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September 25, 2013

Better Homes and Gardens – November ’68 – Outstanding Kitchen Remodellings

by Andrea

Today’s post should probably be subtitled Gutting a perfectly good kitchen to put in something trendy is not a new idea … Although there are some elements of late ’60s/early 70s decor I can appreciate, this is around the time that decor trends started getting a little bit out there.  BH&G felt that these remodellings were “outstanding”, but they made me weep a little on the inside.  Take a look.

BHGNov68-01My apologies – the before shot isn’t super great on this one.  But it’s a pretty standard 40s/50s kitchen, glass fronted cabinets on the top, looks to be some type of tile on the floor.  Pretty cute.

BHGNOv68-02This is the after.  If you don’t think too much about the super cute kitchen they ripped out to put this in, it almost doesn’t look too bad until … you get to the carpet on the floor.  Worst.Idea.Ever!



Some more after shots.  Not a very big fan of the panelling they put over what is describes as an under counter refrigerator, it seems at odds with the rest of the design.  I will gladly take that fondue pot though …



Our next before shot.  This one I am going to cut them a bit of slack on.  The description for this one mentioned that it is the kitchen in a 150 year old house (and let’s keep in mind, that’s 150 years old in 1968!), and the kitchen layout doesn’t appear to be very functional at all.



Here’s the after.  I get what they were trying to do here, I believe all of the wood is trying to make it fit with the age of the house.  However, those chairs look like instruments of torture – my back hurts looking at them!



Another after.  The stained class cabinet fronts I think are a bit more successful in making it look like it is a kitchen that belongs in an old house.  The curtain print rather seems at odds with everything else in the room, though!



And our final before shot.  This is another one that is making me weep a little on the inside.  The description of this one suggested that the issues with this kitchen are remedied by removing the kitchen table!  That lovely chrome and Formica kitchen table!  It also claimed that the 1940 kitchen was “worn out”.  *Sigh*



Here’s the after.  Somehow, this bulky island was supposed to solve the kitchen table “problem”.  I suppose it’s fine – if you never plan to seat more than two!  This kitchen design as a whole isn’t too bad, but I am still weeping a bit for the kitchen they tore out.

No wonder it’s so hard to find a time capsule home – questionable renos have been all the rage for years!



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14 Responses to Better Homes and Gardens – November ’68 – Outstanding Kitchen Remodellings

  1. SusanD Reply

    September 25, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I think I’d take that stove in the ‘before’ picture. I almost looks like the one my mother used to have in her house.

    I’m weeping with you 🙁

    And, who would need coffee in the remodeled version – just look at that ceiling. I think, half-asleep, I’d think I was hallucinating…

    • Andrea Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Yes, no need for coffee, or hallucinogens with that ceiling! Yikes!

  2. Susan Reply

    September 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

    This whole need to re-vamp reminds me of Laver’s Law, concocted by James Laver, a British fashion historian, back in 1937. Although the wording is a bit odd by today’s standards, it does capture something of how we view fashionable taste (and explains why we seem to hate things that are 10-20 years old):

    Indecent – 10 years before its time

    Shameless – 5 years before

    Daring – 1 year before

    Smart! (Current fashion)

    Dowdy – 1 year after its time

    Hideous – 10 years after

    Ridiculous – 20 years after

    Amusing – 30 years after

    Quaint – 50 years after

    Charming – 70 years after

    Romantic – 100 years after

    Beautiful – 150 years after its time

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Ha! That is SO perfect Susan!!!!

    • Andrea Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      I’ve never seen that before, but that’s totally perfect, Susan! So true!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Love this! Soooo true!

  3. Kari S Reply

    September 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I am weeping, too, over the loss of that big old stove in the last remodel. 🙁

    • Andrea Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      I don’t know what makes me weep more Kari, the stove or the table!

  4. Sara In AZ Reply

    September 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Wow, yeah….I like the “before” way better than the “after” in that last kitchen….so sad. And what is up with that ceiling?!? eeps!

    • Andrea Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      I am pretty sure that ceiling is right out of some sore of nightmarish carnival funhouse!

  5. Angie Reply

    September 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Funny thing is is we all know how those “new” kitchens held up and it wasn’t half as well as the originals. I think that is why I’m not in to the latter part of last century it just isn’t holding up as well as the 1st part.

    • Andrea Reply

      September 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      I agree completely, Angie. There were still some good modern design elements going on in the latter part of the mid-century period, but these are definitely examples of the more prevalent trends that dated quickly!

  6. RetroRuth Reply

    September 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    The last one is a shame, but you can’t argue with all of the upper cabinet space they gained! Sheesh, they go all the way up to the ceiling! I would need a hook or something to get stuff out of there!

    • Andrea Reply

      September 26, 2013 at 10:51 am

      LOL! I am tall, and I still think I would have a hard time getting stuff out of there! I also speak from experience that too many kitchen cabinets leads to small appliance hoarding – I am guessing those top cabinets would be filled with appliances that I never use!

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