Monday, October 08, 2007

My first: 'Flashback design tips'!

As a regular new feature, I'll be deconstructing vintage kitchens - usually from vintage ads. I think there's a lot to learn about design from these 50s examples -- given the era, people were obsessed with design so incredible thought went into it!

This kitchen is a favorite, and led to some of my kitchen's features. Let's get to it, starting from the left:

1. Notice how the stainless steel storage cube is built into the wall. You can see it to the right of the curtained window as well. Great use of recessed wall space, but don't overdo it or you could end up with a very cluttered feel.

2. The soffit comes out just a tad beyond the wall cabinet. This is helpful, too, if your room is not square. If you're wallpapering, the pattern should run level on the bottom of the soffit, not the top.

3. Really cool how they raised the soffit above the sink. It creates a nice cozy 'nook' feeling in this much-used work area and moreover, allows for maximum picture window space.

4. Classic window treatments: Pinch pleats over a blind. Embrace your inner traverse rod! Also notice how they've mixed patterns - the fabric drapes are a vertical stripe, contrasted with the geometric wallpaper. Fabric really softens the coldness of steel cabinets BTW.

5. Picture window sets as low as possible. You'll get water on it from the sink, but light reins.

6. Super cool windows below the wall cabinets - if you can do it!

7. Warning: These cabinets hang too low, given the cooking surface below.

8. Warning: Put your HVAC at ground level, not in the soffit.

9. Very nice how the soffit comes out with the oven unit. You can do this above a fridge, too, if you don't have cabinets that work. I did this above my Sub-Zero and it looks great.

10. And of course: The wallpaper treatment. You can see how this clearly adds a sense of height to what appears to be an 8.5' ceiling.

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