Peeling Back the Layers in our 1952 Kitchen

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The demo continues.

As much as I dislike the mess, the history of my kitchen has me intrigued. How cool (and many times sad) to find what is hidden behind the years of upgrades in our Mid-Century modest home.

Hubby is busy extending the soffit in the kitchen to accommodate the new upper cabinets. A few of the older (we thought original) ceiling tile had to be removed. What we found was that the ceiling had been painted shiny copper at one time!

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Maybe it was painted to match this copper tile back splash that was also hidden long ago?

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You can see part of the original varnished upper cabinets before they met with a paint brush. I bet they looked pretty spiffy with that copper tile back splash, a copper painted ceiling and the adjoining knotty pine mud room!  I like to imagine that it had copper Colonial style lighting, cool bark cloth curtains and maybe copper or black colonial hardware on those pretty wood cabinets. Maybe the Mrs. here had copper canisters? Or maybe a weather vane wall hanging?

There is also evidence of salmon, minty green, red and bright turquoise paint on the walls. Sadly, at some point all the original ranch style trim was painted. Sigh…

This wall between the kitchen and mudroom has us confused:

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We think the smaller doorway to the left was added later? I cannot imagine the original plans called for a single doorway within inches of a double doorway.

All of the plaster had to be removed so the contractor could see what he was dealing with structurally. The header will have to be replaced so we can remove that center post.

This wall is going to be opened up to the living room to accommodate a snack bar area. We will then be able to view the fireplace from the kitchen and it will help with serving when we are entertaining. The bar top will match the retro patterned Wilsonart counters going in the kitchen.

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All of the beige back splash tiles came down, along with much of the plaster behind it. The walls will have to be repaired. We will be using the same Wilsonart laminate for the back splash.

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Has anyone ever seen copper painted ceilings (or walls)? Was that a common mid-century finish or maybe just something done on a whim by an adventurous homeowner?

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4 responses »

  1. I’m really enjoying following along with your house re-hab posts…it’s so much fun to see what is hidden behind those walls isn’t it?!

    I’m quite interested to see your back splash and how the transition is made from the counters to the back splash as we still have to deal with our counter top situation here and are not quite sure what to do about a back splash…but we were thinking just the same thing – use the same material for the back splash as the counters. I’ll be waiting with baited breath to see your post! 🙂

    • Thanks Sara! The contractors who are installing the counters and back splash are planning to use a metal transition piece where the counters meet the wall. I am also enjoying your house reno! I love it all so far.

    • Thanks! That stove will be up for sale when the reno is over. It has served me well for many years (and in multiple homes) and is nearly identical to one that came with our first house when I was a newlywed 🙂

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