A 1950’s Kitchen Gets a Modern Makeover

The subject line of the homeowner’s email was concise and to the point – “Welcome to 1954.” The photos she attached told the story – she and her husband had just purchased a 1954 ranch home that was frozen in time. While the previous owner took painstaking care of it, nothing had been updated in over 50 years, including the kitchen. Laminate cabinets were topped with light blue Formica countertops. Dingy vinyl flooring doubled as toe kick. A matching blue backsplash was punctuated by an avocado “high/low” range. The walls and light soffit were wrapped in blue and avocado green wallpaper, visually shrinking the space.

"Welcome to 1954"

Frozen in Time - light blue Formica countertops, vinyl flooring and an avocado "high/low range."

"Welcome to 1954" - Part 2

Layers of wallpaper were the first to go!










Drawn to the house by its good bones, large backyard and close proximity to a park, the homeowners knew they could transform the dark, cramped kitchen into a spacious family hub. Respectful of the home’s age and architecture, they asked for “a modern take on the 50’s;” incorporating colors and materials that were reminiscent of the era. Avid cooks who frequently entertain, they needed plenty of storage space for their culinary tools, china, glassware and serving pieces. A peninsula for entertaining and casual dining was also at the top of their wish list.

A multipurpose room requires multiple light sources. Relocating an exterior door, installing French doors, and eliminating a wall separating the kitchen from the formal dining room added usable space, flooding the rooms with natural light. An artful mix of under-counter strip lighting, chrome pendant lights, flush-mounts, and glass-trimmed recessed cans bounce light off of the stainless steel appliances, glass backsplash tile and Caesarstone countertops.


A Modern Family Hub

Eliminating the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room added much needed space and natural light. An artful mix of light fixtures bounce light off of the stainless steel appliances, glass backsplash tile and Caesarstone countertops.


Base cabinets in a dark cherry thermofoil ground the aluminum and white satin gloss wall cabinets. The peninsula cabinets open on either side, providing easy access to china and serving pieces from the kitchen and adjacent dining room. The couple’s two young sons study at the peninsula, perched on adjustable bar stools. One peninsula cabinet houses their homework and art supplies. A tall cabinet with five adjustable roll-out shelves stores pantry essentials and the children’s snacks.


A Modern Family Hub - Part 2

The olive gloss cabinet drove the color scheme. Peninsula cabinets open on both sides, providing easy access to dishes and servingware.


Bringing color and texture into the kitchen was also a priority. An olive gloss wall cabinet with lift-up hardware was the first element chosen; it drove the color scheme. Flanked by aluminum and white satin gloss cabinets, it is highlighted by oversized subway tiles in a quieter shade of green. Multi-color glass mosaic tile dominates the range wall and highlights the 48” professional-style range and hood. Marmoleum floor tiles offer color, texture, and a nod to the past. The homeowners love how it feels underneath their feet!


A Modern Family Hub - Part 3

Multi-color glass mosaic tile from AlysEdwards dominates the range wall, highlighting the glass-front aluminum cabinets and 48" KitchenAid range and hood.


Durable, low-maintenance materials were essential for this active family. Everything can be cleaned with soapy water or Windex. The deep single-bowl sink with pull-down faucet washes everything from the dinner dishes to the couple’s baby girl.

With the style they wanted and the space they craved, the couple is now enjoying their ultimate family home.


2 Responses to “A 1950’s Kitchen Gets a Modern Makeover”

  1. Beautiful! I was very sad when my grandparents got rid of their salmon colored, kidney patterned formica countertops–always thought they could update their kitchen and keep that bit of ’50s charm.

    • allisonbergamo says:

      Thank you so much! Sorry for the delay in responding! I would love to see pics of your grandparents kitchen, if you have any.

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