.

Deborah and Parisgirl1970--I really love that Bellingham countertop so I'm going to check it out. I was thinking of roman shades as well over all of the windows for a cleaner, simple look but I do like the softness of having some kind of drape. We definitely need something we can easily close because the sun is really intense and almost blinding in the mornings through the large window by the table.

orangecamera--do you have any pictures of the lighting fixture you described?
November 17, 2012 at 7:11pm   
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orangecamera
I love this one from allmodern.com It's called Le Klint 172
November 17, 2012 at 7:41pm     
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orangecamera
Okay, let me update that! Le Klint seems to be either the designer or manufacturer. Do a google search and you'll find many styles available.
November 17, 2012 at 7:44pm     
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Keeping the window treatments very simple such as these is nice in a kitchen.

[houzz=
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November 17, 2012 at 7:52pm   
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tbhattac
just wanted to thank everyone for your ideas--they were really helpful!
November 18, 2012 at 7:36pm   
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orangecamera
Just found this article showing where you can get tulip tables at different price ranges. I hope this helps: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/saarinen-tulip-table-1-table-6-sources-176067
November 19, 2012 at 12:38pm     
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Susan Jablon Mosaics
Hi tbhattac!
I just love your kitchen the way it is! Mid century modern is just a fantastic style, and it seems that your kitchen was done right the first time. I do agree that a new table and chairs, window treatments, countertop and wall color would definitely give this kitchen a boost. One of the great things about mid mid century modern is just how fun it can be! I would go with a white countertop, either in granite, quartz or some other natural stone. I would, however, avoid a stone with too much natural striations, however, only because mcm is about very clean lines. Next I would choose a really fun fabric for the windows, to perhaps be made into roman shades or something similar. As for the paint color, I would choose a color that coordinates with the window treatments. It may be too bright for you, but I love this fabric, for the windows, with the light aqua color for the walls. Just an idea!
November 19, 2012 at 1:24pm     
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tbhattac
Thank you Susan! I love the fabric and I agree that it was done very well in 1965. We will definitely be updating the window treatments, light fixture, and countertop to keep within the mid-century aesthetic.
November 23, 2012 at 6:24am   
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Susan Jablon Mosaics
Sounds great tbhattac! I would really love to see pictures when it's all finished!
November 26, 2012 at 8:52am   
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dafianti
Hi,...congrats to have white countertop, because now white is a King at least in Asia, for me, I would like to change your kitchen cabinet or kitchen set also in white, changing your dinning tab
le into a modern dinning table in glossy black color and also change a simple design patern on your curtains but please choose a shocking favorite color of yours to make a statement on that area and more personnal....hope you enjoy it
November 26, 2012 at 9:13am   
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Kim D
Try new hinges that don't show when the door is closed. Paint the cabinets and get new counter tops.
November 26, 2012 at 9:20am     
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rajsqd
I love your kitchen and dining area as it is!
November 26, 2012 at 9:35am     
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tbhattac
We have decided on a few things thus far. We are going to install Corian in Rain Cloud (see attached). I never thought I'd go with Corian but it's stunning. I really like the matte finish and the way it looks like marble. We got a good deal at $56/square foot installed. The other choice we have made is a new light fixture. I really like the look of the picture that dytecture posted (1st one) so we used that as an inspiration and purchased the West Elm Cluster Glass Pendant (see attached) which should look nice with our chrome knobs and ceiling fixtures. I am going to look for fabric in a bold geometric pattern (thanks for the suggestion Susan Jablon Mosaics!) and either make curtains or roman shades for the windows. The fabric will dictate the wall color--hoping to stay in the gray/bluish-gray/greenish-gray category as it goes well with the rest of the house.
November 27, 2012 at 2:20pm     
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tbhattac
Here is the picture of the Corian. One more thing--we have 65 square feet of counter in the kitchen and some of the quartz samples we looked at looked too busy for us considering the large amount of counter space we have and the simple mid-century aesthetic.
November 27, 2012 at 2:21pm     
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dat architecture
I don't know which style are you looking for, but the cabinets look good but a refinish with paint would be good. The second thin is the countertops which i think need an update with granite or stone. Stainless Steel appliances will also bring the kitchen up to date.
November 27, 2012 at 2:23pm   
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gmarcschwab
I too had so many people tell me to go with white marble and I am so sorry I did. It was prof installed and sealed. The first spill of orange juice left a mark as did soda's, pickles, mustard etc.. Had it repolished and sealed and it looked great until another spill occured. If you like the "worn & aged" look you will not have a problem. But if you like clean looking countertops you will hate it!
November 27, 2012 at 2:30pm     
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tbhattac
gmarcschwab--Yes, I knew I would hate the "patina" that marble gains with spills and age. So we are going with Corian. The rain cloud color looks more like marble to me than any of the quartz samples we looked at that are supposed to look like marble.
November 27, 2012 at 2:39pm   
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parisgirl1970
Never- ever would I get marble countertops! Everytime you leave a glass out there's a ring--thats my experience. I have a brown & white patterned granite and I've done eveything but dance on it and it's still perfect. Granite and marble react very differently. Ask your dealer or designer.
November 27, 2012 at 2:42pm   
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movethisnotthat
what is old is NEW again, your kitchen fits right in with styles today, (many oh houzz) I just put white subway tile in my kitchen along with a white quartz counter top.(which I LOVE) replace the knobs with oversized pulls for a sleek look, Add some more pendents like you have already,new dining set, under cabinet lighting, you might be surprised how very little you really need to do for the look you are working toward.
November 27, 2012 at 3:22pm     
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okmrazor
That's a kitchen with great bones. The partial overlay with slab doors looks a bit dated, but otherwise you're looking good.

If it were my place, I'd replace the hardware with concealed inset hings, giving everything a sleek, more up to date feel. You'd have to reduce all the door sizing - and I'd go to a cabinetmaker for this - but it's easily do-able and not too pricey.

I'd also probably update the drawer hardware from original 1950's quality to a Blum or Grass soft close undermount. Which might also mean replacing the drawer boxes. Again, not a huge thing to tackle, and the kitchen will FEEL and operate as a new one should.

Finally, I'd freshen up the hardware and put a top-treatment up to the ceiling (crown, or some sort of stepped flat stock) - the six inch flat up there is a bit off to me.

You've got a great kitchen.
November 27, 2012 at 4:36pm     
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nevadan
Incorporate your extra Villeroy and Bosch tiles into your kitchen counter, surrounging them with other cermic tile or better yet cement counter top. Save the existing cabinets and hardware. Hardware is typical of high-end design from 1950 (Herman Miller).
November 27, 2012 at 5:42pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
You are so lucky to have a top quality kitchen like that. Those tiles will last 100 years or more. Looking forward to the end product.

Have you considered some Danish Modern type chairs to go with the one you have at the desk area? I love those and they are very comfortable and would tie in well with the cabinets.
November 27, 2012 at 6:04pm     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
I would suggest you call in a professional to help with all your decisions.
DO NOT take paint suggestions over the internet, there are simply way too many variables that need to be considered in your home to help online.

My best advice to you would be to start with your countertops. If you want quartz, granite, concrete - whatever you want there will help you decide what colour the cabinets need to be.

I'm not a big fan of painting, even with proper steps you will only get maybe 3 to 5 years more life out of them when painting. It just doesn't last.

Your kitchen really looks to be in excellent shape - why not replace countertops, backsplash, knobs, flooring, light fixture and done! Beautiful new kitchen...
November 27, 2012 at 6:29pm     
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Painting Services By Steve
If the cabinets are in good shape, touch up the stain where needed and just put a fresh clear coat over them. Latex or oil, satin or semi'-gloss, although satin seems to be the "in thing" at the moment. Only paint if you want to change the color or alot of repairs and patching would require them to be painted. A light granite as many have mentioned would be the last thing. If you paint the cabinets you can do any color to your liking on them and that would leave many options on color for the granite counters. We painted a similar kitchen and can be seen on YouTube under Steve Skarritt, kitchen remodel job completed in 8 days.
November 27, 2012 at 6:29pm     
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Tres McKinney Design
Since you want to keep the white subway tile backsplash then I would consider a counter in gray or honed bluestone. The white backsplash and whIte counter with those dark wood cabinets seems a bit stark so I recommend that you check out Fire Clay, Ann Sachs or Walker Zanger for great long subway tiles in stunning colors. Paint the walls a mid range color ie. charcoal gray, sage green, or rust red depending on your color preference and how the paint color relates to adjoining rooms. Paint the trim the same color as the walls for a mid century look. Woven wood roman shades in the same tones as the cabinets would look great. Fabric roman shades in a geometric print is another option. Avoid a slavish, cliche mid century fabric and color scheme, instead update while maintaining a mid century design aesthetic but not a stale reproduction. The scheme should reference mid century but still be up to date and fresh.
November 27, 2012 at 8:25pm     
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Tres McKinney Design
PS - I agree that you need to change the dining furniture. The Saarinen tulip table would be perfect.
All the lighting recommendations made so far could also work beautifully.
November 27, 2012 at 8:29pm   
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joannlxx
The light 'squares' over the kitchen may be able to have the tacky plastic piece removed and replaced with an onyx square of the type you can get for a few bucks at Home Depot. THAT would make for a stunning look!

The dining room fixture might be replaced with something more spiffy.

Largely the issue is everything is so dark. The cabinets don't look bad at all (at least as far as I can tell in the photos) so you might refinish them or might not. New knob hardware may be all you need. If the hinges are good I would not mess with them though I might paint them.

The darkness can be improved by changing the drape colors and getting lighter furniture in the dining room. Also if you take the facing off the fridge and make it stainless it will lighten things up a lot. I think white would be too garish, but brushed steel would probably be OK with the existing cabinet color.

Under cabinet lighting would go a long way towards brightening the kitchen up. Another way to really dramatically improve lighting is to put lights (e. g. single tube fluorescent fixtures laid in their side with the bulb towards the wall, and laid on top of white floor tiles) on top of the cabinets so the ceiling is washed with indirect lighting. You may need a 2 or 3 inch board stained to match the cabinets at the top of them to make sure the tacky looking back of the light fixture on top of the cabinet can not be seen by a person standing in the kitchen or dining room. Depends a lot on the geometry of the room that I can't tell from the pictures. It's easy and cheap to get a fixture and tube and just wire it up to a plug, put it up there, and see how it looks.

If you do this with fluorescents, make SURE to get ones with a really good color rendering index (CRI) and intended for kitchen and bath use. Regular or worse yet 'shop light' tubes will make the people look dead and the food look rotten. Expect 4' tubes to cost about $10 each.

I would suggest a new countertop largely for the purpose of extending the island and counter as much as you can - which might only be a foot or so - because you don't seem to have a lot of countertop area. If you are patient and good at fiddly work you can make really quite nice, flat, seams not at all apparent countertops out of granite tiles you can buy for not too much at 'big box' home improvement stores. There are also larger tiles intended for making counters, you might explore those. You can get some fairly light colored granites. Note that granite is HARD and glass or ceramic things put down on it too hard, or dropped, will break where you practically have to slam them into the much softer formica for that to happen. Also marble needs constant sealing and is easy to damage with vinegar or lemon juice or some salad dressings, and is easy to stain. Granite needs some sealing, may stain depending on exactly what you get, and needs to be cleaned scrupulously all the time to look good. If you are not up for the scrupulous cleaning, don't mind no shine, and still want stone look around for 'noned' or matte finish tiles.

One big advantage of using a synthetic countertop material in the sink area is you can get the drainboard made an integral part of the countertop. A disadvantage is cost, both in the material itself and in that the vendors won't let you DIY.

To extend the counter and island can be as simple as putting crosshatched wine rack material at the ends of the cabinets and extending the countertop another foot or so. In theory you could incorporate a breakfast bar at the end of the island, but with the table right there it seems pointless to do that. Probably better to get the extra space and save it for prep work.
November 28, 2012 at 12:56am     
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Nakpunar Akpunar
I found out Rustoleum has a lot of great kits to update kitchen (And they're very cheap!) My favorite is for the cabinets. There is another kit that you can paint your current countertop and it'll look likes granite. Another thing I like is a spray paint which gives hammered metal look that you can use at your doorknobs. Here is the some links you may like to see it:

This links shows painted cabinets that very close to yours: http://cabinets.rustoleumtransformations.com/testimonial-gallery.php


http://cabinets.rustoleumtransformations.com/
http://rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=208
http://rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=101
http://rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=208
http://rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=350
http://rustoleum.com/
November 28, 2012 at 1:46am     
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Seal Tex Metals
We can skin over your countertops with stainless steel.They have become very popular and very hygenic.Check out our pics.
November 28, 2012 at 5:37am   
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nomadkath
I think you are on the right track tbhattac. Your kitchen is very nice and the new countertop will make a big difference. Choose a new fabric you like, then decide if you want drapes or fabric shades. Find a tulip table nice repro.
November 28, 2012 at 5:59am   
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skmwhite
Your kitchen has such great bones. We did a light exotic granite on our countertop with grain colors tin black and grey and golden to go with the off-white glazed cabinets. I absolutely love the counters. You might do a dove grey on the cabinets with a darker island.(You could also do a black or off white cabinets with a grey glaze.) Personally, I prefer a light kitchen so I am a bit biased. We used a black emerald granite on our island and black knobs on the cabinets. If you do grey on cabinets, your current knobs would work....Why not bring in nature colors including green or a teal blue into your back splash and add some glass accent tiles in a geometric pattern (I'd be careful not to make it too busy) to coordinate with the pattern in the window coverings. You could do a stronger pattern and colors on the chair seats. I would do a valance with straight lines with a simple geometric pattern, above the wide kitchen sink, maybe with a pull down lighter rattan shade for texture underneath.
I like the long curtains at the table doors. Maybe with rings to match your knobs. I would choose glass light medium size over the table with some mottled effect on the frame to coordinate with the window coverings and put it on a dimmer switch. I like our floating luxury vinyl surface on my kitchen floor, very soft compared to former tile to stand on. I would recommend taking your time deciding and try to decide on designs and colors you can live with for a long time. That's why I suggested colors that remind you of the outdoors. Have fun designing, and best of luck.
November 28, 2012 at 6:18am   
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roxyschneider
First thing, I would definitely get rid of those curtains and go with a solid color or a 2 tone. If you happy with the layout of your kitchen, either reface the cabinets or for less money paint or stain them . A nice deep cherry stain would be nice. I remember my kitchen growing up was a very dark wood. I just did cherry in my kitchen and I love it. It looks very classy. I have stainless appliances but chose the darker birdcage style knobs and pulls instead of the stainless/pewter ones and I am glad I did. If you like the more contemporary look with straight lines, I would choose those long straight stainless looking pulls and get rid of the round knobs. Also get rid of those hinges on the cabinets and have the hidden hinges installed. If you can afford to do granite, go for it. I spent about $1800. That was for 43' , including the the sink and installation. I chose a Gel Napoli. But with your white backsplash, you may want something darker. Uba Tuba is nice. It's black with flecks and veins of dark green and other barely visibil colors. Don't use solid black. My friend did in her VERY expensive kitchen and she hates it. If you can't do granite, you can change the laminite on the counter inexpensively and find a laminite that looks like granite. Home Depot and Lowes have some nice choices. Paint color is a personal choice. This is always my hardest decision even though it is the easiest part of a redo. I like bold colors, but never seem to use it. I started with a tan color and changed my mind after the first coat of paint. I chose the Valspar(Lowes) color Bamboo. It is a very light green-yellow. Sort of looks like celery. Hope my suggestions are helpful.
November 28, 2012 at 6:20am   
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roxyschneider
First thing, I would definitely get rid of those curtains and go with a solid color or a 2 tone. If you happy with the layout of your kitchen, either reface the cabinets or for less money paint or stain them . A nice deep cherry stain would be nice. I remember my kitchen growing up was a very dark wood. I just did cherry in my kitchen and I love it. It looks very classy. I have stainless appliances but chose the darker birdcage style knobs and pulls instead of the stainless/pewter ones and I am glad I did. If you like the more contemporary look with straight lines, I would choose those long straight stainless looking pulls and get rid of the round knobs. Also get rid of those hinges on the cabinets and have the hidden hinges installed. If you can afford to do granite, go for it. I spent about $1800. That was for 43' , including the the sink and installation. I chose a Gel Napoli. But with your white backsplash, you may want something darker. Uba Tuba is nice. It's black with flecks and veins of dark green and other barely visibil colors. Don't use solid black. My friend did in her VERY expensive kitchen and she hates it. If you can't do granite, you can change the laminite on the counter inexpensively and find a laminite that looks like granite. Home Depot and Lowes have some nice choices. Paint color is a personal choice. This is always my hardest decision even though it is the easiest part of a redo. I like bold colors, but never seem to use it. I started with a tan color and changed my mind after the first coat of paint. I chose the Valspar(Lowes) color Bamboo. It is a very light green-yellow. Sort of looks like celery. Hope my suggestions are helpful.
November 28, 2012 at 6:20am   
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roxyschneider
First thing, I would definitely get rid of those curtains and go with a solid color or a 2 tone. If you happy with the layout of your kitchen, either reface the cabinets or for less money paint or stain them . A nice deep cherry stain would be nice. I remember my kitchen growing up was a very dark wood. I just did cherry in my kitchen and I love it. It looks very classy. I have stainless appliances but chose the darker birdcage style knobs and pulls instead of the stainless/pewter ones and I am glad I did. If you like the more contemporary look with straight lines, I would choose those long straight stainless looking pulls and get rid of the round knobs. Also get rid of those hinges on the cabinets and have the hidden hinges installed. If you can afford to do granite, go for it. I spent about $1800. That was for 43' , including the the sink and installation. I chose a Gel Napoli. But with your white backsplash, you may want something darker. Uba Tuba is nice. It's black with flecks and veins of dark green and other barely visibil colors. Don't use solid black. My friend did in her VERY expensive kitchen and she hates it. If you can't do granite, you can change the laminite on the counter inexpensively and find a laminite that looks like granite. Home Depot and Lowes have some nice choices. Paint color is a personal choice. This is always my hardest decision even though it is the easiest part of a redo. I like bold colors, but never seem to use it. I started with a tan color and changed my mind after the first coat of paint. I chose the Valspar(Lowes) color Bamboo. It is a very light green-yellow. Sort of looks like celery. Hope my suggestions are helpful.
November 28, 2012 at 6:20am   
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midmodfan
I think your cabinets are beautiful. Mid-mod lovers would kill for a kitchen like that. It is also in a remarkably good shape.
The Corian counters you chose are very nice and true to the era (granite is not). Furniture and fabric need an overhaul, that's right. But please DO NOT PAINT the cabinets. There are already more than enough kitchen remodeling projects gone wrong, style-wise.

Good luck!
November 28, 2012 at 6:32am     
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cherimitchell
I like your cabinets; real wood cabinets are expensive so you're fortunate to have them. I even like the color. However, if you want to update them you can sand and paint the doors any color that you want. I think it is Lowes that has a Martha Stewart painted cabinet in a light olive green color if you want to look at one that has been painted. You can update your countertops with light colored granite. You need better lighting in your kitchen so some led can lights would be great. Change the lighting over the table and take down the curtains in the dining room or change them to a color that blends with the wall color, rather than contrasts with it. Everyone has such great ideas. I'd love to see your finished room.
November 28, 2012 at 6:48am   
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Granite Transformations
Hi tbhattac,

Thanks for sharing. Your cabinetry looks like it's in excellent condition- I'd say consider refacing it. There is no sense in replacing cabinets that are structurally sound, especially if you're planning to stay true to the style. We offer cabinet refacing, and getting that grey that you like would be no problem. You can learn more about what we offer through our services here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/cabinet-refacing-page

I'd replace the hardware to match your faucet (not sure what you chose for the faucet- brushed nickel?) From there, I'd also consider installing recycled glass countertops. We can do this for you also, without demolition! You can learn more about those services here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/products/recycled-glass-countertops/

I really like your subway tiles, they're in good shape and that is a look that's trending right now. How about painting the kitchen a grey as well? I like the attached color from Benjamin Moore.

Lastly, a geometric pattern for the window treatments would work very well. You could find something that's white and grey to tie your color scheme together.

Good luck, and thanks again for sharing!
November 28, 2012 at 6:53am     
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afholt
I love all the suggestions and your decisions so far that say "Keep that mid-century feel". I too have a mid-century house that I am renovating and every renovation is to BRING BACK that mid-century feel that was destroyed by others over the years. Glad you aren't planning to do that. My next reno is to bring my 90's kitchen (in photo) back to mid-century so seeing your original beauty has given me inspiration. Thank you for that. I too would love to see it when you are finished. Exciting.
November 28, 2012 at 7:38am     
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jrwquattro
What strikes me is the space beyond the kitchen. There is the pass through window next to the current fridge (which is so old its not very efficient) that is probably a main family room living space. Then there are louvered doors next to the wall ovens that are probably a dining room.

All I can think is tear down the walls and open it up.

There is great natural light and this could filter into other areas. If there is a dining room on the other side of that wall, I can assume its not used everyday. Taking out that wall will make it an everyday spot and open up the current table area for expansion or softer seating.

We did this to our MCM a few years ago and love it. We live in this area all day long.
November 28, 2012 at 7:58am     
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Seal Tex Metals
We can also replace the front paneling on your sub zero refrigerator to update without spending alot of money.
November 28, 2012 at 8:06am   
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Sixzero6 Design
Gosh, there's so many suggestions above, I hate to pile on. But if you can just ignore all the others and listen to me..... (!)

I happen to have this kitchen. My 1965 slant-roofed ranch really has all it's original bits, including a stainless drop-in range which has "dashboard" controls that look like the interior of a Ford Galaxy 500 of the same year. I have Formica counters that have the pattern of a birch forest from 1000 feet in the air. Took me a while to figure out what that pattern was, but how cool is that?

Still, I'd tear it out in a heartbeat. I know! Sacrilege! It's just that I know I can make it function better and look better. Luckily for you preservationists out there, I can't afford to do everything I want to do. But I spend a LOT of time thinking about it, and over the 8 years I've owned the house, my plans for the room have become more modest, to fit my time and $$ constraints.

So, with that in mind, I think you can get a whole lot of bang for even less then $10K.

The layout of this kitchen is pretty great, and there's a lot already there that works quite well. The white countertops are fine, and laminate, you may have already discovered, works really well. Because you have a lot of counter, replacing it would eat a lot of your budget. So I say: don't. The subway tile, I'm afraid, was probably not an original material. But it's there, and you like it, and changing it would create a mess. Work with what you got.

I actually think the fixture over the table is fine. I think the curtains are great in a lot of ways, but the easiest swap out to change the room is to dump them. I mean, give them to the Goodwill. (I love finding the great old linen curtains in thrift stores from when people had the courage to hang crazy patterns on their windows.) Those windows are great, so I don't know why you'd want to cover them at all, unless the sun is too much. If there are privacy issues, plant a screen outside, somewhere between you and them. Roll-down solar shades soften the glare, protect your furniture, and provide an instant modern feel.

My big gesture would be to swap only the upper cabinets for Ikea, using the white glass "Rubrik" door. The one they just discontinued is the best one, because it was solid opaque white glass. The new one has a white edge with a frosted center, but it's good, too. On the oven side, use four horizontal cabinets; and use 30" high vertically oriented cabinets on either side of the fridge. These should top out AWAY from the ceiling. This will give the impression of a higher ceiling and allow light to move around more freely. The lower cabinets, and the fridge and oven "towers" need to be stripped and refinished. Not painted. Do some experimenting to see what color you want the wood to be. Just taking off the old gummy finish will do a lot to make you feel you have new cabinetry.

The other huge thing is to swap those ceiling fixtures for recessed cans. I know these square fixtures, and they are awful. You can't squeeze enough light out of them! I also know they have a huge housing in the ceiling, so when you remove them, you'll have big holes to patch. So what I'm suggesting in the removal of the upper cabinets and the lights is that you'll be needing a good drywall guy or gal to patch it up. That may be your biggest expense. Use the 4" Halo or Juno line-voltage renovation housings with white baffle trim from the big box stores. You need a bunch of them, and these are the best value. Use a par-halogen flood for best light, until LED floods become better and more affordable. Do not use fluorescents!!!! They make you, me, and your kitchen ugly. (Don't get me wrong. They have their place.)

I'd estimate that's about $4K in materials, including the solar shades. The cabinet refinishing is the wild card because it's all labor, so consider doing it yourself if you're into that kind of thing.

Here's a pic of my kitchen.... Dreaming of demolition......

Jeff
November 28, 2012 at 8:07am     
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Sixzero6 Design
To clarify, the four horizontal cabinets I'm suggesting would be two high, two wide. So overall, about 62 wide by 30-1/2 high.
November 28, 2012 at 8:12am     
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bygeorgi
Fantastic kitchen! I would add value to your home with by replacing the counter tops with a white sparkly quartz and some under mount cabinet lighting. New hardware, handles instead of knobs . Your idea of painting the cabinets is great but maybe just paint the island cabinets a color, and a lighter version of the same shade for the walls, this could really be pretty , greys for a more chic feeling, or maybe a teal to a pale aqua for a more fun update. It just depends on your personal style.The classic white tulip table would look nice with a contrasting chair either color or style, don't make everything mid-century, contrast will play up what is already there. Then play with vintage accessories, shop etsy think chrome, fireking etc. Don't be afraid of pattern curtains a geometric would warm up and soften the mass amount of hard surfaces and solids and you repeat the color in your accessories. they grey/yellow seating area I'm attaching is a good example.
November 28, 2012 at 8:30am     
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bygeorgi
Just had to add more photos to inspire you.......there's more than one way to do mid-century.
November 28, 2012 at 8:39am     
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lessismoore
I like the idea of removing hardware and hiding hinges -- very "sleek" for MCM. What are countertops now? What about the "cardiff cream" in the Cambria - http://www.cambriausa.com/en/our-collection/design-palette/Cardiff-Cream/
brings in a bit of gray and the subtle pattern feels "authentic" to that style.
I'm not a MCM fan ... but think your kitchen is pretty great and love that you want to work with it, instead of against it.
I could see a chartreuse green paint for the walls, and window coverings and chair upholstery with some chartreuse and gray, taupe to carry that into the dining area.
Your dining set is more the issue in keeping the "feel" - What about a wood table chair set, rather than the classic white tulip? More danish modern.
November 28, 2012 at 9:01am     
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gjcar
Your cabinets appear to be in excellent condition. Clean with Murphy's Oil Soap and then condition with lemon oil. To keep the cost and labor down you must stick with the same handle/knob.But there are so many beautiful choices that are current. Simply updating will do wonders. There are many opinions regarding solid surface countertops. Marble,while dramatic is an unpractical choice due to it's propensity to scratch, chip and stain. There is no sealer in the world to prevent the latter. Granite or other fabricated stone is the best choice. Without knowing the dimensions and attractive shape on the end of the island facing the seating area is a good way to add panache to the space. A undermount sink will bring your countertops the most attention. You might want to add a stacked moulding at the top of the cabinet. Your refrigerator seems to belong! Hopefully it will hold up mechanically for many years to come. While the actual backsplash area is not that large, a full solid surface backsplash would add drama, If glass tiles appeal to you, think of not only doing that area, but then totally surround the window as well. It will serve as yet another focal point in the kitchen. In doing this you will eliminate the need for a window treatment around the sink. Whatever your backsplash decision, be sure to carry it over to the other side of the room. Removing the louvred shutters will make your backsplash stand out-another focal point
As for the windows near the table, a heavy antique bronze rod with some sort of neutral panel framing each window would soften the linear appearance. Also, a large hem 12inches), a different fabric on the bottom or an accent border running vertically coud complete a budget conscious make over.
November 28, 2012 at 9:12am   
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rogerday
Suggest you:
1) "sketch" what you've already selected
2) allocate funds already "spent"....
3) the decisions you've made already will "drive" a budget comstraint which must be consistent with your "comfort zone", thusly I'd suggest that the "knobbage" for the cabinetry (can) be a major element and need consideration early as it can describe the entire ethos of your proposal
Good luck!!!
November 28, 2012 at 9:36am   
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jo_mcvicker
I love your kitchen as an original. I would keep it as original as possible. I would change the table and chairs, add color to the windows with shades, flat roman to keep the lines simple. Change out the lighting but not with the expected by matching the same era. I would go modern with the same simple lines but a little bling. Ceasar stone or Corian will be durable and last a long time and keep to the style and mood of your kitchen. Soft redo of the cabinets finish and new hardware. Redo the island with seating but don't lose the simple clean line. I would die to have your kitchen.
November 28, 2012 at 2:26pm   
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khonk
Don't need to change a thing , it's a beautiful mid century kitchen. Add window treatments and paint the walls for color. If it were mine I'd do the counters in laminate in keeping with the era. Check out Retrorenovation.com there are lots of great ideas for mid century kitchens there.
November 28, 2012 at 3:00pm   
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bdennison
I would keep the cabs and update the appliances and hood
November 28, 2012 at 3:34pm   
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ullila
I wouldn't change anything. Your kitchen is a beauty. The island and the vent hood seem heavy. Maybe redesign that to look less dominant in the kitchen.
November 28, 2012 at 4:05pm   
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kailuamom
I don't have great suggestions for you, as I'm in process of the same thing.... But it does look to me like it was freshened up when the new appliances were added. See my 1961 originals....
November 28, 2012 at 4:43pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:12pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:12pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:12pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:12pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:13pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:13pm   
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Kirsten Cutshall
White appliances would go a long long way, and the trend in kitchens is white anyway
November 28, 2012 at 5:13pm   
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Susan Booker
First I agree loose the drapes and go with a simple roman shade with a light geometric drape.

Second call a cabinet professional and explore refinishing your cabinets in a lighter wood tone. Over the yrs. cabinets darken especially when people smoked like chimneys in the house. I like your choice for the counter tops and love the back splash. When I moved out of my mcm home 3 yrs. ago the new owner refinished the cabinets and I was so surprised by the result. The kitchen was large with a large island and the cost was so low compared to what new cabinets would have cost. Add new hardware and hinges to upgrade. It cost me more to replace the cabinets in my "new" mc home with a much smaller kitchen than it did for them to have the others professionally refinished.

Third replace the lights!! I bet the kitchen is really dark at night. I would go with recessed halogen lights for the brightness. I would also install under counter lights to task areas. They are not hard to do and there are new ceiling fixtures with baffles to hide where the lights had been.

I would go with white appliances because I like them better than stainless steal which shows smudges and finger prints so bad. You should be able to replace the front of your refrig for not that much either or ask the cabinet man about refinishing it. But there again I would change it to white just for the clean appearance and to help brighten up the kitchen which seems so dark.

I like your table but agree if you want to go really mcm you need a tulip with a glass top and chairs that look like they came out of the Jetsons home. Go to Overstock.com and look at what they have.

Can't wait to see what you choose to do!
November 28, 2012 at 7:59pm   
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reginacpa
I have a mid century modern and refaced the cabinet doors and painted them. It really did wonders for the kitchen and cost effectively.
November 29, 2012 at 5:55am     
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Jayme H.
I would paint the cabinets, put on new hardware and trim the cabinets on top and bottom with nice trim. New counters definately color dependent upon color of cabinets. New light fixtures for sure/over table need a much lower hanging one. Pale grey walls throughout would look nice. Possibly paint the island a contrasting color of the cabinets and/or wrap it with something different like painted planking/or something with a different texture.
November 29, 2012 at 7:02am   
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bookwench
I agree with the posters who say that if you really want to keep the mid-century modern feel, then please do NOT paint the cabinetry. Natural wood was prevalent back in the day (reference: wood paneling and all those lovely Eames lounge chairs). However, if you want to veer to a more contemporary modern, then paint away. Updating the hardware is a not-too expensive way to freshen the room. Solid-surface or quartz is the way to go for the countertop. You'll get a much more consistent patterning (if you choose pattern). And definitely out with the heavy curtains – in with shades.
November 29, 2012 at 8:44am   
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lessismoore
Sixzero6 Design - Jeff! How'd you end up with my mother's (former) kitchen? She even had a version of that dining area lamp and we still have the hardware on the cabinets :-)
November 29, 2012 at 8:50am   
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Weatherwell Elite - Aluminum Shutters
I love this kitchen, it has so much potential. I have attached two different kitchens that use uber cool aluminium shutters. (of course I am biased!) The blue may not fit into the warm contemporary, but I thought I would throw it in there.

I have some ideas for your questions below.

1. Should we paint the cabinets or try to refinish them? I personally love the idea of gray cabinets but I'm not sure if they would work in my MCM home. - I THINK GREY GLOSS WOULD LOOK AMAZING
2. Any ideas on countertops? - DARK CHARCOAL? OR TO SAVE MONEY KEEP YOUR WHITE FORMICA
3. What color for the walls? - SOFT WHITE
4. Should we keep the chrome hardware on the cabinets? - YES I WOULD
5. Ideas on new window treatments? Should we have curtains or another type? I'm thinking geometric patterns for the fabric. We need light control as our kitchen faces due east. - ALUMINUM SHUTTERS, TOTALLY COOL
6. What kind of light fixture should we put over the table? -SOMETHING BIG BOLD AND ROUND
7. The table is from our old house--any ideas on how to update it or should we get a new one--my dream table is a Saarinen tulip table for this space. -CHARCOAL PAINT WOULD BE A GREAT CHEAP AND CHIC, OR AS IT IS, IS NICE AND WARM AGAINST POTENTIAL WHITES AND GREYS AND CHARCOALS.

Hope you like my ideas. Good Luck!

Cheers,
Dena
November 29, 2012 at 9:03am   
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mistie75007
You have good bones in your kitchen and I would leave them alone. In my kitchen we "scratched up" the cabinet doors and then put a darker stain on them that looked very rich and changed the cabinets to look like they had some depth. Offset that with your brite white subway tile and it will look like a million bucks and not cost you an arm and a leg. I got great pulls online that were dirt cheap (I shopped around once I found something I liked) and will entirely change the look of your cabinets. Like everyone else, I think solid curtains would look better or maybe waffle blinds that are light and airy and can be opened most of the time and closed at night.
November 29, 2012 at 12:46pm   
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mistie75007
You have good bones in your kitchen and I would leave them alone. In my kitchen we "scratched up" the cabinet doors with good old fashioned rough sandpaper, and then put a darker stain on them that looked very rich and changed the cabinets to look like they had some depth. Offset that with your brite white subway tile and it will look like a million bucks and not cost you an arm and a leg. I got great pulls online that were dirt cheap (I shopped around once I found something I liked) and will entirely change the look of your cabinets. Like everyone else, I think solid curtains would look better or maybe waffle blinds that are light and airy and can be opened most of the time and closed at night.
November 29, 2012 at 12:47pm   
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rodontologa
muebles con color madera y mesada blanca en y terminacion recta del marmol que es el material sileston
November 29, 2012 at 4:27pm   
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rodontologa
muebles con color madera y mesada blanca en y terminacion recta del marmol que es el material sileston
November 29, 2012 at 4:27pm   
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Eileen Kenah- Baird and Warner Real Estate
I love the corian and the light fixtures. I would reface the cabinets so the hinges are hidden and replace the oven which will make a hugf difference. Roman shades would be a great option as well.
November 29, 2012 at 7:45pm   
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georgia
oh, wow. i wish i had time to read all these comments, because the house we are in the process of buying {and hopefully will get} is also mid-century modern with a very similar kitchen {not as nice, though}. our cabinets are similar, but the doors are flush with the cabinets, so you can not see where the door is raised from the cabinet. in other words, all you see is doors... no cabinet. ours are a similar color, but with a grain i do not like, and i think the they are laminate. i would love to re-laminate them with something with a sort of high-laquer look in a pretty orange or a soft avocado green. the backsplash in the kitchen is a really ugly orangish-brown tile that i want to replace with subway tile.

you are lucky to have original tile, and i would totally keep it! i would also keep those beautiful counter tops. i think you could do some really effective things by simply updating the hardware on the cabinets, possibly painting them, changing out the curtain pattern to a chunkier m.c.m. pattern, replacing the table and chair with some m.c.m. furniture and putting in a new light fixture. even the fixture you have now would work, but if you are going to spend the $10K, then i would go for something really unique... a statement piece for lighting.

it's really such a great space as is! that fridge rocks!!!

my only other suggestion is something along the lines of a vintage style new oven and range top from a company like big chill or north star or smug.
here is a wall unit oven from big chill that i would love to get for our kitchen if we get this house... http://bigchillfridge.com/products-page/stoves-hoods/wall-oven/

what a great kitchen you have. i think no matter what you do with it, it's going to turn out quite nice.
November 30, 2012 at 3:56pm     
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georgia
by the way... here is my idea book on houzz for mid-century modern kitchens...



if you type in "mid-century modern" in the search field on houzz, you'll come up with thousands of photos of beautiful m.c.m. homes and kitchens for inspiration and ideas.
November 30, 2012 at 4:02pm     
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Painting Services By Steve
Hello georgia, just so you know, laminate cabinets like you're talking about can be painted. XIM oil base bonding sealer MUST be used but any paint can be applied after that (we use Sherwin-Williams Pro Classic oil base). We've painted my laminate cabinets but most people are ready for the expense of re-laminate without even knowing this.
November 30, 2012 at 5:50pm   
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georgia
thanks, steve!
November 30, 2012 at 7:19pm   
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tbhattac
wow...thank you everyone for your suggestions and ideas. I'm totally overwhelmed by the response and interest in our ktichen! Our MCM was architect designed and custom built--the owners really did things right in 1965 which is probably why nothing had been changed! It really is a gem. But it's been 47 years so it's time for a few updates.

Our ceiling light fixtures (not the one over the dining table) are glass and chrome (not tacky plastic) as someone had thought, but they give off very little light--I will investigate replacing them but really only for that reason. They are very true to the period.

JRWQUATTRO--our space beyond the pass through is the family room. If we had the funds, I would DEFINITELY take out this wall as you have done. Your renovation looks beautiful! I think what we do now will be a 10-15 year plan and then perhaps later, we will take out the wall and gut the kitchen.

SIXZERO6 design--love your ideas and you know what I'm talking about with the lights! You're so right about the formica--it wears great! A little soft scrub with bleach and it looks like new. I think we will keep the cabinetry but look into refinishing it. The doors actually have matched grains and it looks like it might be walnut.

LESSISMORE--the greens would work very well in our home. Danish Modern is definitely a look that I like. GEORGIA--thanks for the link to your ideabook. I had no idea that Big Chill made wall ovens!

Our kitchen sink faces due east so morning light is not an issue--it actually gets too sunny in there! It's nighttime lighting that is the issue so I'll investigate adding undercabinet lighting.

light control in the area around the table is an issue as it faces due east, it can get very hot there in the summer. I will investigate modern types of sun shades. I love the look of roman shades but our ceilings are only 7 1/2 feet in the kitchen so I was thinking drapes would make it look taller.

BTW..our home is in Rochester, NY. There aren't a lot of MCM homes here and a lot of professionals aren't familiar with the MCM aesthetic. I'm trying to learn as much as I can myself so my choices are correct for the home. I've attached a picture of our great room (on the other side of the wall ovens) so you can see a room that's nearly finished. The third picture is our entry.
December 1, 2012 at 5:43am     
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tbhattac
Regarding the Louvered doors on the kitchen entrances and the pass through--I will definitely take them off at some point. But right now, my 10 year old daughter loves to play "restaurant", which means that she likes to shut off the kitchen while she plays. So the doors are staying until she's done playing "restaurant" :-)
December 1, 2012 at 5:46am   
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okmrazor
Wow. Love those last shots. Your house is better than imagined from the first pics.

If refinishing the casework and doors - which is great, particularly if you've got grain matching - instead of hiring a "house painter" call your local custom cabinet shops and find out who they outsource their cabinet finishing to. I respect both trades, but there is a big difference between them, and a cabinet finisher will have better suppliers, color-matching, and equipment to make those look flawless.
December 1, 2012 at 5:56am     
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notadumbblond
In Toronto, where I live, we have tons of MCM homes. I have renovated 6 MCH so far.

First of all, in that era kitchens were custom, so the doors and drawers won't likely be replaced in any big box store. Also, since the kitchens were built on site, they did not use boxes, so it is not possible to just replace one component. You would destroy the integrity of the cabinetry.

If you want to upgrade the functionality, you could put pull out shelves behind the cupboards.
December 1, 2012 at 6:13am   
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tbhattac
yes--our cabinets are custom and were built on site. No boxes. Pull out shelves would help the functionality a lot.
December 1, 2012 at 6:23am   
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apple_pie_order
Wood pull out shelves are a pleasure to use. If the drawer boxes are not pulling out smoothly, the wood runners can be treated to a bit of candle wax to reduce friction (I'm assuming they don't have metal drawer glides). The wood cabinets are beautifully grained. If the finish is gummy around the knobs, then professional refinishing is the right tactic.

I know those glass and chrome recessed lights. You might open them up, give the glass a good cleaning and see if you can use brighter bulbs, perhaps directional (such as floodlights). Undercabinet lights can brighten up a room, too, without adding any competing styles to what you already have. If you do change the recessed lights, there are many simple styles which could work well. Flipping through some old 1950's-1960's Architectural Digests in the library might show other period options (though kitchens weren't featured much in those days) such as the classic hanging spheres (1970's, but close) that provide better overall illumination.

I love the light fixture you chose for the breakfast area. Once you get it installed, take down the drapes to get a good look at the space. If you can get the Saarinen tulip table, that'd be perfect. It was made in several finishes, including a walnut top, but I like the white version for its grace and style.

Your house is truly lovely. It's a great design and looks like it has moved into this century with minimal need for redesign.
December 1, 2012 at 7:46am     
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apple_pie_order
By the way, if the door finish is only gummy right around the knobs, you could add a chrome backplate (I see them on your front doors' knobs) to cover up the gummy parts: http://hardware.myknobs.com/?style=kbackplate&color=Chrome

Then you could spend major bucks on the Saarinen table.
December 1, 2012 at 8:02am   
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georgia
you home is stunning! it's very much along the lines of our dream home! we always used to say {and still do} that we would love to live in the house that is on the set of the brady bunch. =)

cheesy show... but awesome house! we love the double front doors. you have a gem of a house there... should be in a magazine!
December 1, 2012 at 8:52am     
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J. Tight Interiors
I agree with the comments from Orangecamera. This kitchen is in fantastic shape, and has an aesthetic that others might spend a lot of money to achieve. I would use the money you save by not touching the kitchen on new dining furniture that embodies mid-century modern design. Lumens.com is a great source for mid-century light fixtures to really define the dining space. If the architecture of the house is truly mid-century, low-profile shades would be cleaner, and more in line with the period.
December 1, 2012 at 9:53am     
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amykn
I suggest painting the cabinets as I think it would brighten up the room. They look to be in good shape and you have a good layout. We were going to rip out the cabinets of our 1960s kitchen but decided to paint them first and we love it. We saved thousands of dollars and were able to use the money we saved on appliances, etc.
December 6, 2012 at 7:25am   
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panzyzz
I'd give anything to have those cabinets, so have to say I wouldn't paint them. Leave the hardware too, it goes with the sink. I would use recycled glass countertops, some of them have a midcentury feel. Definitely update that table and the Saarinen is a great idea. I love the geometric curtain idea too. Check on eBay or Etsy for a period light. I'm thinking a mushroom shape white light, or better yet one that is a pull down. Thats what I did and love it. Good luck!
March 2, 2013 at 9:21pm     
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bookwench
Don't paint the cabinets. You would ruin the MCM aesthetic! You have a lovely MCM house and white cabinets would turn it country. I put in Silestone Stellar Snow in the newly remodeled kitchen of my 1967 house along with slab-door cherry cabinetry to maintain the MCM aesthetic. I love quartz as it's tough with consistent pattern (or lack thereof) throughout. Although I've never liked green, I went with a seafoam glass/stone mosaic backsplash with seafoam grout. My paint color is "Refined" (subtly green-ish) by Benjamin Moore. My house originally had celadon-colored tile counters (and avocado green entry floor), and it kept begging me to go with green. Sometimes your home will tell you what it wants to be. Also, your lighting choice would look awesome above a Tulip table. If the Tulip is out of reach, a chrome base round glass table would look great too. These are not direct suggestions (except for not painting the cabinets), but nuggets of experience for you to chew on if you wish.
March 4, 2013 at 11:09am     
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Sue So
Love love love your home! It's authentic MCM! Think the Corian was a great choice. It's gorgeous AND practical. Can set the stuff on fire and buff it out - genius. Agreed on keeping the tile and cabinets. How much is left in the budget?

Saarinen would be perfect here, although I didn't realize that marble might have a staining problem so maybe the R&B inspired mdf top - the matte finish won't cause the new light fixture to mirror off the table and blind you. (R&B would be a good bet for quality and warranty repair/replacement for the same look, with more top choices). Or, if your space could support it, how about an oval one for more seating? You'd need to move the fixture and find a good quality replica due to cost. I have a 54" round glass chrome tulip by Calligaris (Planet?) - only problem is scratches due to kiddos. Otherwise, great choice for $900 if you don't mind frequent dusting. Ours has many little kiddie toeprints on the base :)

I would just play with the hardware - buy a couple examples, photoshop them on all the cabinets.
March 4, 2013 at 11:55am     
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Sue So
Duh, just saw your photo with the large dining table, so you don't need more seating.

For the commenters: I think the original poster already decided on Corian and the light fixture.

If you can get away with a small table, how about the Ikea Docksta 42" tulip for $199, or CB2 for same cost? R&B all white in 48" is $700. No worries about the wear and tear and can have lots of fun with inexpensive chairs. So many fun replicas of the modern classics these days! (Maybe long skinny "menu" board on the wall behind the table for the restauranteur?)
March 4, 2013 at 12:15pm     
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Anina Lavina
I love your kitchen, and would not change it! It has charm and character and warmth. Plenty of storage...
I would be much happier with this kitchen, than a "run of the mill" mass produced nondescript "modern" kitchen. (and I am a kitchen designer!) ;-)
March 4, 2013 at 12:15pm     
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tbhattac
Thank you for posting your ideas and your comments about our kitchen! Here's what we've done in the past few months (new "after" pics attached)-sorry about the quality--they were taken a few minutes ago and it's night time.

1. Installed Corian Counters (Rain Cloud). This included the installation of a new under mount sink. We love both the Corian and the new, deeper stainless steel sink.

2. Installed the West Elm Chandelier

3. Stripped all of the wallpaper (horrible as they were glued directly to the plaster) and painted (BM Revere Pewter). Also painted the ceiling.

4. Purchased a Charlie Harper print, had it framed, and hung between the windows

5. Purchased a new runner.

6. Removed the drapes

Here's what we have left to do:

1. replace dining set (Sue So--your set is beautiful! I think we will stay clear of the glass as it would never stay as clean as I would like. The table we have there is 48" and it fits but barely, 42" would be more comfortable but we're not sure if it would be too small. I love R&B but there isn't any near us so shipping is a consideration. Funny, I was just checking out the tables at R&B last week when I happened to be in Chicago on business.) Also thinking of doing something really fun with the chairs--maybe green or orange?

2. replace wall ovens/microwave (will likely delay this for a year or two or until they stop working)

3. Order new window treatments (we need light control in the summer)--leaning towards some type of shade as I'm loving the really clean aesthetic.

Bookwench--your kitchen sounds lovely, too!
March 4, 2013 at 5:36pm     
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tbhattac
And here are a few more pictures that I took during the day before we painted. You can see the sink and the Corian pattern a little better.
March 4, 2013 at 5:48pm     
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Sue So
OMG adore adore adore! The new countertops are fabulous and what a great price you paid! I remeasured my table it realized it's 47.5" - so 42" would probably work lovely in your space if you only need 4 chairs - better than mine in fact b/c 48 is too big for 4. Plus, both CB2 and Ikea (both tables are $199) do online orders. I vote for orange chairs but CB2 does both orange and green. There are many inexpensive MCM alternatives if you don't want to pay DWR prices. If I could do it all over again, I would forego on the Lange chairs and do four different colors or do copy a mismatched set like this Eclectic Dining Chairs And Benches design by Other Metro The Future Perfect
But I'm very jealous - my tract home can't really carry full on MCM so enjoy!
March 4, 2013 at 5:58pm   
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kathy
Beautiful kitchen. And I'm homesick.
It's the big windows that I love so much - never thought my mom's kitchen was so big - about 10 * 14' - but she had big windows just like yours. All my more modern homes have had such piddly small windows!

Enjoy your new-for-you space!
March 4, 2013 at 6:10pm   
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tbhattac
thank you everyone for your lovely comments! I'm so happy I didn't paint the cabinets.
March 5, 2013 at 3:22pm     
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PRO
Residential Design + Color, LLC
Take a peek at my $5K kitchen and that should help. IKEA has great value for low-end kitchen supplies but don't use their base cabinet door - go for one upgrade in the finish.
January 20, 2014 at 2:55am      Thanked by tbhattac
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PRO
Residential Design + Color, LLC
PS - Take out the soffits!
January 20, 2014 at 2:56am      Thanked by tbhattac
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nevska
Stunning kitchen!
January 20, 2014 at 3:14am        Thanked by tbhattac
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PRO
Robert
Wow!!! you got a beautiful kitchen out there,I love the way it is.But maybe u are looking for a change.I would suggest that you keep the main plan intact with a minor changes here and there.Try and add a little color to the kitchen in the form of colorful drapes or maybe even nice flowerpots.This should do the trick.
January 20, 2014 at 3:38am        Thanked by tbhattac
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sondramartina
This was almost a year ago so I believe they already updated many things. I love what they have done so far.
January 20, 2014 at 4:37am      Thanked by tbhattac
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tbhattac
Here are pictures of how my kitchen looks today. We love it. We didn't update the ovens yet because they still work great. We also never added window treatments. Love the windows wide open as they are but I may do a solar shade when summer comes around to cut down on sun (the big windows at the kitchen table and the one above the sink face due east.)
January 20, 2014 at 5:50pm     
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Sally Jones
Love the cabinets. I would treat the wood and polish but nothing else. There are great mid mod fabrics at TonicLiving.com. For design inspiration, check out Kim Lau. Her fabric choices are great.
January 20, 2014 at 7:23pm      Thanked by tbhattac
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saratogaswizzlestick
I am so glad you appreciate the gem that you have. Your house and kitchen are stunning, just beautiful.
January 20, 2014 at 7:34pm      Thanked by tbhattac
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abbyjean
GREAT room! I would love a window like that over my sink. Great plan for this space!
January 20, 2014 at 8:13pm      Thanked by tbhattac
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Brooke
I haven't had a chance to was all the comments so this may be a repeat but do not get granite for your countertops. Stick with a quartz or some other solid surface material without too much pattern. Granite wasn't used in MCM homes so it'll look out of place
January 20, 2014 at 8:21pm        Thanked by tbhattac
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Brooke
lol just realized I'm over a year late ;)
January 20, 2014 at 8:24pm   
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ChickieD
I love your remodel.

I see so many people here on Houzz with beautiful wood that has not been cared for over the years. Lemon oil, paste wax, and Old English Scratch and Cover all work beautifully to add moisture and gloss back into wood. Scratch and Cover will cover lots of little dings that take the luster out of wood.

If you have pretty wood that looks dry, invest in a little elbow grease before you think about refinishing.
January 21, 2014 at 9:02am      Thanked by tbhattac
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tbhattac
Yes, we used orange oil and some Old English on the cabinets and it worked beautifully.
January 21, 2014 at 9:03am     
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