Category Archives: vintage appliance

A White Vintage Kitchen

One of my favorite looks for a kitchen is Vintage and White.

Can a kitchen have that “dreamy” feel? Is it a look that can be easily updated with a current trend? Will it look fresh in 10 or 15 years? I say “Yes!”

It can be shabby chic, french country, primitive or country/western.
A white background can be a starting palette of fabulous design and function.

Source: via Jan on Pinterest

With a few accessory changes, you can add the newest trends and then dump them when they grow tired. Just go back to the white canvas and start fresh.

See more on my Pinterest board Vintage White Kitchen

Source: via Jan on Pinterest

Lovin the Vintage White Look….more articles….

From Country Living – The Insider’s Guide to Decorating with White

From http://www.kitchenbuilding.comPainting Old Country Cabinets White

What’s Up with the Blog in 2012

Yep, the blog is a year old.

I started it, to link to my past employer Vintage Appliances .  For the same old reason, “money”,  that didn’t work out.  So here I am, a vintage appliance appraiser with the blog.

Why am I still doing it?  I don’t make much money from doing the appraisals.

I love research (yes, I’m weird).  I love and know about vintage appliances.  I love to share the information.  I love people who have and use their antique and vintage appliances.   I stuck with the blog and it grows.

What I learned –

1.   Although I love WordPress,  I would have started out on a site where I    could  advertise.  I have no clue how to change this or switch my whole blog over so it can make money. Help!

2.  When you write, people read.  I don’t consider myself a great writer but hey,  people still read the blog!  So write more often.

3.  You can really make new friends over the internet.  You never see them but they’re there.  I can’t even fathom how much help I’ve got.  Plus a free avatar design from my sweet young friend in Manhattan.  They pump you up and are there when you need moral support.

4.  One of the things I ask myself – “will I care about this a year from now”? Yes, I think I will.

So what’s next?  More appliances duh.  More editing,  more learning, more research and more vintage kitchens.

Here’s a look at our next kitchen – The 1913 Red Vintage Kitchen in Iowa

Send me pics of your kitchen or appliances or questions or ???

A 1900 “Folk Victorian” Home in Michigan


I started this post about the Collins’ family home 6 months ago (some how it got away from me). The GE Monitor Top Refrigerator, Chambers Stove and fabulous wall of white cupboards had me hooked and I couldn’t stop wondering what had been going on in that kitchen?

Why am I hooked? I love old American homes, that working people turn into their own, personal treasures. They become a part of their lives and stories.

My taste runs towards the simple and functional. I am not too keen on foo-foo or high-maintenance. I love antiques and period homes. I love this kitchen (I’ll give you a peek but wait till the end!) and I love the Collins’ home.

I had hoped to show the restoration in progress. They’ve been working and what a fabulous job they’ve done.


Bill says – “I live in Eaton Rapids, Michigan with my wife and two kids in the same town where I was born and grew up. The two-story house is what I call Folk Victorian, built circa 1900. We purchased it at the end of March, 2010, and we moved into it in March of 2011, after almost exactly a year of renovation work. It’s not our first old house, but it’s the first one on which we did such major work.

The original details were the major selling points, including floors, trim, doors and windows, storm windows, and plaster walls. The kitchen had been “updated” in the 1970’s or 80’s, but no lasting harm was done, especially to the unique full wall of floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboards. The only room that required gutting the walls down to the studs was the main bath.

It was never a fancy, high-Victorian house. The original trim is fairly simple and was always painted, not stained. This made it easier to match in the few places it was necessary, and it did a lot to make the DIY restoration work more doable. We did over 90% of the work ourselves, with occasional help from good friends. Work included: blown insulation in the previously hollow walls; stripping wallpaper (every wall, throughout the house); main bathroom demolition; removing old wall-to-wall carpeting; removing old vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bath; full renovations of the kitchen and main bath, including wainscoting and new linoleum flooring; adding an upstairs half-bath; painting walls and ceilings throughout the house; refinishing wood floors; refurbishing hardware throughout the house, including fixtures and door hardware; major plumbing overhaul and extensive electrical work.”

The kitchen before –




The Sun Porch off-of the kitchen –


Sun Porch (after) –


Parlor and Dining Room (before)-


Parlor and Dining Room after –



“The main bath had been remodeled several times over the decades. (There were five layers of wall surfacing, each applied directly over the previous layer, from old and weathered horizontal beadboard paneling to fiberboard, drywall, wallpaper, and more drywall.) Originally it was a side porch which was enclosed to create in indoor bathroom sometime after the house was originally built. It felt cramped, with a low acoustic-tile ceiling and dark blue wallpaper. It also had significant water damage due to poor roof flashing. With a new steel roof installed, we set about removing each layer of wall, down to the studs and rebuilt it with moisture-resistant drywall and new beadboard wainscoting. There was also a walk-in closet in the upstairs hall, which I converted into a half-bath. I did all the plumbing work myself. The clawfoot bathtub was salvaged from my mother’s farmhouse, stripped and refinished by a local pro. The vintage Kohler sinks in both bathrooms came from a local architectural salvage.”

The “main” bath during demo –


Bath after –


Resurfaced Kohler sink with new faucets and original brass pop-up drain. Pop up knob says “waste”.


One of pair of antique sconces in bathroom –


“Most of the light fixtures are also salvage or antique shop finds which I repaired and restored. The dining room pan-chandelier, in particular, was donated by friends as a box of rusty parts. The only light fixture original to the house is the unique single-bulb fixture in the upstairs hall, which has a suspended steel shade with a coral-pink glass insert. We took that color to echo when we painted the upstairs bath. The wall switches and outlets were a hodgepodge of styles and colors. For a uniform, period approach I replaced all with new brown switches and outlets and I covered them with vintage Bakelite wall plates from the local Habitat for Humanity Restore.”

light dinroom 04


“Removing the main floor carpeting revealed original wood floors, although they had been heavily splattered with paint. After scraping and sanding, I stained the oak flooring in the parlor and dining room a dark mahogany, then finished with four coats of clear polyurethane. The heart pine floor in the family room had a beautiful orange cast and I left it unstained, only finishing with the clear poly. The oak flooring upstairs wasn’t in bad shape, but it benefitted from a light sanding and two new coats of poly. Then the floors were appointed with a collection of great vintage wool-pile rugs purchased at an estate sale, and a new runner for the stairs.”



Here’s what got me “hooked ” in the first place – the kitchen. Oh, those cupboards. I thought, “I’d die and gone to heaven”.







“Exterior renovation is still in progress, and will be for some time. But after a solid year’s effort, even on a fairly tight budget, the interior is pretty much completed and it turned out just about exactly the way we wanted. With a few finishing touches like the rugs, our collections of antique furniture, and window treatments that brought it all together, we were able to move into a house that already felt like home.”

Thanks to Bill “Piper” Collins and his family for a virtual tour of his Folk Victorian home. If your wondering where the Piper comes from Bill’s a bagpiper in the Glen Erin Pipe Band.


Good night all!!


GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

The GE Monitor Top came out in 1927 and was considered the first compact, affordable American refrigerator. When freon came in to play these basically became obsolete.

“The GE Monitor top refrigerator is perhaps the most recognized of vintage refrigerators. Built on the principal of a French industrialist concept for a hermetically sealed refrigeration system, the first models available to the general public, for residential use, were introduced in 1927. General Electric committed $18 million dollars to the manufacturing of these units and another million dollars to advertise them to the public.”read more at

Great article from The Industrial Designers Society of America’s site

Cool pic from flickr friend chrisarchives from the Schenectady Museum. Christian Steenstrup With First GE Monitor-top Refrigerator

“Christian Steenstrup, of General Electric Refrigerator Engineering Department, photographed with first commercial sample of GE refrigerator in his home in Schenectady, New York. Steenstrup developed the Monitor-top, the first hermetically sealed steel refrigerator. A Danish immigrant, Steenstrup, as a young toolmaker at GE, helped develop GE’s employee suggestion system.”

Christian Steenstrup With First GE Monitor-top Refrigerator

Finally, a great little video from youtube.

1915 Craftsman Bungalow – A Period Kitchen, A Period Home

Adam and Jovita Blankenship ‘s home in Modesto, California caught my eye when I saw they were restoring their 1915 Craftsman style bungalow and adding a period style working kitchen.

A quote from one of his posts says it all – “every room in my house will resemble a look between 1915-1925”. The before and after photos are truly an eye opener.

The journey can be seen on their blog – 1915 Craftsman Style Bungalow. We travel through time and an 1980’s update to a stunning 1915-1925 restoration.

Here is the before kitchen. It seems to have been updated in the 1980’s sometime. It’s a typical functioning kitchen, like many Americans still have in their homes.

Adam working on the tile

Here’ s the kitchen – it’s stunning.  From the black and white tile, to the creamy yellow paint.

Let’s take a closer look – a darling working butter churn.

The farmhouse sink –

The reproduction Hoosier Cabinet –

The Occidental Stove –

And the Occidental Stove –

And the Occidental Working – OK, I’m obsessed –

Cookies – Soft Molasses and more!

The Pantry –

I thank Adam and Jovita for letting me us their photos and tour their home. They are newly wed and starting a dreamy life in the 1915 Craftman Bungalow.

PS. I’d love to be working from here instead of my kitchen table!

Now we’re cooking with the classics

Now we’re cooking with the classics

The shop was featured in the local Tucson paper on Sunday. The Foodarama is from 1956 (not late 1940’s or early 50’s) and will probably end up in Alaska.



Vintage Appliance Appraisal? Give Me a Break! Why?

An appraiser needs a specialty, whether it’s glass, guns or gunny-sacks it’s your knowledge which keeps those people coming to you for an appraisal.

My thing is big, vintage appliances. It’s what I know and it’s what I love.. O’Keefe’s, Chambers, Philco’s, the smelly and the funky. Give me more!

Vintage Appliances is one of the few appliance restoration companies in the county. I’ve worked
with Rich Allen for over 10 years and we know our stuff. We do appraisals.

Why would you want or need to spend money on an appraisal of an appliance? It might not work, avocado green or burnt orange with a peace sign, it might be butt ugly or sound like an earthquake – it might be worth $1000.00’s.

A notable designer or color, mid-century modern or cast iron might get you to the big bucks . Maybe it’s a one-of-a-kind by some obscure manufacturer, it might have not been working since 1936 or a pro-to type or who the hell knows where it came from?

Here’s what I know –

* You can get a beautiful reproduction, you’ll never be able to replace the look and feel of an original. You live in an old house, you need old appliances. Got a beauty? Keep it!

*There is no comparison to the workmanship of the past.
The appliances were built to last a life time.
They were the “new” technology with features and materials
that were meant used and abused for decades if not a century.

*A 600 pound Chambers Stove isn’t going to blow away in an ordinary wind storm, earth quake or tornado. You’ll need some serious muscle to move that sucker!

*The insides might need some tweeking or there’s a touch of rust. It can all be fixed.

*You inherited a “gem in the rough”. Find out exactly what “the rough” really means and get it appraised!