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Old 09-02-2014, 03:08 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,277 posts, read 19,716,280 times
Reputation: 9487

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I'm pretty sure the Realtor is gonna tell us tomorrow that this will be ours. The house was built in 1952, it doesn't look like much remodeling was ever done. It's been vacant now for over twenty years and everything was more or less left in place. Fortunately, "retro-mod" is now in, so restoring it to it's 50's glory is probably better than trying to remodel it into some sort of current style.



This is as it is now. Was that orange counter tops with peach cabinets and yellow walls? Under the yellow walls where it is peeling is a dusky pink, so at one time it was pink. One of the bedrooms is still a dusky pink, one aqua, one teal blue. It obviously needs "a little work" but most of it will be washing and painting although there's a few structural bits here and there. But for now, what colors should a 1950's kitchen be? The counter tops will need new laminate, the walls will need paint, the cabinets will need paint and will probably need new flooring, too.

I'm thinking pink might be really fun, but this house might end up a rental so would that work? Although we may end up renting out the house we are in now (a new '70s house) and living in this one instead. Anyway, would people rent a house with a pink kitchen? Is pink too much?

What sort of colors should this kitchen end up? Somehow, I don't seem to resonate to the orange/peach/yellow, but should that be kept? Otherwise, I've got a few color schemes in mind:

1. Over the top pink. Pink counter tops (or maybe even red), white (or possibly pale pink) cabinets and pink and white checkerboard tiles. Pink walls. As close to that fifties dusky pink as possible.

2. Red counter tops, white cabinets and pale yellow walls. Possibly checkerboard linoleum tiles in white and maybe gray? White and black seems too glaring, although with red counter tops, it seems a bit wussy to worry about the floor being too garish.

3. Sage green countertops, pale yellow walls, white cabinets, sage green (or gray) and beige checkerboard tiles? Maybe all green tile floor, depends on if I can find matching or coordinating colors for counter top and floor.

4. Something in teal blue or aqua for the counter tops, yellow walls, gray or white cabinets?

At the moment, it's roll linoleum in some sort of maybe tan/beige over a wooden floor. I could pull that and either leave the floor just as wood or probably those glue down solid linoleum tiles. Something with speckles in it, no doubt. Counter tops will be some sort of laminate. Do they still make that white with gold sparkles in it laminate anymore? Guess I'll go pop in at the local hardware and see what they stock.

What are the iconic 50's kitchen colors? Any "must haves" for a 50's kitchen?



The chrome rimmed dinette is still there along with apple/cherry curtains, although I don't know if there is un-fixable termite damage to the table or not. All the curtains are still in place, but they are all trashed from twenty years of sun. Still, they are good for reference, I suppose.



I was too scared to open the refrigerator during the walk-thru. I'm hoping it was cleaned out before the power was shut off, but it's hard to say. Pretty much everything is left in place. There's towels in the bathroom, beds in the bedrooms, dressers and some small tables. The living room is empty, though. There's a locked room below the house that probably has a washer and dryer in it. But, I think I'll start in the kitchen first since most folks will go in the kitchen door since it only has one or two steps up and the front door has a long flight of steps up. So, what should be done to restore the kitchen?

Last edited by hotzcatz; 09-02-2014 at 03:17 AM..
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
14,703 posts, read 21,714,379 times
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Gut.
Replace infrastructure: electrical, plumbing (in and out), HVAC.
Redo as retro if you like that style.

The refrigerator will stink no matter what.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
50,032 posts, read 39,777,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Gut.
Replace infrastructure: electrical, plumbing (in and out), HVAC.
Redo as retro if you like that style.

The refrigerator will stink no matter what.
I agree. Sorry, OP but I don't see anything salvageable in that kitchen.

If you want to stick with the midcentury modern look for the entire house (not a bad idea if that's the era it was built in) then whatever you do, DON'T do granite counter tops and a tan tile backsplash. You could do stainless steel appliances though (they're timeless) or you could go with a fun color for your stove and fridge if you want to keep some 50's funkiness flavor.

You have the opportunity to change the entire footprint of your kitchen if you don't like the layout. However, I can't tell for sure, but it looks like your kitchen may be a U shaped kitchen, which in my opinion is usually very user friendly, so you may be able to keep the original floor plan. However, especially after sitting there for twenty years untouched, I would bet that everything has to go.

I hope you got one heck of a deal on that house because you are about to have to spend a ton of money. But...it can be fun and creative! Keep us posted and keep posting pictures of your progress! GOOD LUCK.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
33,066 posts, read 61,882,928 times
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Ignore anyone who says "Gut." You have a real gem there. It'll take some work to get it looking good again, but it's so rare to find a vintage kitchen in this shape. I'm jealous!

Well, maybe not about the fridge. I hope it was emptied, too; either way, it's going to be nasty when you open it. Good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
2. Red counter tops, white cabinets and pale yellow walls. Possibly checkerboard linoleum tiles in white and maybe gray? White and black seems too glaring, although with red counter tops, it seems a bit wussy to worry about the floor being too garish.
I like this color scheme best of all; it's pretty authentic. If you do a web search for 1950s kitchens, you'll find all sorts of ideas for colors and combinations that might appeal to you.

My previous house had a 1950s kitchen that had the white cabinets, red counters, grey floor and walls, and white trim. I used red and black accessories and red, white and black curtains.

Quote:
Counter tops will be some sort of laminate. Do they still make that white with gold sparkles in it laminate anymore? Guess I'll go pop in at the local hardware and see what they stock.
Formica and WilsonArt both make retro designs. You can even get the metal trim.

Quote:
The chrome rimmed dinette is still there along with apple/cherry curtains, although I don't know if there is un-fixable termite damage to the table or not.
It would be awesome if you could restore it. Hope the damage isn't too bad!

Quote:
So, what should be done to restore the kitchen?
Sand and repaint the cabinets. Save the hardware; it's probably original.

If the stove works, give it a thorough cleaning. If it doesn't work, you can have it repaired and restored.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:55 AM
 
14,183 posts, read 15,234,597 times
Reputation: 11999
if you can afford it, gut it. you want a 50's look you can do that with furniture, paint and knic knacks.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:00 AM
 
28,449 posts, read 73,391,949 times
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Sorry, there are times when "preservation / restoration" might make sense but given the fact that there is nothing really high enough quality / unique in the OP's kitchen they will need to REMOVE the worn-out and useless wall paneling, flooring, countertops, appliances, and fixtures. The layout of the base cabinets shows maybe five drawers some of which are placed so that interfere with adjacent drawers / appliances. The penisula is undersized and provides nearly no additional work area. These are basically "builder grade" cabinets that have no real value.

The kitchen is fairly good sized and a skilled remodeling firm absolutely could suggest custom cabinetry, countertops, flooring and even modern appliances built to look "period appropriate" for this house BUT I am sure that doing that will cost more than getting stuff that might actually be more functional and far less costly from even a "flat pack" company like Ikea.

I would strongly suggest the OP get a feel for what sorts of options might be both budget friendly AND evocative of the 1950s style of the home. Simple things like using "lab top" can be both far more cost effective AND still unique / appropriate -- Durcon - Product Colors There are similarly firms that specialize in the kind of "50s style" appliances made with standard modern guts -- Home - Big Chill: Modern Made Classics You will note that even in their showcases the use of builder grade original cabinets would not enhance the look or function of the kitchen...
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,701 posts, read 57,686,858 times
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Being a product of the 50s myself, I don't consider it to be old enough to be vintage, and just don't like the retro mid-century styles personally. I would do a complete remodel but if you like the look, restore it. We had that same table into the 60s, but the chairs were the same gray as the table. My grandparents had the same but in a dark yellow. The floor was the tiles that contained asbestos, but there are now vinyl reproductions available.

Ours with Asbestos was like this but a darker brown:
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:18 AM
 
3,226 posts, read 3,317,852 times
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Take pictures of those 1950's colors and everytime you want to redecorate, look at them and DON'T copy them! I don't know if people were color blind back then but I remember when my parents bought their house, the kitchen had bright yellow walls and a deep red ceiling. The living room was painted chocolate brown. The bathroom was pink. Needless to say, we painted right away. Even the cars were strange colors, does anybody remember the Pink & Gray Pontiac ?
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
33,066 posts, read 61,882,928 times
Reputation: 55480
Retro Renovation is one of the best blogs out there. Here's a link:

1950's kitchens and some bathrooms, too - Retro Renovation

Retro Planet has some nice accessories:

Retro Kitchen Decor & 1950’s Kitchen Tables & Accessories RetroPlanet.com

Photos and illustrations of kitchens:

1950s Kitchen Style | Kitchens and Designs

Fifties Kitchens - Pictures of 1950s Kitchens (SS)

1950s Kitchen Gallery - Images of Mid Century Kitchens _ Retro Interiors
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:54 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 94,946,213 times
Reputation: 30461
I like color option #2 the best too.

Don't even open the refrigerator. Just have someone haul it away. Trust me on this.

For new appliances, check out GE's Artistry appliance line:

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