Orange You Glad This Old Kitchen Got a Makeover?

by hookedonhouses on April 15, 2010

1948 Sunset kitchen before

See this kitchen? It had been essentially unchanged since the house was built in 1948. The cabinets and tile were in good shape, so when the time finally came for a remodel, the homeowners decided to keep them. The cabinets got a fresh coat of white paint and new hardware. The worn linoleum floor had to go, though–it was replaced with hardwood.

The biggest change in the room has to be the bright orange island they added, giving the kitchen some much-needed functionality and style.

1948 Sunset kitchen after

Kitchen via My Home Ideas and highlighted here: 7 Inspiring Kitchen Makeovers.

The island has a cooktop stove and oven, and the stainless-steel countertop extends to accommodate bar stools underneath. Auto body paint gives it a high-gloss look. The kitchen still has vintage appeal with the original cabinets and tile, but the new island makes it clear they’re not living in the past.

Do you like how they mixed the old with the new? Or is it too much for you?

metamorphosis monday-bnotp

P.S. I’m linking this to Susan’s Metamorphosis Monday party at Between Naps on the Porch!

Visit my Before and After page to see more, like the Hoarder’s House that got a fresh start and a Small Bath’s Big Makeover.

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Nancy@marcusdesign April 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Love it!! Who doesn’t enjoy a great before and after?? There is something very satisfying about this makeover because they kept a little bit of the vintage feel of the home. And don’t you love the oranges in a vase just to emphasize the bold and pretty color??
.-= Nancy@marcusdesign´s last blog ..{kitchen inspiration} =-.

Mel April 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I hate it. I love the vintage things they kept but the new modern IKEA look is dreadful to me blended with it especially in orange. Gag!

Marie April 16, 2010 at 12:10 am

Not too bad. I love vintage kitchens, and I agree that the island looks straight out of an IKEA catalog, but it somehow is endearing. Perhaps it would have been better if they had painted the island yellow. The black stove top would have been the black the island needed to blend in. Can anyone “photo shop” the island and change the orange to a creamy yellow?

marieDee April 16, 2010 at 12:24 am

Hey, the headline is great! We all need to lose our dignity and be silly every now and then, don’t we? I’ve recently read that one “technique” for creativity is to become a 7-year-old again for a while. What do you think?

kim at allconsuming April 16, 2010 at 12:34 am

OH isn’t it great – love it. Completely.
.-= kim at allconsuming´s last blog ..Open letter to Optus Round 2. =-.

Cynthia White April 16, 2010 at 12:49 am

I think that kitchen is one of the ugliest I’ve ever seen. OMG. But i love your website. ;o) cynthia @quinceandquilt on Twitter

Nita @ April 16, 2010 at 1:08 am

Yes, yes, I love the mix of old and new. I have a thing for vintage kitchens. I love that they kept the original cabinets and tile and then added the modern island. I wish my kitchen still had it’s original cabinets and tile. I’d love a kitchen like this.

.-= Nita @´s last blog ..I’m rich in… =-.

Maria April 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

To me, it’s a miss. They tried to pair vintage with modern and didn’t quite do it. There is nothing to tie the two looks together, not lines, finishes, or color. Nor is it different enough to create a real contrast IMHO. There was an opportunity here but they missed on this one.

LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE April 16, 2010 at 2:08 am

I like it. And how bold of them to go orange! While I’ve always wanted to go orange somewhere, I don’t know if I could live with this color on the island for a really long time. (Of course, I’m more traditional….) With that said, I love it when people do what they want, celebrate their individualism, love where they live.
.-= LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE´s last blog ..2010 Pink Ribbon Show House in Houston =-.

Kim April 16, 2010 at 2:27 am

I’m sorry, but this kitchen isn’t really doing it for me. I like what they did with the cabinets, but everything else is lacking. It’s really sad because this kitchen had so much more potential. Also, why did they choose that island? It doesn’t even go with the kitchen.

erika April 16, 2010 at 2:44 am

i hope they like it b/c ain’t nobody gonna want to buy that house with that kitchen- sorry, but i speak the truth…just sayin’!

Jessica April 16, 2010 at 2:56 am

Orange is my least favorite color. ha I do like the vintage cabinets, though.
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Bedroom "makeover" for the colder months :-) =-.

The Weekend Island April 16, 2010 at 3:37 am

I love it. I think I’d get sick of it quickly, but I do like what they’ve done. Very cleverly worked together.
.-= The Weekend Island´s last blog ..Snapshot =-.

E. George April 16, 2010 at 3:48 am

Hi Julia – judging things from a situation where there could be no money to pull everything out and start from scratch they have done a great job I love the idea of blending the old with the new it kinda gives the room character I know a lot of the gals won’t agree with me but its all I would be able to do financialy speeking. Well thats it for tonight Regards Esther from Sydney…. ps love the headlines….

linda@LimeintheCoconut April 16, 2010 at 4:19 am

I love it! Love how they incorporated the gas stove into it…love the unexpected color and the stainless top (probably a waaay more efficient kitchen now).

Citrusy fun!
.-= linda@LimeintheCoconut´s last blog ..Growth… =-.

Annie@A View on Design April 16, 2010 at 4:20 am

wow – I love that – awesome!!!
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..The real "Somersby" =-.

Jan April 16, 2010 at 5:16 am


The vintage part is fine…but the ORANGE + STAINLESS island? NO!!
.-= Jan´s last blog ..PROJECTS, PROJECTS & MORE PROJECTS… =-.

Nichole April 16, 2010 at 5:16 am

I’m surprised that I like it but I do. I am really impressed that they kept the vintage tile. And I love all the black accents they used to tie into the black tile.
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..14 Years =-.

Holly Conner April 16, 2010 at 5:48 am

Yeah….I’m not liking it too much. I love the vintage kitchen with those great tile countertops, but I don’t think the island goes very well with it.
.-= Holly Conner´s last blog ..wild child =-.

deborah April 16, 2010 at 7:05 am

Love the vintage kitchen, and realize the island gives the room a pop and more functionality, but I would rather see an island made to match the vintage style…maybe bead board with a soapstone top with the cooktop installed.

lucinda April 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

I usually love a mix of cottage and contemporary but this seems jarring. The island detracts from the great vintage tile.

Barbara April 16, 2010 at 7:34 am

I think it’s great. I LOVE that they found a creative way to modernize without ripping everything out. That always breaks my heart. When I saw the before, my first thought was “oh please don’t tell me they tear this lovely vintage kitchen apart”! They didn’t :), they worked with what they had, I love them for that!
.-= Barbara´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

pattie and allie April 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

You know, it’s not at all my style but I think what they did is great. They managed to save mega dollars, avoid waste, and make the kitchen more functional and unique to them. Kudos!
.-= pattie and allie´s last blog ..Time to sit on the Porch! Foodie Friday- Curry, Italian Style! =-.

Missy April 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

I am not a fan of orange in decorating at all … that’s just me. Orange is not allowed in my house! I do LOVE the vintage cabinets and backsplash. And I love the title of the post, too πŸ˜‰

Beth April 16, 2010 at 7:58 am

I love orange; I would not have chosen the stainless steel top, but altogether the room would make me smile every time I walked into it. It looks bright and summery.

Black Eyed Susans Kitchen April 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

Right up my alley!! Orange is the happiest color, and it is a sleek and fun addition. Love the mix of modern and original.
.-= Black Eyed Susans Kitchen´s last blog ..THE ARTIST IN ALL OF US =-.

Misti England April 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

I love the orange! Very bright and cheery in that kitchen, and who doesn’t love to wake up all cheery?

.-= Misti England´s last blog ..Never Underestimate the Power of Paint =-.

Sheila April 16, 2010 at 8:38 am

Are you kidding me? I LOVE it!!! The high-gloss orange is vibrant and inspiring and just the kick needed to bring the architecture of the past forward. Completely dig the stainless steel countertop, as well (and yes, that’s already in the dream house plan) Love love love it.
.-= Sheila´s last blog ..Bad rap vs. bad wrap =-.

Janet April 16, 2010 at 8:38 am

Love! Love! Love! We had the exact same kitchen (sans the orange island) when I was growing up. If fact it’s kind of eerie to look at the pictures, it looks like our old house.

I think your title is perfect. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing an original make over.
.-= Janet´s last blog ..Wall Decor And Work In Progress =-.

Carol M April 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

Love that they kept the cabinets and tile. I usually wouldn’t pick orange but I like it in here. Very cheerful and it is all tied together with the fruit and flowers. I think it works quite well. If they tire of orange, it would be easy to change.

tina poulsen April 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

the before kitchen is almost identical to my sister-in-law’s old kitchen. i had to send her this link.
it’s bright! & makes me want to eat an orange.
i wish they changed the counter top & backsplash. a stainless backsplash would accent the island counter. even just white subway tile & a new counter top.
.-= tina poulsen´s last blog ..Friday Finds…Spring Floral 3 ways =-.

Debbie Bailey April 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

It’s perfect! I’m so glad they kept the original tile and cabinets. It would have been a crying shame if they had trashed them. You can’t go wrong with hardwood floors, and the orange island is a stroke of genius.
.-= Debbie Bailey´s last blog ..Embracing the NOW =-.

greenie April 16, 2010 at 9:46 am

When I saw the first picture and your title my heart sank, because I expected to see a complete gut job. What a great surprise! LOVE this renovation! It’s a bright and cheery place, full of vintage appeal.

Josanne April 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

I like it! Bright and cheerful! It also looks perfect for a home with children-I’m all into including them into the home decor, since I have kiddos at home myself. I know it’s not hard to pick a really tacky color when it comes to bright and cheery, but I wonder why so often it seems we avoid bright colors when we paint our homes? I don’t want to be startled when I open my eyes every morning, but seems like all of us would like cheerful colors in the home! Actually tho, I think we’re all more into relaxing, since life is so hectic and stressful for so many.
.-= Josanne´s last blog ..Finally Home! =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace April 16, 2010 at 10:08 am

Oh, come on–I loved the headline!

And I love this kitchen. I think it’s a great mixture of old and new, and they bring out the best in one another.
.-= Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog ..Springtime on the porch =-.

HollyM April 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

I love the vintage tiles and cabinets. Not loving the island, no matter the color. I would have put a vintage kitchen table there for prep space. Maybe used my collection of 1940s tablecloths on it. Their choice is too industrial for my tastes.

Heather April 16, 2010 at 10:44 am

I hope they aren’t planning on trying to sell soon…. YIKES! And that tile counter top is such a pain to clean in between all the grout… ya gotta consider resale value people!
Sorry, but it just taint’ my thang. I do like the stainless steel top on the island. There, I said a nice thing…. LOL!

Jackie W. April 16, 2010 at 10:45 am

It works for me. It REALLY works for me IF it works for the owners. Sometimes finances & design have to agree.

I would LOVE to gut my kitchen. BUT that isn’t in the budget. What I have is functional, just dated. So we will paint the cabinets & replace the faux butcher block counter top. Would love to save the $ & paint the counter top also, but engineering husband says no.

Gina W. April 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

LOVE the orange! How fun!!!! I love it when you can restore something old and make it pretty again. The island is fab!!!!

Amanda @ Serenity Now April 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

I love the updates…I’m not a huge fan of orange, but if they love it, then good for them! πŸ˜‰ Orange you glad I didn’t come up with any puns for my comment? πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend!

hip hip gin gin April 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

When I read the words “orange island” I thought “eeeew, what?”. But once I saw it, strangely enough, I dig it! Somehow it goes, and it works for me. Love the stainless top. I agree that you have to think about resale value, but you can’t let thoughts of resale hold you prisoner either. Sometimes you have to put in something you love, it is your house after all and you want to be surrounded by your style. If you are always thinking about resale value you will live in a bland, impersonal, blank slate sort of space so that new buyers can picture themselves in your house. Who wants to live like that?
.-= hip hip gin gin´s last blog ..Mars Jewelry =-.

Kat in Texas April 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

Love the headline, Julia. Reminds me of a knock-knock joke!

I love vintage-style kitchens, but I’m giving a thumbs down to the orange island. I like orange but only when it’s in my wardrobe. πŸ˜‰

Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Karen April 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

I think it’s great that they kept the cabinets and counter top tile — I love “work with what you’ve got” makeovers; they’re so much more “doable” than total redesigns. BUT…I really think that island needs to go. There’s a way to incorporate modern with vintage…but this ain’t it.
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Farmhouse Wares Giveaway =-.

Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury April 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Juila, this kitchen belongs (belonged? probably) to a designer based here in So California and London, Jeffrey Alan Marks. He’a a genius at makeovers like this that make the best of what’s already there without a complete demo. The rest of this home is just as fantastic. I have the magazine clipping somewhere – don’t know where to tell you to look online – but take a look at his website. His portfolio might not include this work, but it’s still very inspiring.
.-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..Big Advice About Paint =-.

StuccoHouse April 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

When I saw the first picture of the vintage cabinets, my heart sank because I thought they were going to get ripped out and replaced. Yeah! They stayed! I think they did a great job of updating without changing the essential character of the kitchen. I adore the little wood scallops above the sink, the vintage back splash with sizzle strip, and the little round bump-out shelves. Such charm :)
.-= StuccoHouse´s last blog ..Calling All Bungalows =-.

Pat April 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I like it Julia! When I was first married 35 years ago my kitchen was shades of orange and avocado green (the appliances were Ever since then I’ve loved orange , but I have to admit I would only use as an accent color now.

I’m sure when this family gets tired of the orange it will be easy to paint over it. The rest of the kitchen is so light and airy.

.-= Pat´s last blog ..Magnolia Trees in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden =-.

Blakely April 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Love It!
.-= Blakely´s last blog ..Car Trouble =-.

Megan April 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I actually love it, and I find it really encouraging to see that you don’t have to totally gut the room or rip out vintage tile countertops to give a kitchen a whole new look. I also think the accessorizing helps to make the orange less jarring. Imagine it without the vase of oranges and the fresh flowers — it might look a little wtf.
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Craft Night: Easter Edition =-.

Kelli April 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Like some others have said, I love the modern island with the rest of the vintage kitchen. I just don’t like the orange. I wish it could be yellow to match the tile, but if that’s too boring, maybe a jadeite green. Thanks for sharing this fun transformation!
.-= Kelli´s last blog ..Irish Butter! =-.

Ally April 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm

When I read the post title (hehe funny!), I was all prepared to hate the kitchen cos orange sounded so dated, but actually it wasnt as bad as I thought, not my cup of tea but a nice sunny kitchen nonetheless!xx
.-= Ally´s last blog ..What’s wrong with cupcakes at Easter? =-.

LeAnn April 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Wow, mixed bag of comments here. I love it…but then I love orange, I know I’m one of the few who love orange. You might want to stop by and see my little kitchen redo of aqua and turquoise.

.-= LeAnn´s last blog ..Giddiness….day 2!! =-.

JanS April 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

They also changed the backsplash tile from white to yellow. And I’m in the Love It camp (while my husband’s in the Hate It). This shade of orange is fantastic – not watered down and weak. But I’m partial to orange, and I realize that not everybody is. I love the counterpoint between the industrial looking island and the wood and tile. I’d have used different hardware on the cabinets, though, putting subtle white hinges and shiny black ceramic knobs in place of the stainless hinges and handles.

hookedonhouses April 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm

The tile does look more white in the first photo, but that’s just the lighting. They kept all the original tile. -Julia

Susan April 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I do like mixing the old with the new…makes it fun! :-)

angela | the painted house April 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Bad headline? Are you kidding me? Why do think I scampered over here so fast? That is one of our family’s favorite knock-knock jokes–the kids NEVER get it right in the retelling. Anyway, way to rock an island!
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..The Best of the Cottage: IKEA =-.

Karen April 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

LOVE that the kept the old (why do people throw out quality stuff??) but not liking the new addition. Sometimes I think you can mix new and old with great success, but this isn’t one of them:)

Jenny April 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I don’t care for it at all.

Also, there is a huge Home Depot and Craftsman ad on top of you page that is covering some of the first picture.
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Greater St. Louis Home Educators Expo =-.

Darla April 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I absolutely love it!! And I’m jealous of that orange.

Pat April 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Doesn’t do a thing for me. First thing I would get rid of is that tile…boy would I hate to keep those grout lines clean! But, that doesn’t make it wrong or right…it has to suit the owner, and make them happy.
.-= Pat´s last blog ..FRiDAY FAVorite =-.

Dawn April 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I wouldn’t even know that there was anything “old” in the new, revised version. To me the cabinets and everything look modern so there is no conflict or anything off that I can see.

I like it – clean and neat and light. I like light-colored kitchens.

I’m not a fan of wood flooring in the kitchen and prefer nice tile there so I would have put in new tile.

Leni April 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Hey Julia,

I know this is off topic for this thread but I have loved all of your previous posts on brownstones and I wanted to know if you have any plans on doing more (ooh greedy me) in the future or know anywhere else where I can get my fix for those beautiful homes. Thanks :)

DesignTies April 17, 2010 at 12:04 am

Love the new orange island :-) The combination of old new works well, I think. It’s great that they were able to save the original backsplash tiles. They add character and some whimsy to the kitchen.

.-= DesignTies´s last blog ..The Brizo Talo: Art for the kitchen =-.

Sunshine April 17, 2010 at 10:35 am

I really didn’t think I would like it, but I do! The orange freshens everything so nicely!
.-= Sunshine´s last blog ..Making memories Meaningful! =-.

Cashon & Co. April 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

LOVE IT. and i am not usually an orange person. but this is FANTASTIC!!!!!!! It would make me happy to cook in there πŸ˜‰

le@whoopwhoop April 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

looks fab – I love it when an owner refabs and makes fair into fab and comes out saving dollars too – best le
.-= le@whoopwhoop´s last blog ..Welcome to the Holiday House =-.

Courtney @ Nesting Instincts April 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

I am soo in love with this makeover!!!
.-= Courtney @ Nesting Instincts´s last blog ..friday’s fabulous finds: pretty art for your wall =-.

marsha April 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Great makeover! Love it, but the orange would never work for me personally.
.-= marsha´s last blog ..Let me tell you about my designing daughter =-.

Condo Blues April 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I love the retro mixed with modern look. It’s not an easy look to pull off. This one does it wonderfully.
.-= Condo Blues ´s last blog ..Porch Table Revamp =-.

Jane F @ Atticmag April 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

As someone who recently did a similar facelift on a kitchen, I think this one is very smart. Color is the most bang for the buck and it works with their tile, looks very new but not overly trick-or-treat. I like this one a lot. Also, sometimes, necessity is the color of invention, ya know? — Jane F.
.-= Jane F @ Atticmag´s last blog ..Grand Entrance Doors =-.

tammyCA April 21, 2010 at 10:26 am

Love that they kept the vintage tile and cabinets…I despise granite (just wait – it too will become dated) and prefer tile or formica (see actor Tony Shaloub’s kitchen vintage formica in the current Country Living mag – so cool!) The orange island makes a neat burst of freshness. I love color!

Jean at The Delightful Repast April 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

I think it’s a very attractive island, but it doesn’t fit in that kitchen. Should have been yellow with a black quartz counter.

Lisa May 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I’m lovin’ this happy kitchen! They did a great job on all of it, and I admire their bravery with color. I even love the black piping she put on her window shade. Perfect.

Stephanie May 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

YAY for leaving much of it alone! It’s always so jarring and awful to see a a kitchen that totally clashes with the style of the house. I think the colors are great; refreshing and vibrant, perfect for a kitchen!

Stargazer May 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Nope. I don’t like it. Although the old kitchen was downright Ugly. This at least looks clean.

Syed Khalil Khawer September 24, 2010 at 3:51 am

The changeover gives a good look as orange is introduced in the center. Howver, if the same orange color was used to replace the yellow tiles beneath the cabinets, it would have looked more awsome.

ladykemma2 December 25, 2010 at 6:23 am

love it. i like bright cheery colors.

i personally would not have the cook top in the island.

Christina January 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm

As much as I love orange, that would get old quick.

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