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Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by BoPeep, Apr 12, 2010.
Interesting fireplace. Is it functional or just decorative?
"Being on the upper level, the first Winter there I was smoked out when the neighbours below chose to light a wood fire!"
Who can help me date the kitchen in my new apartment?
The apartment itself is from 1900 +/- 5 or so years.
Judging by the cabinets, the tile and the linoleum floor... when do you think the different things are from? Is anything original from the beginning.. is something 50s? Like the floor maybe?
Is it possible to get a more detailed photo of things like the floor and cupboards?
"The Chunky bench tops Scream early 1980's to me"
Sure. I'll take some more pics of the room when I find my camera.
I can give you some detective pointers based on my collection of late 20's-1940's home magazines, which I studied to restore my 1940's home. What can throw things off is that your kitchen isn't in the U.S.. Design trends around the world varied greatly between regions, which can tweak things by as much as 10-15 years. (Post War, this gap narrowed considerably.) Also, the Depression and World War ll had effects that occasionally play tricks on postwar design, depending on how a given area was effected by them...Sometimes there are situations where designs were initially planned in the late 30's but not built until after the war, creating a mix of several elements (which happened in the case of my home)--or the homeowners purchased building materials then were interrupted by the Depression or War, so the tiles were packed away until things got better. Given all that, I'll suggest what to look for as if your kitchen was in the U.S., and you can make adjustments based on the history of your town.
The tile, I need a better photo of, but my kitchen is yellow tile and here's what I've learned from matching tiles: If it's a homey, butter yellow without contrasting trim, it's similar to what was popular in the U.S. from the mid 1930's through the late 1940's, with "bright pastels" moving later into the '40's. The main thing to look for is how the tile is trimmed out: In the U.S. yellow kitchens existed in the '20's, but solid tiles were often combined with more ornately patterned tiles such as these. Around 1935, streamline was the thing, so tile trim was a thin stripe of a different solid color tile, usually running horizontally through. Post War, at the end of the 40's the streamline trim starts to give way to one solid tile color, sometimes trimmed around the edges in one contrasting color. As we went into the 50's, the yellows would go to more intense sunny, in your face lemon yellow, instead of sweet, homey butter yellows. (You can sometimes figure out the period of yellow tile by remembering that by the 60's, yellow had to be intense enough to pair with tomato red. Late 60's yellow had to stand up to being paired with burnt orange and avocado green.)
The floor looks late 50's-1962. My gut says late '57/58, but '50's isn't my decade, so someone else may have a color chart that can better inform you.
The cabinets depend on the construction: Beadboard, if you have it (can't tell from the photo), was all the rage from the late teens to early '20s and although still classic, in person it's easy to tell the quality of the old, real stuff from the flimsy modern stuff. If not beadboard, and the cabinet bases and doors are all wood but not plywood, and if your cabinet doors are original to them, these cabinets were were at the height of popularity from 1925-late '30's, and during that period they were most often painted white. Plywood was invented during World War ll, so if you have plywood cabinets, they're post-War. (Exceptions: In farmhouses in rural areas of the U.S. where the homeowner built the cabinets himself, that style of cabinet doors can go to late 1940's. Also, starting in the 1980's there are modern reproductions of 20's/30's cabinets, which can be hard to tell from a photo. But you'll know the modern repro when you see and feel it in person: the wood is very different--often it's MDF instead of wood, or it's a combination of MDF parts and wood parts. Also, the paint usually has a smoother, sprayed on finish. You'll also find plastic parts somewhere, and the hinges will have modern screws. Depending on the age of modern cabinets, there's also sometimes a lingering chemical smell in the far reaches of the cabinets, such as under the sink or lower corner cabinets.) The countertops, from the photos, they don't look to be original...maybe a replacement for a 50's replacement.
In the U.S., another, albeit less reliable clue to date your kitchen can be the type of screws used to hold things together. Phillips screws (screws with crosses in the center, as opposed to a one-line slot) were invented in 1936, but were not widely used until 1939-1940. I'm not sure what type of screws were available elsewhere.
Good luck with your detective work! Also, don't forget to keep a folder or scrapbook of your findings to give to the next people who live in your home someday, or to the landlord if you're a renter.
It's probably too late, but have you considered just reupholstering the one in a complimentary color that is distinct from the originals? My parents' dining-room set has four matching chairs, but one has arms. The chair with arms goes at the head of the table.
I'm thinking you could go for a similar theme.
A Modern "IKEA" Kitchen, with deco accessories, in my 1947 Bungalow at the edge of the Freeway. Im thinking of updating the cupboard doors to black Gloss with Big Chrome Handles, and a grey/white Tarratzo floor
Hi, I just thought I would bring this up again, This is our wood cookstove. It is my primary stove I use everyday all winter long. We keep it going all day and it helps heat the house.
Way cool. You know, with all the heat-generating things in old houses, it's little wonder few were insulated.
I love the stove. However, did you have to make a special fork lift to get it in the house?
Believe it or not, the stoves come apart and the two of us carried it in but they are not light.
that's a beautiful stove...
My dad gave me a bunch of old silverware, obviously in no good condition. This was a good chance to experiment a bit with silver cleaning methods.
I got a liquid silver cleaner from my grandma's cupboard - probably very aggressive chemistry (the smell!). The alternative to that is good old aluminum foil, salt and water - less effort and no chemistry.
But is it better? I find those items cleaned with alu/salt look cleaner at first sight, but have a yellowish tone if you look closer. And don't the black details - which are removed by alu/salt cleaning and stay with chemical cleaning - have a certain charm to them?
What do you think?
after (spoon cleaned with chemical silver cleaner fluid, knife and fork cleaned with salt / water / aluminum foil):
There are some seriously fabulous kitchens on this thread. We have just finished our kitchen. We wanted a full blown, early fifties authentic looking, period piece, the property was built in 1953. But after some deep and sometimes heated discussion, we realised that it was not to everyone's taste. We decided to come up with a compromise, in order to be able to sell the property easier, when, at sometime in the future, we decide to move.
In the UK, there is a company called Howdens, who sell only to the building trade, they don't have a retail outlet. But as Howdens rent a commercial property that my brother, who is also my business partner, and I own, how could they not say no? We bought all of our fittings from them.
We planned our kitchen to have a retro feel but stripped of it's artefacts, it looks by and large, passable as a modern day kitchen. We are more than happy with the compromise, but some purists might think that we have neither a vintage kitchen nor a modern look.
That's their problem. We can't possibly compete with the fabulous kitchens that have been previously posted, but, well what are your thoughts loungers. Did we get the look right, or have we sacrificed too much for fear of not being able to sell?
Silver does have a yellowish tone, or at least a warm one. As to the polishing thing, that's always a personal choice. With my own silver items, I make a decision from piece to piece as to whether I want to polish it back, or leave the interesting tarnish patterns, or somewhere in between. I usually use regular abrasive polish, or even toothpaste, which gives one some control about how deep the polish can go.
Has anyone ever seen/used one of these?
I think they're called "Murphy Kitchens". As in 'Murphy beds'; designed to be really simple and compact. They were popular in the 1920s and 30s, from what I understand.