Confession: I love 1950s/1960s kitsch. I do. I’m not really talking about classy, Mad Men-style glamorous here. I’m talking like crazy atomic barkcloth, wacked-out color schemes, and toadstools as a decorating motif. I know, right when some of you thought I had decent taste. Hear me out.
The good news for our apartment is, I don’t really want it in the living room, bathroom, or my bedroom. I have no intention of living in a time capsule, despite our inclusion of vintage furniture and otherwise retro stuff. I respect people who go balls to the walls mid-mod, and I feel like I could be friends with a modern-day rockabilly, but a modern mix is more what I suppose we’re after.
Except in the kitchen. God, 50s kitchens are cool. Those ladies were organized, they had cute stuff, and between sneaked sips of the cooking sherry, they really seemed to have their shit together. They did weird things with eggs and they could ice a cake with their eyes closed. I want to get in on that. Between you and me, I’m pretty excited for Eva to move in and thoroughly creep her out with exciting casseroles, the leftovers from which I’ll then “refresh” into different exciting casseroles on subsequent evenings. We’re going to have a blast.
Our undeniably 1980s kitchen is sort of primed for the retro treatment, too. Which is a good thing because 95% of the stuff in it came from the incredible Regina, Saskatchewan thrift stores. And I’m exceedingly proud of my kitchen stuff. Once, I saw the matching tumblers to my ice bucket holding scotch for Don Draper on Mad Men and I almost peed myself.
Back to our kitchen. Almost everything is some shade of washed-out pink. The countertops are pink faux-marble formica, the cabinets are a vaguely pink laminate, and the floor is 12″ square pink and grey faux-marble ceramic tile. Sometimes I wish it was pinker. Like, come on kitchen. Commit. Go big or go home. Like this lass:
Like I said, the kitchen is totally 80s and a little ugly. I think trying to force any sense of cool, beautiful modern in there would just be sort of lost on it. So even though the bones we have to work with aren’t quite so amazing as that picture, I’m not sure I can stop myself from incorporating a few lessons of 50s kitchen design in the hopes that the kitchen accepts them gracefully.
For instance, check out the avocado green paper holder I stuck to the tile wall with industrial-strength velcro! I love it, and it makes my shameful paper towel use oh-so stylish. It also holds tin foil and parchment paper. In a perfect world, this would be built into the wall like my grandmother’s or Louis Armstrong’s.
Moving around the room, we find this strange little built-in next to the stove. For about a month I had no clue what to do with it and then I had the most tremendous epiphany. It’s perfectly sized for the tacky tins that hold my baking ingredients!
Please ignore that hideous mound of grout where the pipe goes through the floor. Something must be done about that. But it’s kind of like the shelves were just made for those tins, right?
In a display of very questionable decision-making, I also affixed these ceramic toadstools next to the fridge. You can’t see them when you walk in the door, so it’s kind of like a special surprise when you actually walk into the kitchen instead of just through it and into the living room. They may or may not stick around. I think I’m going to replace the beige switch plates with cheap aluminum ones, only in the kitchen though. It’ll cost like three dollars and I’ve convinced myself it’s the right thing to do. Speaking of things I’d like to change are these really boring knobs. I’m thinking some shiny polished chrome would really liven up the place.
Okay, enough with the crazy. As I mentioned, one of the things I admire about vintage kitchens are the organizational tactics. But when vintage isn’t coming through for you, sometimes you have to go to IKEA.
I’m pretty please about this little organizational innovation. The Rationell baking sheet holder is supposed to be hung on the interior sides of the cabinet, but this seemed like a better space-saving solution.
And I’m completely smitten with my Rationell Variera spice racks. They’ve been bookmarked on my computer since Anna installed them at Door Sixteen a year and a half ago. Yes, these are the things I dream about. And now they’re mine!
Anna has far cuter handwriting than I do, so I bought some little round labels from the Paper Source and used their handy Word template to print these out.
So that’s where things stand. The kitchen needs a lot of work. There’s nothing on the windows and it hasn’t seen a lick of paint. I’m thinking about a color. One that isn’t pink.