Revitalized Retro

Sometimes it’s hard for people to see the value in keeping the original things that a home might have to offer. Many times, the things that I find special or exciting, seem dated or dingy to others. This Palm Springs house was a prime example because as I toured it with my Mom… I couldn’t help myself for going  “oh and aw” over all the 1950’s details: the teal appliances, decorative wood posts, and colorful tile in the bathroom’s and kitchens… However, her comment was “Been there, done that” and lacked complete enthusaim for the house. For better or worse, like most trends and designs – Things constantly go in and out of style, but they often come back. This is exactly what we are seeing currently with all of the Mid-Century Modern designs re-emerging back into current day styles and trends… But this style has always been “in” for homes in Palm Springs, California.


Nonetheless, this home was undoubtably dated, but moreso with it’s ugly light fixtures, terrible carpet, old windows, and dingy paint colors. Not to mention, that the kitchen layout didn’t function for today’s standards. Therefore we eliminated the cabinets that were susupended from the ceiling and opened up the “window-wall” that looked into the family room. That space was previously a garage that was converted to living space by the previous owners. Cutting that section away made it look as though it had always been this way instead of looking like an addition. We carefully worked around the peach colored tile countertops so that they weren’t damaged, and did fresh white grout to make the peach color ‘pop’! To create additional contrast, we painted the original 1950’s cabinets gray and added modern chrome cabinet hardware. We kept the fantastic teal gas cooktop, but then mounted a modern stainless steel and glass exhaust hood from the ceiling above it. The space previously offered a small wooden raised countertop for barstool seating, which we were able to double in size by wrapping it around the corner of the newly opened wall. Obviously in the process, we changed materials and did a thick white quartz countertop instead to make a big impact.


A modern kitchen faucet, with a new garbage disposal helped to make this space meet today’s standards while still maintaining it’s retro qualities. However, one of the most essential factors for modernizing this space, was the addition of a dishwasher. We were able to cut away half of a cabinet and create room for a 24″ panel ready Bosch dishwasher… Which was complimented by a Teal colored ‘Big Chill‘ brand retro panel that matched the same 1950’s teal perfectly! It was a match made in heaven!

All of these changes helped to save the home’s original details, while enhancing them to a condition that everyone could apprecaite. To see all of the AFTER photos from this project and additional product sources, check out the Santa Cruz page!



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