Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creating A Vintage Kitchen In A 1950’s Ranch

Contributed by Liz from Mabel's House.

Our house was built in 1952, a year when atomic fabric, turquoise appliances, and June Cleaver were at their zenith. Unfortunately, when we came into possession of our beloved ranch, the kitchen was less than exciting. Gone was the 50’s charm and in its place a dimly lit, gold painted den of claustrophobia.

The only source of light was a large flickering fluorescent fixture, which emitted a blue tinged hue onto the gold painted walls; creating a nauseating effect. To make matters worse, there was no pantry of any kind.

I began to collect pictures of kitchens like a woman possessed. I tore them out of magazines, downloaded them from the internet, and on one occasion I whipped out my ever present camera and took pictures of a friend’s kitchen during a dinner party. Apparently, obsession knows no bounds.


My first mission was to find breakfast area furniture. I began to haunt flea markets and yard sales. We purchased the hutch/shelf at an antique mall for $75 and painted it a crisp white.

The table and chairs were not as easy to find, but eventually I stumbled onto this set (a bit worse for wear with scratches and a burn mark, but solid oak) for a mere $65 at a yard sale. The woman selling them was getting divorced and these had been her ex-mother-in-law’s. She couldn’t sell them fast enough. As Tony Curtis said in Operation Petticoat, “Where there is chaos there is profit.” I painted them to match the hutch.

We found pantry space in the broom closet next to the refrigerator. Then we chose a pale, dove gray wall color to brighten up the space and contrast with the white cabinets. It’s Seashell Gray by Valspar and available at Lowes. It’s the perfect neutral; airy with a seaside cottage feel.


We replaced the large fluorescent fixture, choosing a stainless track light to compliment the stainless appliances. We also added a pendant light (also purchased at Lowes) in the breakfast area. Never underestimate the difference lighting can make; it seemed to add another 100 square feet to the space.

As far as accessorizing, I used vintage bowls and pottery acquired from antique malls and yard sales. An inexpensive chalk board (the trim spray painted white) hangs near the fridge and pantry. In the breakfast nook window I hung lace café curtains (from Wal-Mart) and an embroidered valance from an estate sale.

For more vintage inspired rooms decorated on a budget, please feel free to swing by and visit us at Mabel’s House.

Check out more after pictures of this vintage kitchen!

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At November 3, 2008 at 7:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh it looks great :) To bad my hubbers would never go for the Vintage look. I love it!

At November 3, 2008 at 8:18 AM , Blogger Darlene said...

I just LOVE cozy and inviting. You have quite the knack for making it FABULOUS!!

At November 3, 2008 at 8:24 AM , Blogger countrygirl3031 said...

Liz ~ I love your's so cozy..makes you want to spend an afternoon baking and cooking!


At November 3, 2008 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Tricia said...

I love your kitchen as well as the rest of your inviting and cozy home. And you're not afraid of grey paint.

At November 3, 2008 at 11:10 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

There's just something about that kitchen where Liz lives that makes me smile. It truly is a cheerful place, thank you for sharing!

At November 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM , Blogger The Arthur Clan said...

I wish I had just a tiny smidgen of your decorating talent Liz. Beautiful!

Angie in OH

At November 3, 2008 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Hi! I'm Kirsten... said...

I LOVE your kitchen! But then, you knew that. And this is a terrific article on the room, you even told me some things I hadn't know before :-)

At November 3, 2008 at 2:18 PM , Blogger Becky said...

Aww, so proud of you for being a guest blogger! (How does one get these gigs? Do you know people who know people?)
Anyhoo, I love your style. It's not my own, but it is so utterly charming and welcoming. Bravo, Liz!

At November 3, 2008 at 2:54 PM , Blogger Cathy Santarsiero, "The Christmas Corgi" said...

Lovely job, Liz!

At November 3, 2008 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Shelia said...

Lizziness, you know I love your kitchen. Where's Mabel??

Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

At November 4, 2008 at 2:23 AM , Blogger Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

This brings back so many wonderful memories of our kitchen when I was a little girl. I can picture my mom standing at the stove cooking, she was a great cook. You were fortunate to find all the pieces to complete the look. Thanks for sharing.

Sweet Wishes,

At November 4, 2008 at 8:03 AM , Blogger carissa... brown eyed fox said...

okay... i LOVE her home! it screams FRESH & FUN... that Liz makes vintage FabUlOuS!

At July 21, 2010 at 5:45 PM , Blogger javieth said...

When I bought my house through costa rica homes for sale
I expected to have a big stove in the kitchen with a huge space, now I am really happy because I can cook every kind of recipe in my huge stove. I really love it.


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