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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Back to the Future

Step into cutting-edge 1950s design in this East Side kitchen

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you’ve stepped back in time? That’s what happened when Julie Vandeveer, a sales associate at ERA First Advantage Realty, Inc., first started showing an East Chestnut Street home as a rental prospect. She was impressed by the faithful upkeep of many of the 1950s home’s original design elements, particularly in the kitchen.

The hardest-working room in the house embraces ‘50s colors and futuristic design elements. Covered in a lemony yellow and punctuated in chrome, this East Side kitchen doubles as a time capsule.

Photo by Jodi Keen. Metal factors in heavily, from the drawers to the Sears Kenmore stove, which sports a chrome circle vent fan.

Metal is a frequently used material here, making up the drawers, Lyon cabinets, and built-in corner lazy Susan. Pocket doors close the kitchen to outside noise. Chrome accents, such as in the countertop edging and cabinet hardware, drive home the era’s embrace of a space-age aesthetic.

The Sears Kenmore oven, also thought to be original, includes a vent fan that looks strikingly similar to a jet engine.

New are a diamond-inlay backsplash and butcher block, which begs the question: How does one find ‘50s-centric home design materials if they need to replace something original but want to preserve that early-mid-century look?

“Salvage Candy locally is a good resource,” Vandeveer says. “Keep an eye on estate sales in the area. Many developers used the same plans and materials.”

The kitchen’s look is tied together with yellow linoleum tile flooring, also original.

“So many tile companies are making 1950s-inspired tile,” Vandeveer says. “A really good tile person can give you that retro vibe.”

Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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