Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitchens from the Past

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Flipping through the House Beautiful magazine, there were some fantastic photos of vintage kitchens. Being someone who loves to cook, any one of these would be a dream kitchen to me. Yes, even the solid aqua ones from the 50s.

While the magazine specifically said they were vintage kitchens, some were so retro they looked modern. This is the wonderful world of vintage. If one waits long enough, the style is back.

Over the next few days, you will see some fantastic kitchens. Note how several look as if they were built today! All images courtesy of House Beautiful.

1950s white kitchen with yellow accents.

This kitchen might not look contemporary today, but in 1950 it was ahead of its time — so much so that House Beautiful chose it as one of three "pace-setting" kitchens of the year. "When you can get a complete kitchen, laundry, and a place to eat into a space only about 12' square, it's a real achievement," the editors gushed. The kitchen boasted a cooking range bisected by a work counter, a hooded ventilator and grille to control cooking steam, odors, and grease built into the wall cabinets, and a washer and dryer in their own corner.

Touted in the 50s  as the kitchen to "reduce drudgery".
"It's American to pamper our women — to lighten their workload and reduce their drudgery," House Beautiful editors wrote in 1950. "Here's a new line of kitchen cabinets that pamper through efficiency." The magazine praised the complete baking unit, beverage center, pots-and-pans cupboard, and sandwich unit, designed by Michael Hallward, saying, "His practical analysis of what today's housewife demands in greater convenience has been translated by Frank C. Snedaker & Company into these 'Glamour Kitchens.'"
Architectural details reminiscent of today!
"Featured in the February 1957 issue, this easily maintained kitchen has enameled steel cabinets with stainless steel counters, which blend beautifully with the warm quality of wood and plaster surfaces throughout the house. The custom-designed smoke hood over the cooking-top and barbecue is appropriately architectural."
 Islands are not just a modern idea!
"The cooking counter in this kitchen works from the other side as an eating bar. The refrigerator niche in the brick wall is neatly closed in across the top with cabinets, making one move do the work of two. Featured in the June 1953 issue."
Tomorrow, the 1960s.

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