We live in a house with a 1950’s kitchen and it’s pretty cool. When we first moved in here this kitchen was a little ugly so we made a few updates.
Eventually, we will rip out walls and do a full kitchen renovation.
But, for now, we are embracing our 1950’s retro kitchen.
It is important to make your living space happy and enjoyable.
The cupboards, sink, and tile is original and very retro. Through the years the cabinets had been painted and scraped back many times.
At one point I could tell the cabinets were painted avocado green! I am assuming that was in the 1970s.
This kitchen is long and narrow with light only coming from one side.
Taking this into account we decided to paint everything white. This also helped to match the mint and yellow tile much better.
1950’s Kitchen Photos
This is what our kitchen looked like when we first moved in.
As you can see the flooring was in terrible condition as were the cupboards and walls.
We started with a fresh coat of paint on all the walls and soon after on the cabinets.
After much debate, we decided to do more laminate flooring right over the old floor.
We came to this decision for several reasons. First, it only needed to look good for now since we will remodel the whole kitchen in a few years.
Second, this was the easiest and most cost-effective plan.
Watch How Grant Transformed this cupboard:
We also decided to remove this broken-down dishwasher and my husband built a replacement drawer and cupboard in that space.
I have had many questions on why we didn’t just replace the dishwasher?
Well 2 reasons: we really did need a functional large drawer and this kitchen was never set up for a dishwasher.
It leaked and there was no way to alter the sick to fix that. So for now I am the dishwasher!
If you are looking for a very inexpensive update try painting!
Painting is very affordable and gives a room a whole new feel.
The tile is the original yellow and mint from the 1950’s kitchen.
It is very interesting to see how they made kitchens in the past. This tile has a lip on the outer edge.
I have not seen that in modern kitchens. The lip on the edge of the tile makes a lot of sense!
When there is a lot of water spilled it stays on the counter.
Another interesting thing is the cupboard right under the sink is indented in.
I am guessing this is for when you are washing dishes your knees have a place to be.
Painting The 1950s Retro Cabinets
Before and after the white paint.
When painting these cupboards I cheated and did not do it the proper way.
The best way to paint cupboards is to have a professional do it or use a paint sprayer.
Since I knew this was a temporary solution and knowing these cupboards are in terrible condition I took the easy way out.
I sanded them the best I could, and then I rolled them with primer and paint.
This was affordable and fast. A year later there are a few scratches, but nothing a little more paint can’t fix.
1950’s Mint Tile Paint Match
The most recent update to this kitchen was when we added beadboard and some mint-colored paint.
It was hard to find a good match for the mint tile. My goal was to have the paint match because I did not want to introduce a third color to the kitchen.
We are embracing the quirky side of this retro 1950’s kitchen instead of fighting it.
I think it is important to make your living space as enjoyable as possible for the time being. Do what you can afford, and love your home until you can do what you really want.
Beadboard and mint paint make this space fun and bright.
Below you can see where our fridge is intended to go.
After living with the fridge in this spot for a few weeks we realized it was way too close to the back door.
The fridge stuck out way past the cupboard so we decided to move it to the end of the kitchen. This is where a little dining area should be.
But since we don’t need two dining rooms we decided to extend the space and move the fridge.
I also took the 2 cupboard doors off of this top cabinet and made them into an open shelf.
Using baskets to hold things like vitamins and flashlights.
By adding a second little shelf and a cart from Ikea we have extended our counter space.
The big thing lacking in a 1950’s kitchen is counter space and drawers.
The only decor I have in here is our plants and this mirror.
Since I like to keep things minimal these plants are good enough for me.
My husband made this little side table to the right of our fridge.
Tour Our 1950’s Kitchen Transformation:
Retro Kitchen Conclusion
If you are living in a kitchen that is “not that great” do what you can!
It is amazing what a little paint and cheap flooring can do to transform a place. Of course, these are not long-term solutions, but they can help you love a place until you can afford to do something else.
I think it is very important to love where you live. Make it your own and if you have to embrace where you live, just cover up the bad parts.
More Home Decor Posts:
Pin 1950’s Kitchen Before and After
Here is a fun article on the history of the kitchen!