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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

1950s kitchen with built in booth needs TLC

cmondraNovember 28, 2012
Hello, we just bought this house and my husband and I love the 1950s charm of the interiors. I know we have to take off the wallpaper and I am drooling over samples of Marmoleum for the flooring. Our dilemma is we want to switch out the electric range for gas. The counter on that side is the most damaged too. Do we just fix the counters and try to save the cabinets? Suggestions for light fixtures would be greatly appreciated too.
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I would try to save the cabinets. Those ceiling lights have gotta go! I'd install can lights in the ceiling and retro sputnick chandy over the table. How about something like this? It's a love or hate chandy tho. : )

Birdhouse Design · More Info
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:06PM
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HI -- If your going to change to gas then that whole section should be changed . You will want to center the range and redo the upper cabinets to allow for a vent hood. You could try to save the cabinets , but you might have to have them rebuilt. As for the counter top then they could be stainless steel or a stone or quartz. I would also remove the backsplash for a tile (safer).You could paint the faux brick for a cleaner look .
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Thank you Darzy. I love the sputnik lights, great suggestion. Also appreciate the idea to use can lights, I can't stand the flourescent.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:29PM
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You're welcome. Glad you like the suggestion. It's a classic!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Try to reuse the cabinets if they are in good working order. Yes to updating the lighting. I would get rid of the brick. Love the banquette and the table. Glad to hear you are looking at Marmoleum for the flooring.

Good luck with your new home.
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:08PM
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Look at the current threads and past threads on mid-century and time-capsule kitchens for lots of good ideas. Retro renovation is also a good source.
    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:51AM
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I'm curious about the wall with the oven and what looks like a dishwasher under it. That's an unusual arrangement. Once you chip off the brick facade, you may find additional cabinet space. Of course, looking at the wall behind the oven from the other side will tell you a lot about the construction there.

I agree about trying to keep the original cabinetry and perhaps reworking the area around the cooktop. If you want a bigger fridge on that wall, it'd be good to plan out measurements in advance. An option would be to get a full gas range, perhaps a large 1950's style reproduction, as a centerpiece. Space for setting down a hot pan next to the cooktop or stove is convenient.
    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:40AM
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You can get the real deal old stoves too--try Craig's List and Ebay and the web. There are specialists who recondition old gas stoves. The Elmira 50's one is too diner for this I think, and a modern one in white probably would be fine.

I have a grey kind of retro looking fridge and like that as an alternative to stainless. There are some new kitchen suites in that color--easier care and less shiny.

If you go to Retrorenovation.com you will see that they still make Marble formica just like what you have on the bankette. Maybe a dose of color would help as well. Like the turqoise and orange in the pic. above above. Or a brighter version of the harvest gold/avocado green and brown of the 70s--more like bronze, gold (since you have it in the bankette) and chartreuse and orange.

I would seriously consider painting at least some of the cabinets a different color--maybe the lower ones. And take down the curtains--metal or wood blinds would be much better. A runner might be nice to add some color--they have great indoor outdoor ones these days.

Here are some pics of period kitchens--60s-70s and a modern interpretation. Old sitcoms might have some ideas too!

IKEA has some nice sort of retro looking table lamps, and you will find them other places. The opal glass and sort of oval or rounded triangular shapes are more 60s.

If you stain the brick facing so it merges together more (EHow has directions), or even paint it, it has kind of a nice retro vibe. Need a good scrub first, and might just be a temp measure. Painting can be an issue with mositure, so I hope your ventillation is good.

Good bones, just needs some color tweeking and appliances.
    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Thank you very much victorianbungalowranch! I had checked out the Elmira's stoves and I think i will try to see if we can do that, I love the colors of the fridges, dont think my husband would go for the bold colors in the kitchen.
I really appreciate the suggestion for wood or metal blinds. The idea of a fun print curtain would be great but not in a kitchen so I was a bit lost. Thank you so much for your input and the pictures!
    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Elmira is a little pricey if you are going for white. Cute though.

Did you check out the formica links?

Marble http://retrorenovation.com/2011/10/28/carrara-marble-laminates-3-choices-an-authentic-retro-choice/

Other counter options: http://retrorenovation.com/category/kitchen/countertops/
    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Countertop Creations
You should really let me take a look at this. I do concrete countertops that could make the entire kitchen look different and it would be less than granite. We could also do a limestone look where the brick is to make it look very custom and rich! It wouldn't even cost that much to do. Check out my face book page under Countertop Creations in omaha
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:48AM
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I own my grandmother's 1950's cottage and love it, but rent it out. The cabinets are solid if you can save them. I've been pleased with LED cans in another property I manage, so I do advise you try them. Check into stainless steel overlay countertops. They are custom and fit right over the current counters. You'd never guess they are stainless - hundreds of styles, patterns and colors. They are practically indestructible and are highly sanitary.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:55AM
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Regarding the cooktop - you might also want to take a look at induction. Read reviews and see a demo if you can. I think it would require less modification to your cooktop side and still give you the cooking power you're looking for.

That's a great kitchen. Love the Sputnik light!
    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 8:05AM
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would put Shutters on the windows . It will give it a more modern feel,

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 12:39PM
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