Saturday, October 25, 2014

1920s/1950s Kitchen

When I planned the bungalow kitchen, I wasn't sure if I should be true to the house's age and do a 1920s kitchen, or do more of a 1950s kitchen to fit the mostly midcentury modern furniture my imaginary (modern-day) inhabitants own. And what about appliances? Older kitchens often don't have the original refrigerator or stove for safety/product lifespan/energy efficiency reasons (in my experience, old stoves are somewhat prone to gas leaks).

Finally, I stumbled upon pictures of the adorable in-room kitchenettes at the Chateau Marmont Hotel, built in 1927 (originally an upscale apartment house). Then Retro Renovation led me to a few companies making new appliances that resembled their midcentury predecessors. Bingo.

I had been eyeing Town Square Miniatures' white 1950s kitchen set, since the oven and refrigerator look similar to their GE, Smeg, and Big Chill counterparts. But, I wasn't sure about the sink cabinet until I found the "hex tile" and "subway tile" papers (both made by Itsy Bitsy Minis) that I also used in the bathroom. Perfect. (Well-maintained sinks don't often NEED to be replaced, so an original sink paired with newer appliances made sense.)

I also bought a few packs of Houseworks' fancy dresser drawer handles, flattened them slightly (so I could re-use the existing nail holes), and painted them black. I then carefully pried out the silver-tone drawer/cabinet pulls, carefully pried out the sink (not an easy task), and removed traces of glue from the sink area.

I covered the countertop with the subway tile paper, taking care to line up the black "trim" tiles with the top of the backsplash and the edge of the counter (this took some cutting and pasting, but was well worth the effort). I also used black "trim" tiles to outline the sink (a detail seen in both the Chateau Marmont kitchenettes and in my grandmother's midcentury kitchen). After the glue dried, I coated the new "tile" counter and backsplash with clear gloss glaze, reinstalled the sink, and attached the new handles. (The bottom center of the sink cabinet can be removed and used as a separate cabinet, so I could do that and put a little curtain under the sink instead, as is often seen in older kitchens. It's not permanently installed, just in case I change my mind.)

I love this kitchen.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Move-In Ready!

The bungalow's interior is ready for its imaginary occupants. (I'm not sure I can honestly call the house "done" since I plan to mount it on a base and add miniature landscaping...and most likely a matching garage. I'm still deciding on the exact layout, so I'm planning to work on furniture/accessories for a bit and come back to the base by the end of the year.)

View of the main room and kitchen (experimenting with furniture placement in this picture):

The finished kitchen. I decided to move the cooker because I've cooked in aging kitchens that had the oven/stovetop wedged into a tight's kind of a hassle. I slightly doctored a Town Square Miniatures kitchen set to give it a mixed 1920s/1950s look and will detail that in a future post (the oven hood was handmade out of balsa wood, and the cabinets are House of Miniatures kits). The subway tile and hex tile, which are repeated in the bathroom, are papers from Itsy Bitsy Mini.

I really wanted a claw-foot tub for this house. So, in spite of the fact that the antique-style toilet would probably never pass California's water usage requirements (in case anybody didn't know, we have a severe water shortage and get so little rain that half the state is basically wildfire tinder), I used Chrysnbon's Victorian bathroom kit. I've decided that this is a "lovingly restored" house with re-grouted tile, clean-scrubbed fixtures, etc. - but I might add more storage to the bathroom in deference to the modern family living here.

Bedroom 1. I know exactly what I'm going to do in here. (It's hard to tell in the pictures, but I used textured scrapbook paper for the walls in both bedrooms to create the illusion of grasscloth wallpaper.)

Bedroom 2. Still making decisions, but I do have a growing selection of accessories for this room.

Check back soon for more.