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Home is where the Kitchen is

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by BoPeep, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. BoPeep

    BoPeep Practically Family

    I haven't been able to find a thread devoted solely to the humble kitchen, so here goes. This is, of course, prompted by my latest purchase - a '40s Magic Chef gas stove. Bringing it into the room required a complete shuffling of the furniture so after a bit of spring cleaning (wowsers, were there dust bunnies behind the fridge!) and a pounding of a few more holes in the wall (much to the chagrin of my husband), this is my "new" kitchen.


    The fridge is a 1947 Frigidaire - "Made only by General Motors" says the logo.




    I'm proud to say that almost all the "knick knacks" that are hanging on the walls are used on a regular basis, with exception of the egg beater (although my kids LOVE whipping eggs for breakfast). Everything on top of the Hoosier is used, the yellow pans hanging above the stove, the coffee grinder on the chimney, everything!

    This has got to be my favorite room in the house, with possible exception of my sewing room. :) So let's see your kitchen . . . I know I'm not the only one here who defrosts their freezer box every month!
  2. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I'm also a big fan of having a vintage kitchen. Nice. :)
  3. Alas, our kitchen is one of the few non-vintage rooms in the house, as the schoolteacher who owned it from 1944 to 1995 had it remodeled about 1970, albeit in a mid-century style that could just has easily have been 1957.

    My wife and I have compromised on someday remodeling to a modern layout with 1920s-style cabinetry and 1940s-style appliances (she wants new Elmira Northstars, I'd like to restore our mid-1940s Caloric range and dig up an old Frigidaire like yours).

  4. Lookin' good!

    I'll post some photos later today of our vintage kitchen in the new place! No vintage stove yet but, the '40 GE and the rest of the stuff is period. ;)
  5. Great shots, BoPeep! Always glad to see another enthusiast of quality vintage appliances.

    Here are few recent shots of my kitchen -- please excluse the blown-out windows. We get so little sun lately, I wanted to preserve the full impact of the moment.


    The stove is a 50s vintage Hotpoint. It was practically modern when I first got it, and it's held up very well. The washing machine is an Easy, dated to 1934, and is my pride and joy. It was salvaged from a friend's cellar, and could use a new set of wringer rollers. In the meantime, I've repaired the old ones using pieces of bicycle inner tube and rubber tape.


    The fridge is one of the very first postwar Kelvinators, built in November 1945, basically the same model they were building in 1941-42 until the war shut down production. I defrost it once a year, keep the condenser coil clean, and it'll outlive me. (And it uses less energy than most modern units.) The mixer on top of the fridge is a Hamilton Beach, c. 1936. The fan is just some cheap Western Auto thing I've had so long I don't even remember where it came from.


    Excuse the dirty dishes.


    The radio on the table is a Philco from 1940 that I fixed up last summer and had nowhere else to put. The sewing machine, a Singer 66, is on the table only because I'm in the middle of a project and I didn't want to put it away for the picture. (Unfinished project is seen hanging at far left.)
  6. BoPeep

    BoPeep Practically Family

    Love it, Lizzie! I was hoping you'd post some photos as I suspected you had an older kitchen! :) I really like the wall color - mint green? I have a set of (new) Fiestaware in the original '30s colors - seafoam green, pale yellow, turquoise, peach - that would look fabulous in your cupboards! It was my first set of dishes that I just didn't like on my barn red shelves. I've packed them away in favor of plain white ironstone, but some day I'll get them out again.

    I'm impressed that you only defrost your fridge once a year! The seal on my door is dry and doesn't seat very well, so that must lead to my glacial ice every month. Do you use your wringer on a regular basis? That's dedication! And make sure you post that sewing project, too!
  7. Yep, it's sort of a seafoam/mint green I had them mix up at Sherwin Williams to match the already-present wallpaper. I spent New Years Eve 1999 painting the woodwork and cabinets, and it's aged nicely.

    Replacing or repairing the gasket makes a huge difference, both in condensation and in energy use -- a lot of fridges use a very simple generic gasket that can be ordered from appliance-restoration places, but I couldn't get one to fit mine. So I did two things -- first, I sealed the cracks and splits in the original gasket with silicone sealant, and then I laid a thin coat of silicone over the entire surface of the old gasket with a frosting spreader -- this gave it a good grabby surface, enough to really make a difference in cold loss. Then I got some thin foam weatherstripping at the hardware store and laid it along the inside perimeter of the gasket as a backup. Between these two things I get very very little frost buildup.

    The washer I use every Monday, weather permitting -- again, it's much much cheaper than using an automatic washer, both in terms of energy use and water use. Plus it's very very good exercise -- mine doesnt have a drain pump, so I drain it into a pail and dump the pail in the sink. There's a reason housewives in the Era didn't need to worry about gym memberships.
  8. Wow! Great kitchens!
  9. BoPeep

    BoPeep Practically Family

    Dave - remodeling can be an interesting endeavor if both parties don't agree! lol Elmira appliances will take you to the poorhouse fast! When I was shopping for a "retro" microwave (yes, my husband laughed at me, too), I found the Elmira Northstar version - for $750 you got a basic microwave with a round window instead of angular. Not enough "retro" to warrant the price tag. I decided to hide the micro in the pantry.

    Lizzie - Thanks for the tips on the fridge seal. We have shimmed up behind the seal and that did help, but I think I'll try coating the front as well. I haven't been successful in finding a new replacement. And like you, I do laundry on Mondays. Love that I'm able to hang out on the line again! PM me if you're interested in a recipe for homemade laundry soap (the good ole version with Fels Naptha and Borax).
  10. I'd be nervous about early microwaves' radiation shielding properties. I think I'd turn it on and then leave the room.
  11. When I lived in Florida, my wife and I decorated our kitchen like a 1950's diner complete with the black and white checkerboard floor, a Coca Cola round table and a full sized Betty Boop mural I painted on one wall. I have to find pictures of it. I have them on a disc somewhere.
  12. Lizzie, Peep, beautiful kitchens! I love the moggies on the floor. What are their names? Sweet little fuzzy kittens...
  13. BoPeep

    BoPeep Practically Family

    I wasn't sure if my moggies were good or bad! lol The grey and white cat is Tabitha Twitchit (ala Beatrix Potter) and the orange tiger is Floyd (ala Pink).
  14. Renting sucks. I'd love to have a more vintage inspired kitchen area :(
  15. awesome kitchens. Makes me miss my mama. :(
  16. "I have never been a fan of Kitchens, and I hate the modern trend of "open Plan" I moved my kitchen from the centre of the house to a corner at the back of the house, I hate being at chums homes, having a quite tête-à-tête, and a cocktail, whilst someone is banging about at the sink with dirty dishes"
  17. Viola

    Viola Call Me a Cab

    I like checkerboard floors, especially in the smaller size tiles. Also hex tile. And white cabinetry, though my honey prefers stained wood.
  18. FountainPenGirl

    FountainPenGirl One of the Regulars

    Love the kitchens. Reminds me of my Grandmas kitchen when I was a kid. Except that when she got the stuff it was new. The original part of our house is about 90 years old but before we got it they remodeled everything and it has no dated appearance at all. I'm trying to return things as I can. I've been collecting push button light switches to put in. I did finally get my wood cookstove that we are planning to put in the house to use.

    I'm looking forward to it. I haven't cooked with a wood stove since helping Grandma when I was a kid
  19. BoPeep

    BoPeep Practically Family

    Wow, that stove will be an adventure! My mom has a reproduction electric range in a similar style with a woodbox on the side. Above the woodbox is a flat griddle. That woodbox, small though it is, is enough to heat the kitchen in the winter. Always comforting on a cold morning . . .
  20. Atomic

    Atomic One of the Regulars

    Just a kitchen item, my 1938 Breakfaster. I think these things are so neat looking I had to have one. I pretty much never use it, but it looks cool and works perfectly.


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