The Farmhouse Kitchen

Jan
14

Updated in “unabashed tacky” circa 1960, this old farmhouse kitchen will never appear in Architectural Digest. Still, what was lost of the original historic character is made up in retro homey quaintness. Didn’t we all sit down at some point at one of those icons of American modernism, the quintessential chrome and Formica kitchen table?


This table makes me think I need a cookie and a glass of Ovaltine.

Notice the aqua Linoleum tile on the walls. I actually halfway cleaned the kitchen yesterday, so I decided I’d better take pictures quick before I messed it up again.


The Linoleum tile goes all the way around the kitchen. The countertop is more Formica.

I love the kitchen sink with its view onto the meadow bottom leading down to the creek with the hills beyond. In the evenings, sometimes a dozen deer graze along the banks. I love to watch them. The window is aluminum-framed, single-paned. It cranks outwards, but not quite all the way back in. Just one of those things you notice when it’s zero degrees.

The cabinets are also….something. In 1960, they were giddy with their newfound ability to make fake stuff.

The farmhouse is filled with vintage pieces from famous West Virginia glass houses like Fenton and Blenko. The glass gets dusty. I dust it twice a year, spring and fall. When I first moved here, both of the open side cupboards at the sides of the window were filled with glass, and also all along the tops of the cupboards. My Great-Aunt Ruby was a collector of many things, particularly glass, bells, salt and pepper shakers, and Nativity scenes.



The cupboard above left still holds glass, but we had to pack up the glass on top of the other cupboard after the cupboard started coming off the wall. We got the cupboard screwed on again but haven’t put the glass back. Nothing like walking into the kitchen one day and seeing a cupboard coming off the wall with all that vintage glass on top of it to give you a panic attack. I started using the space for extra storage instead.



I did mention that I only halfway cleaned the kitchen up, right?

The curtain to the side of the refrigerator leads to the bedroom with no door. Great-Aunt Ruby didn’t like doors.

Look! More aqua Linoleum tile on the wall!

You didn’t miss the Linoleum floor, did you? It’s…..hideous, in a cute 1960s way….. Through the doorway, you step down (you’re always stepping up or down or slanted in this house) to the dining room. I converted it to an office and use the table as a desk. See the cabinet filled with more glass.



Taking down the glass, one piece at a time, washing and drying, putting it all back, takes an entire day. I broke a piece one time. Don’t tell. Notice the cool antique telephone on the wall.

There’s some cool something or other everywhere you look in this house. I like the spinning wheel in the corner of the dining room. It makes me feel like I’m in a Disney movie.

From here, you can see out into the cellar porch. The cellar porch is an addition that connected the main house to the old cellar, which is entered through a low door to the right in the cellar porch. In the summer, it’s airy and bright. In the winter, it’s freezing cold and bright. The door to the outside doesn’t quite shut. Bet you guessed that already…. It’s also what passes as the laundry room.

Now I think I’m gonna go sit at the table and eat a cookie. Anybody got some Ovaltine? I wonder if Petticoat Junction is on…..

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 14, 2008  

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Comments

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  1. 1-14
    6:49
    am

    Morning! When I first looked at the picture with your oven on it, I thought it was one with a cook top sitting on top of those drawers!! LOL can you tell its early?!?!? I LOVE little old houses like that. :)

  2. 1-14
    7:43
    am

    What a great kitchen, Suzanne! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 1-14
    8:49
    am

    The last picture is beautiful and priceless. I LOVE the composition!

    (Not so much an Ovaltine gal, but Nestle’s Quik in a plastic orange cup. And the after school special….more 70’s there I think, but I betcha that table would still be there!)

  4. 1-14
    8:51
    am

    :butterfly: I love that kitchen and all it’s “stuff!” There is one person who can sneak around that house!!! :purr:

  5. 1-14
    9:41
    am

    At last the tile is a pretty blue. It could have been 70’s orange with paisley print . . .

  6. 1-14
    10:12
    am

    I’ll pass on the Ovaltine (shudder) but will take a cookie.

    I confess that I prefer clean, simple lines and a minimum of “stuff” on display in my own decor. Not that my house comes close to that ideal anymore, with cat “stuff” scattered everywhere, upstairs and down. :lol:

    However, that old kitchen looks like it has wonderful treasures, Suzanne. What will become of everything once you move to the new house?

    -Kim

  7. 1-14
    10:42
    am

    While the Slanted Little Kitchen has its own unique charms, I’m sure you can’t wait to get to the new house! And, I love Petticoat Junction!

  8. 1-14
    10:45
    am

    Don’t you just love it when Suz gets all nostalgic? We get to glimpse her family’s treasures. All that beautiful glass. It is so wonderful.As the cliche goes “They don’t make it like that anymore”. Thanks for sharing with us. I only have one set of carnival glass, a cake stand and punch glasses. My daughter already has dibs on them. Does the glass stay with the house or can you take it with you? Just wondering. (I’m nosy) :lol: Have a great day everyone and :hug: to all. :wave:

  9. 1-14
    12:33
    pm

    Lots of character, that’s what this house has. Hey, we grew up it he sixties, so that decor is not too far off out now is it?
    BW

  10. 1-14
    1:46
    pm

    I have no idea if this post is going to work – I love your new site but it is playing havoc with my dialup. Just want to say I’m enjoying all the pics.

  11. 1-14
    2:12
    pm

    I was a teenager in the 60’s so I remember all this kind of stuff. Our formica table was red and white!! When Daddy finally got around to putting in a bathroom we had PINK wall tile in there. Every room in our house had the linoleum floors!

    Having “been there and done that”, I can just feel the drafts in your old house!! LOL

    My old kitchen here in our 1928 farmhouse has those little shelves on each side of the cabinets. Looks like you have the tile ceilings which we also have.

    All in all your kitchen has lots of retro charm. Did you inherit and get to take all the vintage items with you to your new home??

  12. 1-14
    2:21
    pm

    This old farmhouse belongs to my cousin and is part of his farm where he has his own newer home, and none of the furnishings or gorgeous antiques in the house are mine. (My things are currently in storage.) My Great-Aunt Ruby, who lived in this house, passed away about 10 years ago. Since then, the house has been kept somewhat like a living museum, for family guests, and for the family here to use for entertaining, the traditional holiday meals, etc. Another cousin did live in the house for a time before I came, but for the most part the house has stood empty but still filled with its treasures. My cousin’s mother has been the longtime caretaker. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve taken care of it. When I’m gone, my cousin’s mother will take care of it again. It will be here, furnishings intact, as long as it stands! (It has a new roof, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.) Maybe another family member will live in it again someday, most likely not. But you never know.

  13. 1-14
    2:27
    pm

    catslady, I’m sorry! I know when I do a post with a lot of pictures, it’s hard on dialup. I use dialup, too!

  14. 1-14
    5:18
    pm

    This was like taking a walk through my grandparents old farm house. Thank you. :sheepjump:

  15. 1-14
    5:31
    pm

    In 1960, they were giddy with their newfound ability to make fake stuff.

    This just cracks me up! It’s so true!!! :rotfl:

  16. 1-14
    7:20
    pm

    Hey, I have one of those crank out windows that won’t quite close. I have one of the kids run outside and push on it, while I finish cranking it closed… :shimmy:

  17. 1-14
    7:26
    pm

    The aqua is not bad—-it could have been avocado green.

  18. 1-14
    10:36
    pm

    I really don’t understand floor linoleum on the walls, but those were different times, I guess. The glass is gorgeous, I would be afraid to touch it! Just thinking of all the people that house has sheltered makes your heart feel warm, doesn’t it? *g*

  19. 1-15
    9:57
    am

    I love it, Suzanne! Old kitchens, appliances, utensils, and cookbooks fascinate me!

  20. 1-15
    10:01
    am

    mayby your family could turn it into a museum like Ree’s (Pioneer Woman)husband’s family did with his great grandparents home once they were done with it. (http://thepioneerwoman.com/2007/01/walking_where_a.html)
    There’s so much history there in your old home – it would be lovely to be able to keep it all in one place.

    Love your blog!

    annbb

  21. 1-22
    6:15
    pm

    This makes me wish we’d held on to something in our extended family. I loved reading it! My family is just a bunch of vagabonds. The longest I’ve lived anywhere is 10 years in a house only one other person lived in. It had funky linoleum, too. Veggie lasagna style in the bathroom if you can believe it. I do remember chrome and formica table sets with vinyl chairs, though…

  22. 2-4
    7:32
    pm

    NO WAY!!! I had that same aqua tile in the last old house I owned! Oy, and I didn’t need to remember it. LOL.

  23. 4-22
    7:14
    pm

    I enjoyed the tour also…I LOVE the first picture of the farm table and the bright pictures up on the wall!

  24. 6-26
    8:21
    am

    I like your formica table.

  25. 11-16
    10:18
    pm

    At least there are no ghosts,… are there? My grandmother lived in a 200yr old farmhouse here in Newburgh, IN.There are 13 rooms total in it. We found the secret passages and a trap floor in the dinning rm under the dinner table that leads to the cellar. My brothers and I knew every little nook and cranny of it. Some rooms where a little scary. Oh, and there was a outhouse in the back yard. The barn was across the lane.It had star shaped holes in the ceiling that let the sun and moonlight shine through and there was a pond around back.

  26. 11-17
    4:01
    pm

    Ok…so my husband and I bought a circa 1930’s house it has THE EXACT SAME linoleum wall board in the bathroom…We went to remove it and man is it a chore! It’s glued right onto the plaster wall and the other thing is we were worried it might have asbestos in it, but I’m not sure…of course we learned about it after we started pulling it off the walls….just thought i’d share. ;) ~Anna~

  27. 4-26
    11:03
    am

    I love your website!!! You do all the stuff I wish I were doing. Living in the country has to be the best.
    I just enjoy your posts everyday. You always start my day. Love it.
    Janie https://chickensintheroad.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/pflower.gif

  28. 5-21
    5:10
    pm

    I love your kitchen! I would trade you my more modern, typical kitchen anyday. I love the nooks and crannies and personality it has.

  29. 6-15
    10:14
    pm

    :snuggle:

  30. 6-15
    10:23
    pm

    :snuggle: How charming! I too live in an old farmhouse with the slanting floors (my boys loved it when their cars rolled from one room to the other!), sagging foundation, dirt floor basement. Ahh,
    the character of an old home. Wouldn’t have anything else. Tried once to “up-date” with more stylish decor, but it just wasn’t right! I’m back to country decor again, warm and inviting, the way
    the house wants to be.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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