When homeowner Goli Karimi, director of design at Home Front Build, and her wife, Deb Smith, moved into a 1960s MCM home in Altadena, California, they set about renovating the kitchen for better functionality while respecting the original home’s style and history.
Like many MCM homes, renovating the kitchen first involved undoing the work of a 90s renovation which had flattened out the period style. Goli and Deb also renovated for better function. The footprint of the galley kitchen remained the same, but they relocated the washer, dryer and refrigerator to create more walking space. They also updated the cabinetry to match the material of their family room built-in and added personal touches, such as the turquoise paneling and the custom backsplash. “Inspiration for the kitchen came from our family room,” Goli says.
Goli and Deb opted for a classic retro color palette: turquoise and orange with white and wood tones. “We’re not afraid of color,” Goli says. “Deb and I both like blue, and it pops against the wood. Plus, it was a popular color in the 60s.” These colors can be found in prominent pieces of furniture and smaller décor items, making a bold statement that keeps the home vibrant and fun.
Retro Kitchen Reno
Before: The original kitchen had the same galley footprint, but it included a washer and dryer. The cabinets were missing hardware and falling apart, and the refrigerator was crowding the walkway.
Functional alterations: They relocated the washer and dryer to another room, moved the refrigerator to the back wall and added hardware. Now there’s enough space for two people to fit in the kitchen at once.
- Flooring: Marmoleum
- Cabinets: sapele wood
- Cabinet fronts: turquoise laminate
- Countertops: white glass stone
Favorite features: The backsplash was a fun addition the homeowners had to have custom made. “We fell in love with a discontinued design we found online, so we had a local tile shop custom make a similar design,” Goli says. “We are in love with atomic starbursts.”
Also Read: 12 Mid Century Kitchen Design Essentials
Another custom feature is the turquoise laminate cabinet fronts. “It’s not a color readily available for cabinets,” Goli explains. To complement the upper-cabinet color, Goli asked for blue finger pulls on a few of the bottom cabinets. “I didn’t want it everywhere. I thought it would be too busy,” she says.
To see the rest of this home, read A 1960s MCM Home Goes from Bland to Bold! For more kitchen renovation ideas, see Blend Until Smooth: An MCM Kitchen Renovation, MCM Kitchen Storage Organization, A Scandinavian Modern Inspired Mid Century Kitchen. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more Mid Century Modern inspiration!