Friday, May 1st, 2009

Retro Kitchen Madness


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
8 Comments » | Published in Color Palettes, Decorating Modern, Eclectic Style, Flickr, Vintage Looks, Vintage Modern  |  8 Comments

I was just reviewing some of my “faves” on flickr and came across this fabulous image that Java188 posted. It’s an old Formica ad from a 1960 issue of Better Homes and Gardens:

The thing I wonder is, if you took away the striped flooring, the curtains, and that wallcovering (is it grasscloth? I cannot quite tell), would this be a charming and modern kitchen worthy of a spread in Dwell? I kind of think so! I’d definitely hang on to those crazy Swingtown bar stools and that Gehry-for-Tiffany-esque vase on the right side of the photo. Looking even more closely, the blue open shelves hold some tchotchkes that would probably inspire Jonathan Adler today, as would that pear shaped light fixture. I think livin’ could still be easy in this kitchen. Am I onto something or am I nuts? What do you think?


About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. Lebloggadget’s Blog says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 1:28 am (#)

    […] By lebloggadget Retro Kitchen Madness […]

  2. Ivory Pearl Interiors says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 8:36 am (#)

    It really looks like a modern kitchen. I guess tis one was very modern for its time.

  3. Joseph says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 9:08 am (#)

    You have started a very interesting discussion on kitchen design. I’m a cabinetmaker who really does not want to make kitchens for a living, because the most of what is done in the US is just boxes with a “choice of doors and drawer fronts,” the most of which are made in a factory somewhere. Boring. I want to do something else if I can, but what?

    Last year I started a blog site with a fellow cabinetmaker and have since been exploring this very subject. European design just absolutely blows my mind, and I find myself doing quite a bit on it, even though these are often modular kitchens that one would simply send away for and have installed by a local craftsman. But what fascinates me is the utter innovation of those designs, so I find myself returning to them quite a bit.

    I am also looking to design a kitchen for my wife in a too small space in a tract home, which necessarily lets out those wonderful European designs that excite me so. And whenever I find myself going out on a limb with some idea or another for our kitchen, my wife always grounds me by saying, “If you stick with the classics, you won’t grow tired of them.”

    So, what do you do that is different and yet timeless and practical and stimulating to make if you’re a cabinetmaker? Damned if I know, but if I ever figure it out, I mean to make it for us and splash that baby all over the Internet!

    What you’ve written, though, has given me quite a bit to think about, and I thank you for sharing your concepts.

  4. annkent says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 6:26 pm (#)

    Oh, absolutely, this is relevant today and that is what is so exciting about viewing these vintage magazines. I must say, I grew up in a modern house (see and for a very long time, I was actually a bit embarrassed about it and eventually, as a result, craved the classics in design. Our house growing up was so different from everyone else’s house (one of the Noyes’ children wrote about feeling the same way) and it was only somewhat recently that I have learned more about the modern movement and now understand that my parents were actually somewhat avant garde in their tastes! Funny thing is that I see some of the vintage furniture that is so embraced by modern enthusiasts today and I recognize the pieces because I grew up with some of them (I wish I had them now!). And so, yes, these interiors are very relevant today and Joseph, good luck in your quest to work with clients who appreciate the modern aesthetic and thank you Becky for sharing this way cool vintage ad!

  5. Diane Paparo Studio says:

    May 4th, 2009 at 12:06 pm (#)

    We are big fans of your blog, there’s always interesting products and tips on decoration. We also want to invite everybody to see our booth 1751 at ICFF in New York City from May 16-19 at the Javits Center. Visit our blog for updates

  6. Light Sensors says:

    November 16th, 2010 at 7:39 am (#)

    kitchen designs that makes use of space efficiently would be the best thing to go with ,.;

  7. handmade kitchens says:

    March 1st, 2011 at 3:42 pm (#)

    We’ll I think it’s a great looking kitchens anyway!

  8. handmade kitchens says:

    March 1st, 2011 at 3:45 pm (#)

    I happen to think that the lines actually give the kitchen a real perception of depth, very nice

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