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

Marysville theater stages Noel Coward’s timeless ‘Blithe Spirit’

The cast and crew at the Red Curtain Arts Center do a fine job with the 1940s British play.

Stringed instruments get workout at Cascade Symphony concert

Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” is the orchestra’s first concert of the season.

Animating Van Gogh paintings proves to be trippy yet flawed

“Loving Vincent” relates the circumstances of the great painter’s death.

Confusing, muddled thriller confounds talented director, cast

“The Snowman,” based on a Scandinavian crime novel, suffers from catastrophic storytelling problems.

‘Breathe’ ignores all the inspirational movie cliches

It tells the story of a polio patient and his wife who helped change attitudes about the disabled.

New Edmonds bakery showcases owner’s mastery of pastry

Desserts are the highlight at Ganache Patisserie and Cafe on Main Street near the theater.

What you’ll see Thursday night on Everett, Edmonds art walks

Third Thursday evenings in Everett and Edmonds offer chances for interesting strolls.… Continue reading

Fur & Feathers: 4 lovable dogs need homes

Meet Lola, Sadie, Scooter and Chance

British Film Institute strips Harvey Weinstein of highest honor

He was awarded a BFI Fellowship in 2002 for his contribution to British cinema.

Most Read