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Remodeling Kitchens

Planning & Remodeling Kitchens

Submitter: I love remodeling and decorating books, but I just found a Planning & Remodeling Kitchens book from 1976 in our collection today. The section on “Choosing the ingredients of a successful kitchen” talks about microwave ovens as “among the newest kitchen appliances!”  The photos show a trip down memory lane of 1970s kitchens – one photo’s caption reads “Fresh coat of paint gave kitchen cabinets new look”…the paint color is a horrid orangish yellow.  Weeded from our small public library’s shelves…not exactly current.

Holly: I’d love to see some of those pictures from this book!  I can tell from submitter’s descriptions that this is horribly out of date.  No one wants that “horrid orangish yellow” on their walls and everyone has a microwave, so this is just a ridiculous choice for public library shelves.

24 Responses to Remodeling Kitchens

  • I built the house I still live in in 1976. That was “harvest gold,’ not orangish yellow! The other popular color was “avocado.” My neighbors had siding in that color. The plant/pot rack was a popular item. And the island with the lowered cooktop (to make stirring easier).We got a microwave in 1979, a big old thing that took up a lot of counter space.

    We remodeled in 1995. It’s all white now, with a built-in microwave, a peninsula instead of an island, and no more pot rack. and my neighbors replaced their siding with fake brick.

  • holly,

    just a comment, NOT everyone has a microwave, my younger brother refuses to have one in his house or anything that is made from plastic either.
    i didn’t have a microwave for almost 3 months after the old one bit the dust, and i never realized just how much i use the darn thing. LOL

  • Sunset put out many of these books for years. We recently received a donation of more then 30. As an Architectural librarian, I can assure there has been better and more recent books produced on Sunset topics. We sold all of ours for a $1 each. Not bad!

  • Any idea why, Cinnamon? I’m just really curious.

  • Looks like something Gene Hunt’s missus would look in for decorating inspiration **shudder**

  • My parents still have their microwave from 1986(?) Back when appliances were made with care, and not as disposible as they are now. I like the kitchen isle. Was that the NEW concept back in 1976?

  • the kitchen on the cover doesn’t look so bad. Oh, and, I still use my harvest gold blender I got in 1978.

  • copper pots…why don’t folks have those big copper pots n’ pans hanging in their kitchens anymore?

    • @Randy- You didn’t *use* the copper pots. You had your not-so-decorative, probably beat-up and scratched ones hidden away in the cabinets that by deliberate choice didn’t have glass windows on them. The copper pots were to make it look like you were a serious cook and to give you something to occasionally dust when you had impending guests.

  • I actually like that kitchen–it’s a refreshing change from the acres of black granite and distressed cabinetry that HGTV has convinced all of us we must have to be happy. I already have the red Le Creuset casserole pot (my absolute favorite kitchen item).

    But I do agree that this is far too dated to be in general circulation in a library. It’s the sort of book that set designers might need if they’re helping stage something set in the 1970s.

    • Yeah, it looks like the kitchen of some very wealthy people that I petsit for, except their island has a bar sink in it, too. And theirs is covered with something other than tile; I forget what.

      The grout of that tile will be a serious bitch to clean. I made the same argument when my father bought a tile-topped kitchen table when I was 14 or so. He has to scrape the crud out of the grout with a toothpick every week or so. (When I still lived at home, I refused to do that chore on the grounds that I told him so before he bought it, and he didn’t listen.)

  • Sounds like source material for James Lileks.

  • I am a vintage nut so I wouldn’t mind having a newly remodeled 70s kitchen. Pass on that book!

  • When I first read the title, I thought it said, “Remodeling with Kittens.” Now, I’d love a book like that–kittens everywhere!

  • I kinda like the kitchen on the cover, it’s not too dated. It looks very homey and cozy, “come on in and have a cookie, sweetie!” The floor could be different, but that’s a nice blue color, goes well with the copper pots and green plants.

    But the Harvest Gold makes me ill, sorry.

  • I haven’t owned a microwave for 10+ years but I did grow up with one. And my parents do have copper pots hanging from a rack.

    One reason we weed books like this — beside the out of date style — is that patrons want books with accurate resource listings. This also comes up with our woodworking guides, which are less tied to changing fashions. If there aren’t reasonably current lists of online retailers, out it goes. Especially if it claims on the cover to be up-to-date and isn’t. People hate that.

  • Randy, The hanging copper pots went out of style for two reasons: first, banging your head against hanging metal pots gets really annoying after a while; and second, polishing the bottoms of the copper pots so they look presentable in public (instead of a closed cabinet) gets annoying even sooner. My mother had the full set of Revere Ware, and I was the designated dishwasher, so I know whereof I speak.

  • I still have my avocado green blender from the early 70s. I wish my kitchen was big enough for an island. The concept for the islands was new in the 70s too. Our microwave from the mid 80s just died a couple of years ago. Our new one from 6 months ago burned out the light inside within 2 months.
    The book definitely needed to be weeded.

  • I am all for tacky kitchens of the seventies. My own kitchen is few phonebooths (speaking of dated) worth of fake woodgrain countertop, “colonial” style cabinets with hammered look hardware and a rotary phone on the wall. My Harvest gold blender ties the whole thing together. Now if only I could find a Burnt orange fridge and an Avacado stove.

  • I love love the colour of that tile, but as someone else said, grout on cooking surfaces? Ouch, bad bad choice for easy cleaning.