This 1950s three-bedroom, two-bath ranch house with an MCM kitchen is in touch with its rustic Western roots (Part 1). “I wanted a house that looks like a B-movie actor from Republic Pictures might have bought it,” says homeowner David Izenman. “That’s how I wanted to furnish it: it didn’t have to be strictly cowboy, it could be ’30s, ’40s and ’50s things that somebody in the movie industry might have had at the time. ”
Colorful textiles, hearth pillows and ‘50s chairs give the ranch a homey cabin feel, and inexpensive framed vintage prints and sheet music add plenty of personality.
The kitchen he inherited dated from the ’70s, with indigo-blue cabinetry, tile counters and backlit soffits. The latter came down to make room for pottery and collectible displays, and even the MDF cupboard doors were sandblasted into rusticity. Reproduction iron hinges helped tie the kitchen to the western aesthetic, and Izenman plans to replace a vinyl greenhouse window and change out the countertops to red “cracked ice” laminate with chrome edging. He found the aqua Western Holly wall oven on eBay for $25 and wants to replace the PO’s cooktop with a vintage model. His refrigerator is a 1939 Westinghouse with a restored exterior and all-metal interior that still works great.
Archeology in the MCM kitchen revealed that the breakfast bar had white ceramic tile laid over granite, with the original notched-pine bar lurking underneath. The previous owner had widened it so it could hold more stuff he figures, but “it is what it is: it’s supposed to be a wonderful, notched-out, clunky wood breakfast bar that works for the house,” Izenman says.
If you wonder about cooking grease clinging to those rough-textured cabinets and fun collectibles, fear not: he cheerfully cops to just warming up take-out food, making coffee, “and if I really want to become industrious, I’ll toast a bagel.”
Beyond the MCM Kitchen
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this tour to find out how Izenman transformed the rest of the ranch to match its classic ‘50s style.