When I first saw this house online, I was drawn to the teal appliances. I had never seen anything like them before, and instantly I knew that I could make this house great again. I wrote the seller a letter informing her that I was a flipper and, while I intended to make changes to the house, my goal was to preserve as much as possible and that I wanted to make teal the house’s signature color.


A short time later, with our offer accepted, I got to do exactly that. I found some charm in the peach tile counters as well and decided to enhance them by painting the original cabinets around them grey. This created a nice contrast and, with some fresh white grout, made them look great again. The old cabinet hardware didn’t go with the Midcentury Modern vibe of the home, so I decided to update them to a simple modern chrome handle from Amazon.com. The walls were painted bright white and the concrete floors were polished; however, the biggest impact from this transformation came from a refrigerator.

As my design process continued for the home, I began researching retro refrigerators to see if I could find a vintage appliance that matched the ovens. This search was not as lucky, but I did discover two companies that were making new appliances reminiscent of the iconic 1950s look. A quick phone call later and I had some teal color samples in the mail on their way to Palm Springs. I was ecstatic to find that Big Chill Appliances offers the a teal color—and it was a perfect match. When the refrigerator arrived, it was amazing to see it next to the original O’Keefe & Merritt ovens. (NOTE: You can have the appliances delivered curbside or white glove. Of course, I did curbside to save money, but it took four guys to get it into the house. If you’re splurging for a cool retro fridge, I definitely recommend white glove delivery!)

After. Photo by Peak Photography.

Same color—60 years apart. This transformation always makes me smile because, although most people would have looked at this space and thought of it as a gut job, I looked at it and saw a mid mod masterpiece that just needed a little TLC. Preservation definitely prevailed with this project, and it was rewarding to see to see a retro look revitalized.



James Judge is a designer, flipper, blogger, future TV host and all-around house-a-holic. He strives to take ugly houses and make them into beautiful homes. He loves a collection of all styles but especially enjoys midcentury modern. James appreciates good design and thoughtful solutions to help get the look for less. To see more photos from this project and other transformations, check out James’s blog, Flipping Diaries, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter @flippingdiaries.



Big Chill refrigerator

Chrome cabinet hardware

Cabinet color: Dark Pewter PPU18-4 By BEHR

Door color: Pencil Point PPU18-02 by BEHR