Re-doing 1950s kitchen

sarafry7July 6, 2014
We are redoing our 1950s kitchen (desperate to get rid of the roll around dishwasher now that we are on public sewer). A couple design challenges/questions

- our house is on a concrete slab with no basement so moving plumbing is costly
-the plumbing for the sink comes out a foot behind the sink and is covered by plywood cabinets that I hate
- we want to refinish our cabinets but not sure what color to stain them, also need to figure out new countertops
- want to update the kitchen but not too modern/formal as we want to keep with the casual feel of the house

Any suggestions?
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apple_pie_order
The kitchen has great windows.

Rollaround dishwashers are wonderful, except for the 22 hours of the day that they are in the way.
Looks like space for the dishwasher to the left of the sink. Will it fit there? Converting a rollaround to a builtin is sometimes possible, IME.

I looked at your ideabook. There are lots of ideas, but I am not getting a clear picture of what you want in the remodelled kitchen. It might be useful to start a new ideabook with photos of "dream kitchens".

Would replacing the doors and drawer fronts be more attractive than staining the cabinets you hate?

Are you keeping the current appliances?

Do you have a budget range in mind already?
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:30AM
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sarafry7
I don't hate the kitchen cabinets- I hate the mismatching plywood ones on the back of the island which covers up the weird sink plumbing. I don't really want doors here as it encroaches on the dining room space.

I don't mind the existing kitchen cabinets as they are solid wood and worth repairing. I attached some pics that hopefully show the difference.

As for appliances we want to leave space for a bigger fridge and we need a new sink.

Budget is small 15-20k ideally. We want to do as much ourselves as possible and I don't require expensive materials- I'm not a huge granite fan. I don't mind linoleum- but what we have is old and worn out.

I'm struggling with any kind of vision for the kitchen from color schemes to any layout changes. I love the space and the windows but it's so unique it's hard to find similar examples. I'd love to fix the sink and move the island a foot closer to the oven-side ( we have 5ft+ between now) to give the dining room more space but moving plumbing in a concrete slab could be super expensive
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:14AM
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hayleydaniels
Since you aren't married to granite, look into laminates. We went with a faux wood grain from Wilsonart and are very happy with how nice it looks. And we were able to get a huge 30" acrylic undermount sink from Karran [Karran.com] that has a 50 year guarantee! It's big enough to bath a small dog or child in, and hold my largest mixing bowls and pans with no problem unlike my old double since.

One way we saved when we redid our kitchen was by having my husband do the plumbing [unhooking the old faucet and reattaching the new] when we got our new countertop. We saved close to $150 for that alone.
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:31AM
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apple_pie_order
Thanks for vivid explanation! Is the worn out linoleum the wood-looking flooring or is it on the counters? I like the good cabinetry, too. The plywood facing the dining room is not the same quality at all. If you keep the arrangement, perhaps the swing out doors could be replaced by sliding doors in wood tracks like on 1950's storage units.

The sink plumbing is odd. Is there evidence of two sinks there originally, perhaps with a row of cabinets suspending from the ceiling so there'd be a bar sink and a real kitchen sink? Or was the main sink originally facing the windows and a bar sink installed in the dining room? Take a flashlight and have a good exploration of the underworld of the base cabinets. Look for evidence that the bottom shelf is not original; it could be covering up pipes that have been capped off. Look at the back, too, these cabinets look like good quality stick built style that have original walls, not cabinet backs, behind them.

Do you have a good contractor already? Sometimes contractors who have experience in the local area can tell you why things were built the way they were ("every other sink in this development faces the windows" or "most people ripped this sink out and moved it". Moving plumbing in a slab is expensive but it can be done in a lot of situations.
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:39AM
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PRO
Julia Lizza Interiors
Hi Haley,
Consider raising up your base cabinets if your not height challenged . By raising up the height of your toe kick, it would allow you to hide plumbing under cabinets in base board and still pitch the pipes to the drain area. It is also easier to work on counter that is a bit higher.
Julia Lizza
Lizza Interiors
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:42AM
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sarafry7
I misspoke before- the countertops are laminate. The flooring is pretty new- some laminate/fake wood type (probably original linoleum underneath)

I will take a flashlight to the bottom if the cabinets, though I don't think the sink was originally elsewhere. According to our neighbor this is the original layout for the house and it's the only one I'm the neighborhood like it. The kitchen / living/ dining is all one big room with these big beautiful windows all along the back of the house. Amazing open concept for the early 1950s.

Thank you all for the help!
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:59PM
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beachlily
You could add beadboard to your island to cover up mismatched wood....maybe paint that?
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:41PM
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PRO
Mirens Inc
I like the floor and the profile (or the lack thereof) of the cabinet doors. How about spray painting the bottom cabinets in slate gray, spray painting the top cabinets in a lighter shade like cream and replacing the counter top with a stone top like granite or cork? If you use a classic style of backsplash, you can retain the casual style. Try some subway tiles?
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:52PM
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marci4
I too looked at your ideabook but see no dominant theme emerging.

The cabinets appear to be in good condition and it sounds like you are amenable to keeping them. You did have a couple of mid-century style kitchens in your ideabook, so if you are definitely keeping the cabinets, you will already be halfway there. You would basically need a new countertop and light fixtures. A carpenter can probably bring the back of the island up to speed. You can freshen up the cabinet hardware and install a backsplash.

Here are some mid-century modern kitchens. Do they appeal to you?

Mid-Century Modern Home · More Info


Mid Century Modern Kitchen · More Info
    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:08PM
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sarafry7
So I'm pretty new to houzz- I did not realize the idea book was public! Otherwise I would have kept better notes as to why each picture was in there :). A lot of what is in the idea book it purely countertop colors that might go with our current cabinetry.

I would love a country charm type kitchen but unsure of how to pull it off with the style of the rest of the house
1 Like    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 5:37AM
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sarafry7
So I'm pretty new to houzz- I did not realize the idea book was public! Otherwise I would have kept better notes as to why each picture was in there :). A lot of what is in the idea book it purely countertop colors that might go with our current cabinetry.

I would love a country charm type kitchen but unsure of how to pull it off with the style of the rest of the house
    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 5:39AM
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apple_pie_order
Try poking around on http://www.retrorenovation.com or looking at period photos on this site: http://www.midcenturyhomestyle.com/inside/kitchen/1950s/gallery/page13.htm

Some midcentury houses had considerable country charm.
    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:27AM
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