Kitchen Updates in the 1950’s Kitchen

Progress is being made at Andrea and David’s house, although not as fast as they would like it to go.  I’ve got a little update at the kitchen and you can see how far it’s come in the last month or so.  It is coming along and they are about halfway through the kitchen renovation and it’s looking so much better than it did originally.

1950s house before012

Let me go back and remind you where we started with this BEFORE shot of the kitchen.  Remember this is a 1950’s original kitchen, with original appliances from that era and it’s never been touched.

1950s house before006

I advised them to get rid of the scalloped pieces of wood and so those have been taken down and not sure what will hide the lights yet, but we’ll figure that out as we go along.  Also, this is being done on a budget, remember that too.  No bringing in a whole team to update this kitchen.  It’s paint and doing things on a budget that we are doing to make this happen.  I think most people can relate to this process and not everyone can go out and do everything all at once to their homes to update.  Notice the refrigerator is just hanging out by itself.  The original upper cabinet had to be taken down when they got a new fridge and never got fixed, so we are doing that now. I advised David that he needed to make that fridge look built in by adding panels of wood and adding back in a cabinet over head and trimming it all out.

1950s house before005

Looking back towards the eat in kitchen part.  Remember the froufrou drapes and wallpaper? Thankfully, it’s all gone now!

1950s kitchen update012

Here is it in process and they had a painter come in and help them with this part.  All the doors were taken off and painted and then put back on.  The cabinets were primed and painted with White Dove by Benjamin Moore. They ended up painting over the exposed hinges and we then got new knobs and pulls.

1950s kitchen update013

Wallpaper coming down.  I couldn’t wait to see if after this happened.  All the paneling was primed and painted White Dove as well and wow, is it like a new space now!

1950s kitchen update001

Again, we aren’t finished yet, but it’s looking so much better!  That island is going.  The old mirrored backsplash came down and they are shopping for new appliances.  David wants to switch to a gas stove so they are getting that installed as well as a new stainless wall oven.

1950s kitchen update002

He’s still contemplating what to do with the open cabinets above. He may trim them out and use them for display.  I want them to put in under cabinet lighting, but again, it’s one of those projects that require some electrical work, so we’ll see if it can happen.

1950s kitchen update003

David bought panels and built in the fridge and added a small cabinet over head and then trimmed it out with crown molding. That looks so much better too, to build it in!

1950s kitchen update009

Just getting new knobs and pulls freshens things up.  A big thanks to Liberty Hardware for providing these new ones for them. I’ve worked with them at Haven and asked if they would help out our project and they said yes!  They had already picked out these particular knobs and pulls at Home Depot and it all worked out great.

If you’re interested in these, here is the information:

PN0120H-BL-C Ceramic knob in black

P18949C-FB-C Step Edge Pull Black1950s kitchen update010

I think the matte black finish looks great in their kitchen and updates this 1950’s home really well.

santa cecilia light granite001

We shopped for granite on Saturday and have decided on this one called Santa Cecilia Light.  It’s got lots of gray and black and is mostly neutral, without much of a golden tone, so we think it will be a good choice.  I took them to my granite place I used 4 years ago in my house, Legacy Granite in Alpharetta and they always do a great job.  This granite is priced at $29 a s.f., which is a great price.  We think the backsplash will be white subway tile, which would definitely go with the feel of their house.

1950s kitchen update004

David has built in a banquette seating area in the eat in kitchen and this is going to be really cute when it’s all done. They will add a nice thick foam cushion, cut to fit and covered in a pretty fabric and we are going to do stationary Roman shades in a pretty fabric for the windows.

1950s kitchen update006

She’s going to get a more rectangular table to fit here and add 3 more single chairs and get rid of these.

Walls in here are painted Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. 

kitchen banquette001

Painted and caulked and ready for cushions.  I didn’t pick out that scalloped trim, by the way. 🙂  He added hinges on the top and these are also storage boxes, which will come in handy.

1950s kitchen update007

The desk area is getting a makeover too, so we are still brainstorming all this.  We think a little bookshelf will be added on the far end and a new granite slab added to the top.  Then above, we are going to add rustic wood shelving and brackets for more display and storage.  The chair will go and that area may get built out with more storage too.  Still brainstorming!

Doesn’t it look so much better to lighten this room up?  I sure think so!

1950s kitchen update008

We’ve gone fabric shopping and pretty much decided on these two.  The pretty peacock fabric will be stationary Roman shades and the geometric below will be for the banquette seating.  It’s an indoor outdoor fabric, which should hold up well.

1950s kitchen update011

I think this project is going to be great! And getting the walls and cabinets painted and these new fabrics in here will totally liven up this kitchen so much.  I knew you’d all like to see the progress and where we are  now, so this is it!

- Rhoda


  1. Wow it’s looking fabulous! You’re spot on about the scallops remove them and it will totally update the space. Can’t wait to see the finished look!

  2. This is great to see! It’s always inspiring to see gut jobs in kitchens, but I think most people need ideas for freshening up their spaces WITHOUT completely gutting things. It’s amazing what some paint, new hardware, and good fabric choices can do!

    If you want a simple way to create a stationary Roman shade, I humbly submit my faux Roman shade tutorial. It’s my most-viewed post ever. I really do think it’s easy to do! Here it is if you want to take a look:

    They’re so lucky to have you guiding them in this process! 🙂

    • Hey, Richella, I remember your tutorial on the Roman shade and I told them there are many DIY’s out there, but they didn’t want to try it so hired it out.

    • Yes we feel blessed to have Rhoda helping us! It is fun and making house look so much better

  3. I have a similar 1950’s kitchen. They are so lucky to have the hardwoods go into the kitchen. The before pics are so busy it hurts my eyes. This new space is going to be so refreshing. I think if you could add a bookcase space to the end of that desk you could get rid of the bakers rack.

  4. Every time I see more of this house, I’m sure we had the same builder. There are a lot of the same materials used–that paneling is the same we have in several places in the house (we painted it out when we moved here 18 years ago) and our fireplace has that same graduated stacking of the bricks. I’ve seen it in a few other houses around, too, so that builder was busy back in the day!

  5. Very nice changes. Certainly easy to get used to one’s environment and not see how it can age in front of your eyes. Respectfully, may I suggest proofreading and avoidance of run on sentences would heighten the blog’s professionalism.

  6. Beautiful start to what will be a lovely remodel.
    Yes, definitely get rid of the scallop trim on the banquette and anywhere else.

  7. Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do???? So bright and airy now. Love the pulls and knobs as well. The banquette is going to be fabulous, and great storage! Can’t wait to see what you choose to do in the desk area. So many are phasing kitchen desks out these days (would love to change ours), and creating bar/coffee areas. Love the idea of adding some rustic touches. We didn’t want window treatments above our sink area, so we built a more streamlined wood cornice to cover our blind headers. More updated then the scallop trim.

  8. Carolyn Ruhl says:

    Rhoda was wondering why the content of each topic flips to the side of your page in a narrow column . My daughter is having the same problem.

    • Carolyn, I am trying to figure out why this is happening for a few people. I’ve had about 10 people tell me this, but I can’t see it. I have my ad guy looking into it to see if he can figure it out. I can’t see it & everything looks normal on my Mac and laptop on 3 different browsers.

  9. I think the kitchen has improved 100%. Painting the cabinets and paneling has made such a refreshing change. And the hardwood floors now don’t get lost in a sea of brown. The tips you have used are spot on.

  10. The past few times I’ve been on your blog, everything is small and squished to the left of the page. If I click on a post, it will open like normal for a second and then shrink and shift back to the left side. Any ideas what’s going on? I enjoy reading your blog.

  11. It looks wonderful! It’s amazing what paint and a little imagination can do – the fridge now looks perfect, nd the wood floors now look perfect – before everything blended together too much. Beautiful job. I particularly like the banquette – such a cosy little corner.

  12. Yep, Rhoda, skinny column on the left is still happening for me. 🙁 It’s been almost a week now for me. Thanks for looking into it. Would a picture help at all?? I can’t screen shot on my laptop but I could use my phone to show you what I see and then email it.

    • HI, Kate, yes please send me a screen shot. I had one person do that already and it only showed one skinny column to the left and nothing else except my header. Is that what you’re seeing. I have no idea what could be going on for a few of you. This stuff is so strange!

  13. You may not know, but I thought I would ask……what type of primer and paint did the painter use: oil based or latex? Also, was the paint flat, semi gloss or gloss? How were the cabinets painted brush, rolled or sprayed? Just wondering, because my own DIY did not turn out this well. 🙂 BTW love the changes thus far!

    • Rene, Andrea can see if I’m correct on this, but the cabinets were all rolled and brushed, their painter didn’t spray them. The walls were painted with a water based primer, I’m pretty sure and the cabinets and paneling I think is an Eggshell finish. They used Dove White from Benjamin Moore and I think it isn’t a semi-gloss, although that would probably have been a better choice for the cabinets. I wasn’t there when they bought the paint.

  14. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    What a difference! Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  15. Hi Rhoda, Can you tell me the name and maker of the peacock fabric? It is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

  16. Great changes in Andrea’s kitchen! David did a good job building in the fridge and creating the banquette. I got so tickled that you got rid of the scallops on the cabinets but the owners snuck them back in on the banquette. LOL. We all like different things! Love the fabric choices– where did you source them?

    • Sigh, Mel…it was the hubby. We decided to pick our battles. She got the green geometric at Fabric and Fringe here in Marietta and I think the bird one is from Forsythe Fabrics down on the Westside of Atlanta.

  17. susan B. Jones says:

    Love the fabrics!! Did you find them and Lewis and Sharon?

  18. I love the fabric choices! The scallops on the banquet will not even be noticeable once you get the kitchen finished. I don’t see anything wrong with them. It is all going to look so pretty!

  19. This transformation is amazing. I am a big fan of mostly white kitchens, and I think the granite color is an excellent choice. It plays a supporting role, instead of jumping out and taking over the feel of the kitchen. One of the first things I noticed in the first picture was the bakers rack. They are one of my favorite ways to organize and display, so I am will be watching to see if it stays in the kitchen.

    • Thank you, Kristine, the bakers rack will not be staying, she’s going to move it outside. They are getting some open shelves above that desk area so that will add some storage too.

  20. I think they will love the new look in their kitchen. But I have to say, I am pro-scallop on the built-in seating. I think it adds a nice cottage touch.

  21. Hey, I know you know Sarah; maybe show them a pic of above the cabinets open area with lights.


    • Yes, Sarah does great projects! I love the upper and lower lights, but it’s up to the homeowners if they want to tackle this with an electrician or try to DIY it. I hope they do, I really think lighting makes a huge difference. I have used some battery powered puck lights in my bookshelves, so that might be an option for them too.

  22. Patricia says:

    Have you seen Instant Stainless Appliance Cover Roll. It’s like stainless steel contact paper.Someone got it at Walmart or HomeDepot.

  23. Patricia says:

    Source for fabrics. Check out in SC. Has fabulous selection and prices on fabrics in huge warehouse. Open only first Thursday, Friday,& Saturday of each month.It is fabric heaven. Great road trip.

  24. I went back to look at the before picture so many times. I couldn’t figure out what was making it so hard for me to look at it and focus. Then when I read that the backslash was mirrors that answered my question. Wow! That sure made it seem extra cluttered. With that down, and the other updates, it is looking awesome. Love the fabric choices too. Thanks for letting us join in on your fun.

  25. It’s a big difference thus far. Looking good. Thrifty Decor Chick installed her own under cabinet lighting and it was fairly inexpensive:

  26. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Indeed just removing the ‘mirrored’ back splash was a major improvement, and the makeover with the cabinets is a money saving idea. However, I probably would have chosen different cabinet and drawer pulls. The black ‘dots’ on the cabinets are a distraction to the eye – from a distance looking too small on such a vast expanse of white (plus draws attention to the cabinet over the refrigerator having a different front from the remainder of the cabinets). BUT I truly understand budgetary constraints and style choices, and don’t want to ‘shame’ anyone – it’s just my personal preference. Overall, I’d say they got a big bang for their $$. Good job everyone.

  27. This is looking so awesome! I love the fabric you have picked and will look forward to everything coming together! This space is just gonna ‘smile’!

  28. Those appliances sure have held up well considering they are 1950’s models!

  29. Kay Shumate says:

    Did they paint the hinges the same color as the cabinets or buy them this color? I feel like painted ones will start to chip down the road.
    Big nice improvement on the cabinets.
    I am getting ready to have my cabinets painted but don’t know what color of knobs & hinges to do since my fridge, stove top & dish washer are black. Any ideas?

    • HI, Kay, they did paint the hinges same color as the cabinet and they might chip eventually, but it won’t make that much difference I don’t think. We chose black for their kitchen and I have black in my kitchen, so I’d vote for black again with white cabinets. But you can do nickel or brass now too, those are both really popular.

  30. Rhoda, do you think she will clear up some of the clutter on the counters? I think she’ll find it is much less distracting once the renovation is complete. Right now, my eyes are drawn to all the things on the counter. Not being critical, just an observation.

  31. Hi, Rhoda!

    I am going back to catch up on old posts of yours that I missed. I am loving everything about this new kitchen….except – – the black hardware! Yup, I’m so sorry. As I looked at he photos I was thinking, “This really makes me think about what I’d like to do with my own kitchen……but something about it bothers me.” I couldn’t figure it out till the 3rd or 4th photo of the cabinets. It’s the black hardware! It really makes a small kitchen look crazy busy. And I just so happen to have black hardware in my kitchen. I just couldn’t put my finger on it till I saw it in photos. I think it would make a much more calm and updated feeling if the hardware was in white enamel (even if it was retro style). Just my opinion – but something to consider.
    Big hug to you girl! cat

    • Thanks, Cat, for stopping by. You know we all have opinions on all this stuff, but the black doesn’t bother me a bit. In fact, I approved of their choice before they got them. I have black in my own small kitchen and like how it sets off the all white in there. But, we all have our own preferences.

Speak Your Mind


Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

+Rhoda Southern Hospitality