My 1963 Kitchen

So lately, I've been completely stumped on how to deal with my kitchen. Of course, this has nothing to do with the major aspects, such as the counters and floors. This house was built in 1963, the year of linoleum and formica. I've searched high and low for some ideas about what was common for the 1960s. I found this website, which was extremely helpful and totally celebrates renovating and loving the original era of the house. I mean, look at this ad! It's so charming and beautiful, if my house was built then, why not let it express it!

So I've been looking at photos which can give hints and clues about how to modernize without losing my "era". First, I want to mention in this first photo, that we have almost that exact wallpaper behind the stove, or we did. I'm a little concerned that it's been painted over several times... That could be a pain in the toosh. We also have two layers of BEAUTIFUL linoleum waiting to be ripped out. Of course, while these two items were relevant and celebrated in the 1960s, we've kind of advanced in materials we can choose from. So what is common between now and then?

The above photo shows something I've seen over and over again, the decorator broke up the space by painting the bottom cabinets and leaving the top ones in their original wood tone. Seriously, look at House Beautiful and Living Etc, this is totally a relevant trend for 2010. Another aspect I see? Sleek, modern, clean lines mixed with detailed accessories. The cabinets are fresh, sleek, and most likely aluminum, and then the chairs seem to reply with detailed wrought iron. Juxtaposing two completely different aesthetics can create layers and texture within the design. Oh, and lets not forget about color. The 1960s took their color and ran with it. Minimalism and pop-art echoed in the art scene. Painters such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein influenced graphic, bold and bright color schemes. The use of color is always relevant.

Now for this next photo I see a few other things. First, the floor tiles. They sing of a Moroccan aesthetic. This pattern seems to be a classic trend, much like the Greek Key pattern. Classic, simple shapes are always usable: subway tile, penny tiles, octagonal designs, simplicity within the common shape. Another item that I see here is the chandelier. If you notice, it's pretty similar to what I just did with my kitchen chandelier. It's ornate but painted black to hold back the possibility of it being too gaudy. This highlights the beautiful shapes and curves without being too distracting. This kitchen also celebrates warm wood tones, contrasting cabinet colors, and clean lines. Love this.

Its incredible to me when I look at these photos how similar they are to some of my tear sheets. I've been doing a ton of design research for this house and sometimes it's hard to differentiate decades. The illustration even has eliminates that we still use today. The idea that fashion repeats itself is totally true with home decor.

I think the next post I do will be what not to repeat from the 1960s. Any suggestions?

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