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A Little Vintage Red for the Kitchen



Happy Valentine’s Day!

About RED – Red is the warmest of all colors. Red is the color most chosen by extroverts and one of the top picks of males. On the negative side red can mean temper or anger. In China, red is the color of prosperity and joy. Brides wear red and front doors are often painted red. Red is Tuesday’s color. Red roses symbolize passionate love. Ruby rings should be worn on the left hand. Red is the color of Mars. This planet is known as the God of War.
Red Energy

Red is associated with fiery heat and warmth. It can also mean danger (burning).

Red is the color of blood, and as such has strong symbolism as life and vitality. It brings focus to the essence of life and living with emphasis on survival. Red is also the color of passion and lust.







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Vintage Red Kitchen in Iowa




While searching on flickr for something I stumbled on to Barry and Maria Stahl’s 2008 kitchen remodel. I’m a sucker for vintage, I saw that Detroit Vapor Stove on that tile wall with 1913 and I was hooked.

“We are in New Albin, a tiny town (population about 450) at the very, very northeast corner of the state, right on the Mississippi River at the MN/IA border. The house was built in 1913, as best we can tell, so next year is its 100th birthday. It was constructed of cinderblock for the first floor and wood frame for the second. It has lots of sets of windows in sets of 3s. We have lived in the house since 2002. It’s been through many remodels and has been at various times a single family home, a boarding house, a shop and eventually home to a little old lady who blocked off the upstairs and lived in just 4 rooms of the main floor.”



In 2006 on her blog Shallow Thoughts From Iowa  Maria said about her kitchen – “horrible 1970s patterned vinyl floor covering that just about blinds you, and if it doesn’t, slowly drives you insane, a la Charlotte Perkins Gilman‘s The Yellow Wallpaper crossed with the patterned carpet at the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining

b) crumbling plaster and a hole where a doorway used to be (it’s only closed permanently on the other side, the kitchen side has studs)

c) the ugliest cabinets you ever did see, made of warping particle board frames and PLASTIC (yes, you read that right) drawers that are falling apart

Here’s a few pics of the kitchen before renovation.








“We had an old oil furnace that was in terrible shape. We wanted to replace it with geothermal heat, a ground source, closed loop system. We got all the quotes for it and went to the bank. The crazy thing was, it would not raise the appraised value of our house enough to justify another loan, and we didn’t have the cash. But, our banker told us, if we redid the awful kitchen, that would add enough value to justify a loan for both the kitchen and the geothermal system! So that’s what we did. I got my dream kitchen and we got a reliable, fairly “green” method of heating the house. Oh, and we got central air out of the deal, too.

The kitchen was nice and roomy, but had a total of 4 doorways, so it ended up being mostly trafficways. We closed one of the doorways, which gave us a nice big L shape along 2 walls for cabinets and fixtures. It made all the difference. I had bought a 1930s Detroit Vapor gas stove at a garage sale in Bangor, Wisconsin, years ago, and we designed the kitchen around it. It’s the second thing people exclaim over when they walk into the room, right after “Wow! Everything’s so red!”

The ceiling is now red painted beaded board, the same color as the cabinets. I’m a tall woman, 5 foot 11, so I love having high cabinets for all my treasures. I have lots of vintage enamelware and kitchen gadgets on top of the cabinets (more than in the Flickr photos, it’s really gotten kind of excessive now – ha!). It’s a very nice kitchen for 2 cooks to work, as there is plenty of counter space.

The floors are local hard maple, cut, cured and milled by our local sawmill, Konkel Hardwoods. John Pitts made the cabinets. The sink is from IKEA, and my husband did all the tile work.”














Here’s how it all came together and the “red” is fantastic! And that Detroit Vapor Stove. And all the vintage kitchen collectables on the shelves. And that “1913” tile work!!














Thanks to The Stahl’s for letting us visit your kitchen. Visit Maria’s blog Shallow Thoughts from Iowa and her site Sweet Gal Decals.




The Detroit Vapor Stove Company

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Heintz House and Detroit Vapor Stove Co. on Franklin; c.1905






Sorry, it’s been so long. Holidays, birthdays and vacations are officially over. Back to the blog and The Detroit Vapor.

At the turn-of-the-century Detroit was pumping out the stoves. In 1922 Detroit makers built 400,000 stoves worth $10 million in one year.

These were the biggeys – The Michigan Stove Company, The Detroit Stove Works, The Penninsular Stove Company, the Art Stove Company, and the Detroit Vapor Stove Company.




Yes, there really stoves called a “vapor stove”. These stoves burned “stove gasoline,” a crude form of the fuel. Vapor stoves could burn multiple fuels that also included kerosene, a type of oil, or a fuel called “distillate”.




Here’s a vapor stove ad and a great article Late 19th-Century Gasoline Stoves – Cooking on a Bomb Used to be Normal

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Holly Abston in Romantic Country Magazine

My Vintage Kitchen Stove (chambers c model) when we first built, we've upgraded the counters since.

Last year I did a post about artist, Holly Abston’s darling jadeite kitchen.

I found Holly’s fabulous kitchen while searching for Chambers stoves. She has a beauty!

Her darling house and art was featured in the spring edition of the 2012 Romantic Country Magazine. On sale now.

Congratulations Holly. Still lovin that stove!

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Source: hollyabston.com via Jan on Pinterest

Visit Holly’s site www.hollyabston.com for a look into her beautiful world and illustrations!


Research, Book Marks, Pinterest and The Hoosier Cabinet

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1923 catalog/price list on ebay

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French miniature hoosier on ebay

I am not a writer, I don’t particularly enjoy the part of the day that I sit down to put a blog post together.

What I do love is the research! I love being lost in the turn-of-the century. I love reading the stories of real people. I love putting it all the information together in one place – this blog.

My biggest frustration was sorting through endless unorganized book marks. Every so often I go through them and try to categorize and figure out why the hell I looked at thing in the first place.

Enters Pinterest – love at first sight. I pinned everything because that was what every other woman in America was doing! After about 2-3 weeks of serious obsessive pinning – a vision hit me. I am going to do an in-depth look at the history of The Hoosier Cabinet. Why can’t I use a Pinterest board to store all the research?

Here’s the board – The Hoosier Cabinet. It has grown and will continue to grow until ???.

So easy! Is this even legal? Is there a catch? Things which took hours now took minutes.

I have all my research with pictures. The links go straight to the source. No tracking down names, dates, websites. No down loading other people’s pictures. I just kept pinning and I had the pictures and information right there. Magic!

There must be other ways to use this site that I haven’t even thought of yet. It’s genius!

Source: Uploaded by user via Jan on Pinterest