Our 50s Kitchen Renovation - Week 8

Despite week 8 being a shortened week, because of Thanksgiving, some exciting things happened.  For instance, although we have a large number of cabinets for the kitchen already, there were a few pieces that needed to be custom built.

Many vintage kitchens had little half-shelves that would cap off the end of a row of lower cabinets.  Youngstowndid make one, but they seem to be pretty hard to find, even after months of stalking Ebay and Craigslist.  I did find one in Connecticut, for which I was willing to drive two hours to pick up, but the seller would only sell it with 5 other cabinets and I really didn't need all the rest.

This kitchen ad shows the Youngstown Cabinets, with the quarter circle half-shelf.  We have many of these cabinets shown here.

Here is another example of an end shelf.  These seemed to be typically rounded, but I've seen a few examples of square shelves.

Fortunately, Norm the carpenter had no problems making one of these end shelves.  Because we are doing metal trim edging on our countertops, making this shelf circular wasn't going to be possible. Instead, we decided to match the 45 degree angle on the corner lazy susan cabinets. He did a beautiful job and even matched the location of the shelves, with the location of the drawers and shelves on the rest of the cabinets.  The shelf was painted with bright white enamel, so it blends in well with the metal cabinets.  We were going to have him put in a metal pole down the middle of the shelves, to emulate the original Youngstown one, but ultimately decided that it was wonderful the way it was and I was afraid the pole would make it more frustrating to use.  This shelf will mainly be used as a display shelf for some of my vintage kitchen decorations.  

Our amazing new end shelf, built by Norm.

 Here is a view of the entire kitchen, including the shelf.  You can see how the angle of the shelf matches the angle of those corner lazy Susan cabinets.

Here is a view of the entire kitchen, including the shelf.  You can see how the angle of the shelf matches the angle of those corner lazy Susan cabinets.

We had some other pieces custom built as well.  One of the many things I collect is vintage cookbooks. In my old kitchen, I wasn't able to display them properly and so knew I wanted a to have a bookshelf somewhere in the kitchen.  We decided to have one installed on top of the cabinet that is placed next to the broom closet.

 

My cookbook shelf.  This isn't quite attached yet, but eventually it will be flush with the broom closet.

 

While I would have loved to have a vintage-style fridge in my retro kitchen, it just wasn't practical for us.   Modern fridges are generally taller and deeper than vintage ones, so ours would stick out far beyond the cabinets themselves.   We wanted to do something that would make the fridge look more integrated with the rest of the kitchen, so Norm built this awesome surround.  To the right of the surround he built a nook, with tall, deep shelves.  The nook will house our trash can and the shelves will be used for tall appliances, like the blender, which won't fit anywhere else. Again, Norm did an amazing job.

 
 Our new fridge surround and shelves.  The shelf above the fridge will eventually get doors and hardware to match the rest of the cabinetry.

Our new fridge surround and shelves.  The shelf above the fridge will eventually get doors and hardware to match the rest of the cabinetry.

 

The last thing that happened this week was the installation of the sink base.  When we bought our cabinets, it did come with a sink base, but it was completely rusted on the sides.  I refinished the front of the base itself (Expect more on this process, in a future post) and Norm cut the front of the base off and mounted the metal front to a wooden base that he built.  Now it fits in seamlessly with the rest of the cabinets.

 

The sink base in its original, rusty condition.

 The refinished Youngstown sink base front.  Doors will be hung later.

The refinished Youngstown sink base front.  Doors will be hung later.