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Restoring & Updating a Vintage 1950s Kitchen


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Regarding the Termador ovens... How deep is the cabinet itself? If the cabinet is 24" deep, you should be able to fit a standard oven in there. 29" high is a standard height for a wall oven... The killer is the 44" width, which I will assume are for both? Most consumer ovens are 30" max. You could get a good cabinetmaker to fill in the sides to match and make a 30" oven work.

I love that black chair. My grandparents had one. I wish I could have kept it.

Dan

PS. I will PM you with another bit of info that I think you will appreciate.

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Andie, thanks for the mag strip gadget idea. It may well help with a few of the items. Any other ideas?

Dan, I'll try to remember to measure tonight. However, we're thinking more and more that we're going to grab something like this Cadco convection oven.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Andie, thanks for the mag strip gadget idea. It may well help with a few of the items. Any other ideas?

Dan, I'll try to remember to measure tonight. However, we're thinking more and more that we're going to grab something like this Cadco convection oven.

Will the Cadco have to be free standing?

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My friends, who have that Cadco oven, do a lot of entertaining and she loves the oven because she is barely five feet tall and a stacked set of ovens was not an option that would work for her unless one was placed virtually at floor level and apparently there is some code in L.A. that won't allow that.

They have a grandchild living with them and as the entire front of the Cadco remains cool to the touch, even at top temps inside, it is also a safety factor.

Besides regular sheet pans, she has commercial hamburger bun pans that get a lot of use and not always for the purpose for which they were intended. She does a bunch of mini Dutch baby pancakes that are, to use a cliché, to die for. Also mini pizzas, etc.

There are a lot of advantages in having that size oven. When I had my big oven (Blodgett) I always baked pies using a sheet pan for a rack - much easier to clean the pan than the bottom of the oven.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Make sure you get the current issue of Atomic ranch. It looks like your kitchen on the cover! It's viewable online.

There's also a great book called "Atomic Ranch - Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes" that might interest you. I ended up with two copies, and will probably put on on eBay soon.

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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Just subscribed. Housewarming gift for my wife. Yeah, that's the ticket. :wink:

On the Cadco: Started a topic on the electrical issues over here. Trying to figure all that stuff out.

Meanwhile, I have to say that I'm mighty pleased with the range top:

4552552101_47954d9356_o.jpg

It's so much hotter than my previous gas range that it's taking some getting used to, but that's a nice problem to have. I'm heating up stockpots of water for corn in about 50% of the time it used to take. Being happy with that (we weren't sure it would work effectively) frees up some resources to take care of the oven problem.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Make sure you get the current issue of Atomic ranch. It looks like your kitchen on the cover! It's viewable online.

There's also a great book called "Atomic Ranch - Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes" that might interest you. I ended up with two copies, and will probably put on on eBay soon.

That is a great book. I have "Forgotten Modern: California Houses 1940-1970" because my dad built a couple of the homes featured in the book. I got to see several houses while under construction and compared to many non-tract homes, they were "overbuilt" in that they were safer than other "hillside" homes and were designed to ride out earthquakes with little or no damage.

I've also got the book "Living Retro" because I have a bunch of "Danish Modern" furniture. Still looks good and works well with some of the vintage Art Deco stuff I have collected.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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For now, we've decided to keep the Thermador ovens. Reasons: we are having a hard time parting with them; other unexpected house renovations are taking priority; they both work -- one gets up to 350ish and the other broils.

"Broils" isn't quite the right word. "Burns like the fires of hell" is more like it. This broiling unit puts most salamanders to shame: it gets blistering hot within two or three minutes and cooks four or five times more rapidly than our old gas broiler. First time I used it for meal prep I nearly burned down the house.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Sam.

Does anyone have any ideas for period spot lighting? We've replaced this light with one more conducive to the kitchen's overall design:

4553189224_709a6171c1_o.jpg

However, the light isn't bright enough for that counter, and I do most of my prep work there with my back to the fluorescent light above. I'd like to avoid attaching something to the cabinets if possible, but if it were just right I'd go for it.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It shouldn't be too difficult for an electrician to install one of

these light bars

I replaced a ceiling fixture in my pantry with one like this.

I replaced a rather ugly surface mount ceiling fixture in my laundry room with

this one

(now out of stock)

Both produce a lot more light than you would expect for the size of the (halogen) bulbs.

They are really designed to go with mid-century modern.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Interesting you'd suggest that. I was under the impression that the gods of midcentury design would strike me down dead if I put in track, halogen, or any such other lighting.

Chris, my dad built a lot of "modern" houses in the greater L.A. area from 1946 to 1969.

He was a huge fan of Charles and Ray Eames. While they were mostly known for their wonderful furniture designs, they also designed some fantastic lighting pieces, including some very fanciful and free-form track lighting. Nothing like the industrial type track lighting that began to appear as early as the late 40s.

Check out this site in a Cliff May home (Eichler contemporary).

One of the houses my dad built (for film director William Castle) had lighting that was almost identical to the ones in the links I posted above, in the kitchen, the library/den, and in what would now be known as the "media" room but was then a home movie theater.

Other types of light fixtures that were popular during the same period were "bullet" clusters - I had these in the house my dad built for my husband and I in 1962. It was what would be termed "Atomic Ranch" in design. Cathedral ceilings, open beams and lots of light fixtures almost identical to the 3-unit type seen in the middle of this page Ours were bronze finished to match the hardware on the cabinets, closets, cupboards and etc.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I would pick a period hanging fixture of some sort for that breakfast area and something along this directly above the counter, probably two of them about 24" apart.

They did have track lighting back then but most of the fixtures looked like a tomato can on a stem with a reflector flood in them, personally, yech.

Edited by RobertCollins (log)

Robert

Seattle

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I would pick a period hanging fixture of some sort for that breakfast area and something along this directly above the counter, probably two of them about 24" apart.

They did have track lighting back then but most of the fixtures looked like a tomato can on a stem with a reflector flood in them, personally, yech.

I agree that some track lighting, like the cheap ones sold at Builders Emporium (forerunner of Home Depot and etc.) were rather chintzy.

However there was a lot of very fine and attractive track lighting manufactured during that period. the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was separated from the Museum of Natural History in 1961 and construction was begun on the new museum and when it opened in 1965 it was the largest new museum in the US, after the National Gallery. Lightolier designed and installed thousands of feet of beautiful track lighting there. Also in other museums.

The lighting won a best design award.

I had track lighting in three of the five homes I have owned since 1962. The designs evolved with changes in styles but they were always attractive.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I would pick a period hanging fixture of some sort for that breakfast area and something along this directly above the counter, probably two of them about 24" apart.

These are great! I wish the one that hangs with a different color by the other ones would be perfect and certainly have the right era!

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Chris, I typed a long-winded note on our mid century kitchen project about midnight last night, and when I hit enter around 1 AM, it went "P00F"! :shock::angry:

I'll learn to cut and paste next time! I'll respond again when I get some time.

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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Thanks, everyone, for the light feedback. Starting to think about a pendant lamp that can be raised and lowered over the surface....

Meanwhile, I figured out what the little white switch on the face of the left oven is:

4553191600_cb4679f23c_o.jpg

Any guesses?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 3 months later...

They're working out ok. We can get the left oven up to 450F or so, but the upper heating element doesn't work very well. That means we have to preheat the thing well in advance and usually have a pizza stone in the top slot for any sensitive baking. The right oven is blazing broiler when it's in the mood, and a warming oven otherwise.

More, much more, soon. :wink:

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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