Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

Jan Norris: Food and Florida header image 1

Cooking by Design: Designs for Kitchens, Appealing and Practical – and Fun!

April 3rd, 2012 · 7 Comments

Ed’s note: This begins a new feature here, on kitchen design. We love kitchens! Those of us who’ve built one from scratch know what it’s like to agonize over the perfect drawer pull or stove height or tile color. Are you in the process of designing a cooking space, or have you completed one? Let me know – I’ll feature it here.

To kick off this new occasional feature of Cooking by Design, I found this very cool kitchen while reading other blogs. It’s linked from a blog by Pam Keuber of Lenox, Mass., who writes all about mid-century design at retrorenovation.com.

Lori and Ed's retro kitchen in North Carolina.

This is Lori and Ed’s kitchen. The couple moved to North Carolina from Atlanta, and refitted the ’50s house with original kitchen appliances and cabinets. They bought a lot of the items from eBay sellers – the original owners, in some cases.

Black and white Marmoleum is used for flooring to tie it all together.

A blend of all the ’50 colors – poodle-skirt pink, aqua, and buttercup yellow is blended in the appliances and metal cabinets. A chrome, Formica-topped table and leatherette chairs complete the eat-in kitchen. The countertops are the original Formica Boomerang pattern in aqua and yellow.

The flooring is called Forbo Marmoleum – an organic, modern version of linoleum, supposedly easier to care for than the original stuff common in the ’50s.

Sunbeam Mixmasters lined up in all the colors that match the kitchens of the '50s. One includes a Jadeite mixing bowl and funnel.

I laugh  at the grouping of Sunbeam mixers – portable and stand models – standing at the ready on the counter. (I have a collection of the portable ones, thanks to my friend Scott Simmons, antique and thrift shop maven, who’s helped me find one in every color Sunbeam produced. I have a cute plan for them.)

Stoves in the '50s came with a built-in workspace and storage drawers, and a warming drawer, too. The clock almost always gave out early on these.

Stainless percolators, Lu-Ray dishes in pretty pastels, and the Ecko kitchen tools above the stove. She’s got it all down.

All-in-one countertops included a stainless sink, dish drainer, and counter, which led to the stove. Only a little scary, having the stove so close to water and all that metal going on.

A complete household workstation – the pink GE Liberator! What a timesaving idea for the ’50s housewife – she never had to leave the kitchen!

Laundry, dishes, meals – all in one compact workstation. I saw one, sans washer, in aqua in a Fort Lauderdale home. It was in a ’50s house, now in a neighborhood sadly run down.

Lori says she uses the aqua stove in this kitchen every day, and the yellow Frigidaire is also fully functional. She and her husband are currently working to restore the Liberator.

Bravo, Lori and Ed!

Tags: Kitchen Designs

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Maurie // Apr 3, 2012 at 10:01 am

    oh what fun! I saw a kitchen sort of like this on House Hunters and they were saying oh how they needed to renovate it and put in the stainless steel appliances and the granite counters. I would much rather have a retro kitchen like this.

    Where are they in NC?

  • 2 Scott Simmons // Apr 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    My great-great-grandfather worked at the American Central in Connersville, Ind., where they later made the American Kitchen, which featured integrated metal cabinets that had such appliances as dishwashers. That pink set reminds me of one of those.

  • 3 Jim Schaeffer // Apr 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I have that same GE counter top at my place in Ft. Lauderdale. How do I locate someone who is interested in buying it?

  • 4 Sarah // Apr 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Jim, try retrorenovation.com

  • 5 Dan Boyle // Apr 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Very nice restoration. Great attention to detail. @Jim, try ebay. I know it’s kinda obvious but I’ve found buyers there for items I though I could never sell.

  • 6 Bonnie Woody // Aug 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I love retro kitchens. I have a pink and white one with some blues thrown in. Modern kitchens are nice but retro makes you smile and people hoo and awe when they look around it. My favorite is when they say it looks like a soda fountain.

  • 7 ILKA HUMPERDINK // Dec 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Wonderful job

Leave a Comment