Turning Fifty

Turning Fifty
Donna’s kitchen was stuck in a time warp, and tragically, the most unattractive time period of all: the faux-wood-paneling-up-to-here-and-beyond period.  A renovation was overdue, so she went even further back in time, to the cute and colorful 50’s!
If I could, I would go even further back in time, to the Downton Abbey era where a kitchen was a room I never entered but existed somewhere on the lower floor of my castle and produced amazing meals and all I ever had to do was show up in a pretty dress.  (Are you watching Downton Abbey?  I’m hooooooooked!)
vintage kitchen makeover beforecute vintage retro kitchen makeover after


red and white retro 50s kitchen makeover

She found her ‘Big Chill’ reproduction refrigerator online, and the original 1950’s Caloric gas range on ebay, after a two year search!  I also love how she worked with the soffit, beadboard and crown moulding.  I never knew soffits could look so swell!

beadboard soffit makeover



  1. January 19, 2012 / 8:28 PM

    I would LOVE to know where she got the table and chairs. I have been looking for one exactly like it for EVER!!!

  2. January 19, 2012 / 9:09 PM

    I neeeed those appliances for my 1940’s kitchen!

  3. January 19, 2012 / 9:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. January 19, 2012 / 9:26 PM

    I need stools like that to go with my “new” antique baked enamel table. I was able to get a couple of chrome chairs that I can recover, but would really like the stools.

  5. January 19, 2012 / 9:39 PM

    Oh it is totally “over the moon”. I love it – I can so see Donna Reed walking in the door carrying a plate of fresh baked cookies. LOVE the Big Chill – they just had one at HomeGoods for only $999 in gloss black. Now I am sorry I didn’t consider it. She did a wonderful job! Yes -BTW – Downton Abbey so hooked as well!

  6. January 19, 2012 / 9:47 PM

    I LOVE this kitchen redo, AND I’m so in love with Downton Abbey. I think it’s my favorite show ever.

  7. January 19, 2012 / 9:48 PM

    I LOVE this kitchen redo, AND I’m so in love with Downton Abbey. I think it’s my favorite show ever.

  8. January 19, 2012 / 9:50 PM

    FABULOUS! You never fail to find the WOW before&afters =)

  9. Carla
    January 19, 2012 / 9:51 PM

    Love the 40-50″s eras. My mom had a table with yellow accents. I have an all white set that I would love to have chairs recovered. Would give anything to have mom’s set now. I too am going light, white and bright, so tired of the dark colors and golds and reds. Back to a simpler time. I also love that it is an eat-in type kitchen.

  10. January 19, 2012 / 9:59 PM

    Yes, watching Downton Abbey, yes hooked, yes, I shush my husband during episodes…

  11. January 19, 2012 / 10:10 PM

    Super cute! I love the fridge.

    As for Downton Abbey, I just discovered it a week ago (where the hell have I been?) and whizzed through the entire first season and caught up on Season 2 and now I simply can’t wait for the next episode.

    Please, oh please, tell me you are reading the Downton recaps on http://www.myfavoriteandmybest.com. They are pee-your-pants funny. Here’s this week’s: http://www.myfavoriteandmybest.com/mfamb-home/2012/1/18/downton-recap-episode-2-with-impressions.html

  12. January 19, 2012 / 10:23 PM

    I love it! Basic white with a splash a red…very cool. BTW…haven’t missed an episode of Downton Abbey yet!

  13. Anonymous
    January 20, 2012 / 1:05 AM

    It is attractive.

    Um, I wish I could see closer, but those cabinets look like birds-eye maple. yes it’s a veneer because they’re *still* too expensive to make an entire cabinet from them. The husband just insisted I look at getting new cabinets and the cabinet guy said “if you’re taking these out I’ll buy them from you for $3500. He didn’t even haggle.

    Yeah.. my birds-eye maple veneer cabinets. I could have afforded quite the redo! Luckily, I was only looking because the husband insisted 🙂 I kept my sweeties.

    The entire point was, just because it’s ugly to one, it might have value. Remember how horrified we are by “accent walls” and “oak cabinets”? We’ll hate white in another 8 or so years. 😉

    Still a pretty redo!

  14. January 20, 2012 / 3:58 AM

    Anonymous, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts in 8 years white will still be very much ‘en vogue.’

    Just like the copper pots in the Downton Abbey kitchen…

    Hooked by my crook, yesss!!

  15. January 20, 2012 / 4:24 AM

    So perty! And incidentally, I feel like I’m looking at my own kitchen with the addition of the black countertops, and it doesn’t make as drastic a difference as I thought it would. Interesting…

  16. January 20, 2012 / 2:13 PM

    I think the original cabinets were beatiful (with the exception of the scallop valance over the sink). I think I might have tried a redo of everything else – new knobs, appliances, tile – and kept the cupboards.

    But as with anything … everyone has different tastes and I commend anyone for taking on such a massive project.

    p.s. THE 50s VIBE IS AWESOME!

  17. January 21, 2012 / 5:43 AM

    Love your blog! Just got hooked on it AND Downton Abbey! Watched the first season in one night! I need some maids for my castle….hee hee

  18. January 24, 2012 / 4:33 AM

    On where to find the table and chairs, Heather:


    (American company in St. Louis; has been making them since the ’50s themselves. The real deal, not a cheap imitation.)

  19. January 24, 2012 / 1:11 PM

    LOVE THIS!!! It looks so cute. The stove is wonderful. I want one right now.

  20. January 26, 2012 / 8:24 AM

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