Vintage vibe: What’s old is cool in homes’ retro features

  • By Lynn Underwood Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • Wednesday, October 3, 2012 3:18pm
  • Life

Jon Hunt was intrigued by the avocado-green squares peeking out from under the peeling vinyl floor in his 1960s kitchen.

“Go for it,” encouraged his wife, Trixi. So he pulled back the vinyl and revealed what she called “a midcentury treasure.” Under the vanilla vinyl, which was installed in 2004, was the original green brick-patterned floor that looked straight out of an Armstrong ad, circa 1963.

It took the Hunts about two months to peel up the vinyl, section by section, and scrape off the glue. This discovery turned into a mission to bring their kitchen back to its authentic midcentury glory with avocado the guiding hue.

“We got so excited,” Trixi Hunt said. “The kitchen went from ‘greige’ to a world of color. It was beautiful.” The couple installed a retro NuTone food center in the Formica countertop, which was uncovered beneath gray tile. The finishing touch is a 1968 avocado-green Frigidaire refrigerator they found on Craigslist.

The Hunts are passionate about “loving the house you’re in,” Jon Hunt said. “People rip out and replace everything. So much of this era has been underappreciated. But now the TV show ‘Mad Men’ is making it trendy.”

The Hunts have posted details of their projects at Retro Renovation (www.retrorenovation.com), a website offering vintage resources, tips and ideas to help retro enthusiasts preserve their home’s midcentury modern aesthetic.

“There’s plenty about these houses to love. They have character and style,” said Retro Renovation founder Pam Kueber, referring to the postwar home-building boom. “A whole new generation of old and young homeowners are moving into ranch houses, split-levels and Cape Cods. They appreciate the innate charms of these homes.”

The Hunts have continued the retro revival in their modest Robbinsdale, Minn., bungalow by also restoring its pink bathroom and furnishing their living room with vintage finds. This fall, they plan to remodel the basement rec room.

“People say our kitchen reminds them of their grandma’s house, with the same sink and the same floor,” Trixi Hunt said. “We consider that a compliment.”

More in Life

New documentary chronicles Obama’s last year in White House

“The Final Year” doesn’t paint the administration in rosy colors, but it isn’t too critical either.

‘Forever My Girl’ takes a page from the Nicholas Sparks genre

The film based on a novel by Heidi McLaughlin is a well-worn tale of lost love and redemption.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

International guitar tour led by Lulo Reinhardt stops in Edmonds

International Guitar Night, now in its 18th year, is Jan. 24 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

New Cascadia Art Museum exhibit showcases mid-century designs

The exhibition includes ceramics, furniture, clothing, sculpture and jewelry from 1948 to 1966.

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Slow-roasted vegetables make sumptuous sauce for pasta

Make the basic but good spaghetti with red sauce blissfully better with this recipe.

Mocking meatloaf: One man’s loaf is another man’s poison

Some don’t like it and some do. Here are six meatloaf recipes to try.

Roasted Brussels sprouts can be the apple of picky eater’s eye

Toasted sesame seeds and diced apple add flavors that compliment the sprouts’ earthiness.

Most Read