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November 17, 2011

1950s Time Capsule Condos That Were Gutted………….UUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

By Sara In AZ

Sooooo, before we get started on all the renovation projects I thought I would show y’all some of the other condos that were up for sale (in the same complex)  the same time as my Mom’s unit.  I thought I would show you all, sadly, some time capsule condos that are time capsules no more……………..

Y’all might remember Mom’s kitchen from last week. Her kitchen had the original cabinets, they were just super dirty. I believe they are teak wood, but I am not 100% positive.


Well here, in another unit, you can see all the cabinets were painted black. Not good. SOOOO not good. I cannot even imagine the time involved stripping all that black paint off to get these cabinets back to natural wood. And who knows what happened to the original little copper light above the breakfast bar area???? There are just wires hanging out now. The back splash really did not go with the whole MCM vibe of these places, it was one of those vintage looking metal tin sheets that had been replicated in plastic. The one thing going for this place – it had the original gold fleck counters!


Here is another condo. This one had been completely gutted. Really sad y’all. You can see that whoever did this gut job certainly loved Home Depot, as those are stock cabinets that you can buy  right off the shelf. And yes, there is the enemy of all retro lovers everywhere…*whispers* granite. I have to say the layout of the kitchen was kind of messed up by using these stock cabinets. You really lose a lot of storage space by not having the corner cabinets any longer and the only drawers are really far away from the sink. It was just awkward now, which is really sad because the original cabinets and layout work really well for the small space.


Onto the bathroom! Here is Mom’s original bathroom from the condo she just bought. It needs work for sure, but the amount of storage is fantastic (with cabinets that go all the way up the right side of the wall) and I am super in love with the original tiles and the mini Cinderella tub!



Here is the bathroom from the condo with the black painted cabinets.

It’s almost too much to take isn’t it? It’s so sad I feel like I could cry right now just looking at the pictures. To rip out ALL the old cabinets AND  vintage tile AND Cinderella tub to put in………this!?!? One measly cabinet with a cultured marble top and a sad shower tiled with the same tiles that were used on the floor. It’s just heartbreaking y’all.




This is the granite condo bathroom. Same thing as the other condo. One measly cabinet, only this time they went all out and bought a 2 cabinet unit from Home Depot. Wow, they really went all out didn’t they! And yes, still with the granite. Sad – very, very sad.


The last picture I have is just to show that all the old doors and door knobs have also been replaced  inside the granite condo. No more cute copper tone door knobs or blonde doors.  Super bummer.


Excuse me now while I go cry myself to sleep.  sad

Sorry y’all had to see this. I just had to share the devastation with everyone.

Now, onto happier thoughts – stay tuned, the renovation fun begins real soon in Mom’s nice little un-gutted condo!

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18 Responses to 1950s Time Capsule Condos That Were Gutted………….UUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Toni Reply

    November 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    The kitchen cabinet replacement was done so poorly. That corner gap? Wth? I hate granite. Ways have. I saw this great teal laminate with boomerang pattern I want if I ever get a house. The bathroom replacement is just stupid. Why get rid of storage? A t least paint can be stripped and knobs can be replaced.

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      That corner is rendered completely unusable now Toni. It is really sad isn’t it. The bottom is just the cookie sheet cabinet with a walled off base to support the counter – so the entire corner has no storage AT ALL. 🙁 And the bathrooms…………….. totally, completely dumb.

  2. RetroRuth Reply

    November 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Oh ewwww! Those bathrooms are just terrible. I agree with Toni, why in God’s name would you ever want to REDUCE your storage space???

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      That is totally what I thought Ruth – why get rid of storage???? Have the words “I wish I had less storage space” ever been spoken by another human being??? I just don’t get it and I never will. 🙁

  3. Andrea Reply

    November 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    WHYYYYY OH WHYYY WOULD YOU EVER WANT A SMALLER COUNTER IN YOUR BATHROOM?!?!?!?!?! Sorry, not to yell, but I am utterly, utterly baffled. I think I see what they were trying to do in the black painted kitchen, but it’s the wrong era for that condo and poorly executed. And excuse me while I barf at the granite/Home Depot combo. Icckk.

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      No problem on the yelling Andrea, when I saw these places I was fuming for days. It’s just super crazy insane isn’t it? And yeah, the plastic-y metal stuff does not work at all in the kitchen! Think 50s here people, not 20s!!! Don’t even get me started on those HD cabinets and that granite……………………….. 🙁

  4. DrJulieAnn aka The Modern Retro Woman Reply

    November 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I blame all of the makeover and “buy a McMansion” shows for granite counters and stock cabinets. They put it into people’s heads that those are “must haves” and “see how easy it is to redo your whole house?”


    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      You are so completely right DrJulieAnn. All those Home TV shows drill it into everybody’s head that we MUST have granite and cherry cabinets and new, new, new to make our lives complete. 🙁 *bleh* is right, why can’t more people see the charm in this stuff – it just baffles me. 🙁

  5. Nancy Reply

    November 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Wow! You are right. Those are really, really ugly bathrooms and kitchens. Ick!

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      I know right??? What were they thinking?!?!? 🙁

  6. sudha Reply

    November 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

    what did they do with all the gutted cabinets and fixtures why cant there be a rule not to ruin things in good shape…let people like us who love mid century design buy these places … 🙁 its so wasteful..one reason why i cant get to watching those “makeover shows on TV…i cry and my heart bleeds when someone calls mcm design cold or dated..yuck

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Yes, can we make a rule, maybe even a law, NOT to gut a place if everything is still in good shape?!? The condo right next door to my Mom’s was renovated a few years back. I hate to say this, but the owner told my Mom, gleefully, how he rented a huge dumpster and tossed everything in. I was seething for days…………..all those blonde doors, and sweet vintage tiles, and original light fixtures and everything else all gone to the dump. 🙁

  7. Toni Reply

    November 18, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I don’t even do the hair & makeup thing & I want a nice sized counter in my bathroom. Why eliminate it?

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I know, why install this tiny little nothing of a counter??? It is completely dumb.

  8. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    November 18, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Blech! I don’t know why Americans think that new is better even if new is ugly, cheap looking and sad. It’s almost like a switch has turned off in peoples’ brains where they automatically revert to whatever the home improvement stores and makeover shows tell them to do. Must flip these switches!

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      I think you are totally right Eartha, the switch has been flipped to some kind of auto pilot mode where people do just exactly what the all home TV shows tell them to do. Its like no one has a mind of their own anymore. They walk around aimlessly muttering “Must get granite” “Must get cherry cabinets” 🙁

  9. K Reply

    November 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

    The Home Depot kitchen looks like a breakroom for an office or work place.

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      November 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Ha!!! You are SO right K, it DOES look like an office breakroom! I guess that’s the “it” look right now – Breakroom Chic!

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