Kitchen of the Week: Cheery Retro Style for a 1913 Kitchen

Modern materials take on a vintage look in a Portland kitchen that honors the home’s history.

Nooks and crannies are part of many older homes’ charm. But a 1970s remodel had covered up most of the quaint construction in this historic Portland, Oregon, kitchen. Homeowners David Spencer and Jerry Petter stripped the kitchen down to its studs and created a blank slate for building a new period-appropriate kitchen in their 1913 home. Modern-day materials with a retro twist honor the historic kitchen’s original style, while vintage-style appliances and lighting help bring the cheerful spirit of this space back to life.

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: David Spencer, Jerry Petty, son Jack and dog Sheba
Location: Ladd’s Addition neighborhood of Portland, Oregon
Size: 300 square feet
Budget: $64,000 (includes all building and material costs for the full remodel, custom cabinetry, traditional plaster walls and electrical and plumbing)

After taking the kitchen down to the studs, the team redesigned it based on the rest of the home’s details. A 1950 Wedgewood gas stove became the heart of the new design.

Charlotte Cooney of Domestic Arts designed a custom vintage-inspired grill insert above the stove, which builder Alex Daisley of Hammer & Handconnected to an outdoor exhaust.

Backsplash: Daltile; faucets: Chicago Faucets; shades: Rejuvenation

The clients also splurged on true, traditional plaster walls. Period-inspired lighting from Schoolhouse Electric ties in with the room’s red accents to complement Spencer’s vintage dish collection.

Countertops: Pionite; light fixtures: Schoolhouse Electric

The peppy checked vinyl composition tile floors are affordable, are durable and nod to the linoleum floors of the early 20th century. The laminate counter with aluminum edging also cut down on costs.

The previous kitchen had scored plaster wainscoting along the walls, painted to look like tile. After ripping out the wood, Cooney installed 3-inch square tiles that would match the style while upping the kitchen’s practicality.

Flooring: vinyl composition tiles, Armstrong; cabinets: custom, Big Branch Woodworking

An arched alcove fits snugly around a retro-styleBig Chill refrigerator.

Wall paint: Squish Squash, Benjamin Moore

Custom inset face-framed cabinets mimic original built-ins throughout the rest of the house. This convenient flip-up door hides the microwave and spices.

Drawer pulls, knobs: Rejuvenation

The design team made use of the original niche cabinet for the home’s ironing board and built a custom board of reclaimed Oregon fir. The owners like to use fabric tablecloths, so they use the board (and the adjacent laundry chute) often.
The new butler’s pantry is directly outside the kitchen, on the way to the dining room. Chair rails highlight Spencer’s collection of vintage fruit crate labels, tin trays and framed art pieces.
An old-fashioned telephone nook became a modern phone-charging station (outlets are hidden under the shelf) with space for a calendar and keys, too.
Amid some unfortunate structural surprises, the team found an old dumbwaiter pulley system in a wall. With a little reconfiguring, they were able to use it for wine storage in the new butler’s pantry. “It’s always difficult to predict the sins hidden behind old walls,” says Daisley.

Designers: Domestic Arts;Alice Design
Builder: Hammer & Hand

Photographer: Mitchell Snyder

By: Vanessa Brunner

Orson B.Klender,  Associate Broker

Keller Williams Realty Saratoga Springs
38 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

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2 responses to “Kitchen of the Week: Cheery Retro Style for a 1913 Kitchen”

  1. Lin says :

    Love it!!!!!! I hope it doesn’t get remodeled into a blah granite countertop/tile backsplash bore!

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