Restoring an Art Deco Kitchen : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

I am purchasing an apartment in the Century in NYC. Much of the interior is in or can easily be restored to original (1931) condition. The kitchen however was modernized (perhaps in the 60s). I would like information on the type of cabinets that would be suited to a restoration.

-- Elizabeth A. Fessenden (, February 24, 2001


I considered doing an authentic art deco kitchen, since I live in a building in Chicago built in 1925. I found that white metal or white painted wood cabinets seemed to be the thing in the 1930's, along with doors with glass front panels. I decided against it, but still have a soft spot for the look. Good luck.

-- Rosemarie Guadnolo (, March 27, 2001.

There is a excellent source book for older kitchens called Bungalow Kitchens by Jane Powell. It discusses not only bungalows but kitchens up to the late 40s. I am using it on our 1931 kitchen also and would love to talk further about our ideas.

The type of cabinets you want are now called Shaker-style with raised rails and inset panels. We are having our made to be inset (to match our upper original cabinets). Our debate is the style of handles and pulls - deco or simpler. We are also looking a linoleum and new tile countertops.

-- Cynthia Carrell (, June 08, 2001.

We are also restoring our 1928 kitchen and are trying to keep the look period. Aside from the subway tiles (all the way to the ceiling, which was the look then), we have found that white beadboard and inset cabinets were the order of the day. ((Sources we have used were copies of 1928 Architectural Digest and House and Garden magazines, as well as a trip to Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate, which has an original 1920's "heating kitchen.") Don't be afraid to mix in more modern styles, though. The great thing about that time was that the kitchens and baths were unabashedly modern, and I think keeping the look modern and fresh is part of that mentality. Good luck!

-- Christopher Donnellan (, December 03, 2003.

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