How to Remodel a Kitchen in a Ranch Style House From 1960

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A kitchen built in a ranch house 50 years ago is probably in need of some attention after half a century of wear and tear. Changing culinary tastes and design standards have likely outdated a kitchen in a ranch-style house as well. Adding modern appliances and putting a new sheen on the counters and cabinets will spruce up your kitchen and make it a more enjoyable place to cook.

Go Retro

  • Emphasize your kitchen's era rather than gutting it and replacing it with a brand new kitchen. Enough time has passed since 1960 that styles and objects from that era have gained a certain hip cache.

  • Retrofit the kitchen with retro appliances such as aqua-colored, metal sink cabinets and a chrome dining room table with matching chairs. Scour your local charity shops for 60s-era kitchen implements and appliances. Retro chic has become common enough that you can even find some new appliances in a 1960s style but with modern levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Learn more about the retro look by checking out architectural history books and magazines from the period. Go to your local library and find "Life" magazines from the 1960s. Pay special attention to the ads, where you will see the look of the era in color.

Cabinets

  • Give a fresh new look to your kitchen by replacing worn-out, grease-stained or damaged cabinets with new ones. 1960s era plastic laminate or plywood that is peeling or deteriorating can be replaced with new materials that mimic the old style or that sport a entirely different look.

  • Save a lot of money by making do with the existing cabinets and replacing only the cabinet doors; this can still make the cabinets look as good as new. If the old cabinets and doors are in reasonable condition, you might only need to give them a new coat of paint or veneer. Consider an aqua hue to match your vintage appliances.

  • Change the hardware on your cabinets to create a subtly different look in your kitchen. Replacing pulls and hinges, particularly if the old ones are no longer working properly, can make a kitchen more attractive and easier to work in. Businesses that specialize in retro hardware make sleek cabinet hardware that mimics the 1960s look, or you might be able to find originals at an architectural salvage store.

Windows

  • Replace windows that have been in your kitchen since 1960, and you'll give your kitchen a fresher look and greatly increase its heating efficiency. Fifty-year-old windows are likely losing a lot of heat every winter. You can have windows made to match the style of the older windows if you want to maintain the 1960s feel of your kitchen, but they will need to be made with insulated, double-pane glass to avoid heat loss.

  • Increase the amount of sunlight that comes into your kitchen by enlarging your south-facing windows. If you have two south-facing windows with wall space between them, pull the whole segment out, and install a new, well-insulated picture window to give you a view and allow the sun to heat your kitchen. Many kitchens from the 1960s era will already have fairly large windows. If they are single-pane windows, you can either replace them with double-paned glass or have a storm window made to fit over their exterior.

  • Repaint the trim around your windows to match your new cabinets and tie your new kitchen together with a comprehensive color scheme. Refer to magazine advertisements from the 1960s for ideas about authentic color schemes from the era.

References

  • Photo Credit Chaos/Lifesize/Getty Images
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