Home improvement, ’50s style: Planning kitchen remodels
Your kitchen can be one of the most pleasant and enjoyable rooms in your home. It is headquarters for you, the homemaker, and so you want your kitchen to be something more than an area you associate with tiresome tasks, drudgery and endless steps.
Care in planning plus good judgment in the selection of cabinets, equipment, decoration and furnishings should make your kitchen as personal as your living room in expressing your own good taste and charm. More important, your work can be fun in a well-planned, well-equipped modern kitchen. It is well to remember also that sometimes during almost every gathering in your home, guests will gravitate to the kitchen for refreshments and conversation.
No kitchen is practical unless it lightens housework and makes cooking, serving and cleanup simple and pleasant. Research studies have proved the desirability of keeping the utensils and work centers in a compact area to eliminate long reaches and extra steps with adequate counter space between each.
As a general rule in planning, allow for counter surface between the refrigerator and sink and also between the sink and range. Additional counter area, of course, is planned to the limits of the size of the kitchen and the base cabinet area available. Variations in counter extensions include snack bars, telephone nooks and recipe centers. In larger kitchens, island counter space above base cabinets is frequently used to save steps and make good use of the space available.
Always remember that you are planning this kitchen for yourself, so keep in mind your individual tastes, methods and requirements. The average housewife cooks about 57,000 meals in her lifetime, and walks the equivalent of travel from New York to Los Angeles every year in her own home.
9 mid-century kitchen remodels & floorplans from 1954
1. THE INDIVIDUALIST
This is an example of what can be achieved when personalized planning culminates in an individualized room.
The soffit above the wall cabinets is finished with wood paneling to match the cabinets. A dining area is to the right of the refrigerator, separated from the meal preparation and cleanup center by a wainscoat-height wall topped with a planting box.
Another window above the sink makes the room especially bright in daytime and fluorescent lights above the counter make it a charming center of activity after dark.
2. KITCHEN REMODELS: SUBURBAN DESIGN
Here is another version of the popular “U”-shaped kitchen with the sink centered under an unusually large and attractive window. Small shelves on each side serve to accentuate interest in the window. The corner wall cabinet with a full-view glass panel door serves to display prized china or glassware to good advantage.
A long recessed fluorescent lighting fixture in the soffit above the double sink keeps that work center well lighted and after dark focuses attention on the beautiful window arrangement.
Frequently a two-wall, corridor-type of kitchen like this poses planning problems because of doorways or openings at each end. In addition to solving that problem satisfactorily, the designer of this kitchen beautified the entire layout by using dark-toned paint on the cabinets and ceiling in combination with natural-finish wood doors and drawer fronts.
The colorful curtains and spots on the wall serve to emphasize the attractive color scheme. A ventilating fan in the ceiling above the range is a plus feature.
4. PROVINCIAL KITCHEN
There should be no disagreement that this is a gayly attractive and inviting kitchen.
Extra floor space permitted what would ordinarily be an “L”-shaped arrangement to be extended into a “U” with the attractive snack bar over base cabinets forming the extension. Base cabinets under the snack bar and cabinets hung from the ceiling open from both sides. The plan suggests first-floor laundry facilities.
A completely modern kitchen ventilation system is one of the outstanding features of this beautiful custom-built kitchen.
Directly above the range is a metal hood to trap cooking odors, steam and grease globules which soil walls and curtains. The cabinet and hood plus the grill near the ceiling conceal the complete ventilating unit and ductwork.
The corner window and sink arrangement offer pleasing modernity at that center. Other special features include the planting box under the clock and the counter extension in the foreground.
6. EFFICIENCY WITH CHARM
The bright, cheerful appearance of this room is no less impressive than the many interesting features which can make meal preparation and clean up less of a chore and more of a pleasure.
Sparkling efficiency is personified with the all-white cabinets placed against the deep-toned blue walls to create an “L”-shaped work center arrangement.
In planning your kitchen, study the modern automatic electrical conveniences available. Even if you do not choose to install them immediately, provision can be made for future installation.
Large amounts of beauty and work-saving arrangement are evident in this small kitchen in an average-sized home. The large sink is centered under casement windows, which is the ideal type to place above any kitchen sink.
The backsplash here has been applied to cover the entire wall area between the top of the work counter and the underside of the wall cabinets. The two special corner cabinets are designed to make maximum use of what is so often a difficult area for the housewife to use without kneeling and reaching inside to probe in the dark for what she wants.
8. MID-CENTURY KITCHEN REMODELS FOR BETTER LIVING
This kitchen virtually sings a song inviting you to enter and spend pleasant hours there. The picture window above the sink with the casement windows on each side of it is an excellent example of good use of that wall area.
The ample daylight from that source, plus colorful decorating in combination with the natural wood cabinets, give this room a luxurious appearance not beyond the means of the average family. The narrow plan saves footsteps in crossing from one side to the other.
9. THE HEART-SAVER
Here is the ultimate in design to conserve energy by concentrating a great many conveniences in a small area. Although this is the type of a kitchen recommended for persons with serious heart ailments, there are many good suggestions illustrated which can be adapted for use in kitchens by housewives in perfectly good health.
Note particularly how the telephone, radio, writing desk and kitchen range have been arranged in a small space. Even the color motif here is cooling and relaxing.