Monday, 20 June 2011

A Cooks Tour


I keep meaning to write a post about my 50s kitchen - we still have all the original hard wood cupboard units, with leaded glass wall cabinets, that were built when the house was built in the early 1950s.

We also have the original 1950s rayburn solid fuel stove, and in the utilty room there is an old butlers sink with 1950s leaded glass cupboard above with glass storage holders.

 The larder is also luckily still here, complete with shelves, mesh window and old roller towel holder on the back of the door - we are so grateful that the people who owned the house before us did not rip out and replace all these lovely old cupboards and larder, as the majority of people have done.

Here's just a taster, mainly from this morning as I was playing around trying to get some better pictures out of this poor old camera!

Posy from the garden

red geraniums from Mr Italian

mantlepiece above Rayburn

old 1950s solid fuel rayburn - we had this going constantly during both lots of snow last winter, and cooked all sorts of meals in and on it. It made the kitchen as warm as toast! As it runs on logs and coal, it is not the type of stove to keep on throughout the year - but come the autumn..........

sweet biscuit cannister bought for 50p at the last boot fair - it belonged to the stall holders Mother, who had received a matching set of tins as a wedding gift, so she reckoned they must be from the 50s - sadly she had already sold the rest.

Above the sideboard is one of four large canvases I own by artist Gilli Austin, a very talented artist who paints amazing pop art style large canvases and smaller works.

I also have Summer Solstice, Where's the Money in Art (shown below) ,and a fourth which isn't shown on this website (click on her name above to view some of her work).

One day I will do a post on my growing art collection, and on how I aquired these paintings (perfectly legal I assure you, and direct from the lovely lady who painted them!) and for how much - my best bargains yet!

Clutter corner -Yikes that surface needs a tidy!
Amazing corner cupboards with swivel shelves inside that spin round - Magnet, theres nothing new!

leaded glass cupboards - have painted the inside back and shelves of the double cupboard candy pink! As usual, the job is half done and the smaller cupboard is still waiting to be painted!

The three drawers to the left of the sink unit (that you can only see two of) have narrow metal poles side by side instead of a solid drawer base, for storing your vegetables - any dirt or dust falls through and the air can circulate around your veg.

The makers label - Nevastane of London who made kitchens during the 50s

In the rather fuzzy photo above, you can just about see a wooden strip - there is a little button underneath, that if you press it releases a cutting or chopping board - we were amazed at all these clever features incorporated into a kitchen built 60 years ago.

There would have also been one in the sink unit (see picture before, right hand side) but the board is missing

Utility cupboard with thick glass containers below - sadly one is missing, but I shall keep my eyes open for one

Hope you enjoyed the quick kitchen tour!

At some point I hope to paint the cupboards in the kitchen as they are a rather sad steel grey that I am not very keen on. The cupbards above in the utility are a strong blue green - again I will probably change the colour at some point.

But as it is such a well made and unique character kitchen, we have no plans to replace it for a new modern kitchen.

Hope you had a great weekend!


  1. Lovely kitchen! That strawberry canvas is gorgeous!!

    Maria x

  2. Hello Gill:
    If we had a dream kitchen, then we think it would be yours. It is wonderful and we love it. How very fortunate you are to have it complete with all of its original fixtures and fittings. So often, as you say, these have been ripped out by previous owners and with them go so much of the integrity of the house both in terms of its design and style. The detail which you show and describe is amazing, and we imagine that when first put in it would not have been cheap.

    As for the Rayburn - just perfect vintage!

  3. LOVE your kitchen!
    I miss my Rayburn so much. It was the best thing ever (oil burning one) but it broke and was too costly to repair :(
    I have yet another "snap" with items in your home! I have the same kitchen clock as you.
    Love Tickety-boo

  4. I love your kitchen!
    So practical and I love the name...does it 'stane' (Stain)? LOL!
    I've seen those glass jars with the handles somewhere on the 'tinternet, I think it was a scandinavian blog or it might have been in Country Living magazine, I do wish I could remember more details.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Sandie xx

  5. Hi Gill,

    What a pretty country kitchen you have! The funny thing is to me it doesn't look like a 1950s kitchen at all, but much more contemporary! I love all the bright colours and the sweet posy from your garden!

    Happy new week!

    Madelief x

  6. I'm so glad you retained the charm and original character of this kitchen!! It makes me sad when everything old is ripped out and replaced with the same boring stuff that everyone else has. So often they are replaced with poor quality cupboards instead of solid wood... it's just sad sad sad. What color do you think you will use when you repaint? I like your ventilated veggie bins and the glass drawers.

  7. Hold the phone you have one of my coveted items on my wish list your aga stove.......your whole kitchen is just dreamy!!! those glass doors...but that stove!

  8. What a beautiful kitchen, Gill. Must have been an extravagence of luxury when it was first put in - I bet she was the talk of the street! I love the fabric strip/border/pelmet you have over the Rayburn too. On holiday in France I saw lots of this sort of thing, mainly red with embroidery on, but although I meant to buy some I never did :(
    Oh for a French fabric market!

  9. Blogger is playing silly beggars with me!! I hope this comment saves?!! What I tried to say a moment ago was..I think you have a very warm and welcoming kitchen. I LOVE your Rayburn. I have a modern gas/electric range which IS lovely but I do COVET a real range! LOL! Cx

  10. How lovely your kitchen is! Nevastane must have been real quality makers for it to have lasted so well, AND it still looks fresh as a daisy! I love your 'clutter corner' cupboards.

  11. Oh my message disappeared! I was saying that your kitchen is lovely. Your stove reminds me of the one in my great aunt's home. It heated the water and kept the house warm. It also aired and warmed clothes. Good memories!

  12. Oh you definitely wouldn't want to change your kitchen Gill, it is gorgeous! Kitchen's were obviously made to last in those days!
    Vivienne x

  13. I love, love, love your kitchen!!! How lucky are you that you only have to put some elbow grease into it! Our kitchen was a disaster when we moved in! When I finish painting my kitchen I'll post the before and afters!

    I really love your glass doors and that strawberry painting is just stunning! I love the recessed oven or cooker, how adorable is that!

    Have a great day!


  14. You don't mind if I come and live with you do you? :o)

    I am green with envy after reading about/looking at your sewing room, and now your most fabulous kitchen!

    It's beautiful Gill. And is an amazing home!
    How wonderful that the last people left it all intact too!
    Our last house was a fifties house, but unfortunately the last people had ripped it all out apart from the larder -which was a lovely cool place to store everything.-it reminded me of when I was young :o)

    Talking of young....At one point I used to work in Westerham, and I was born and grew up in Tatsfield -on the hill above Westerham- Do you know it?
    Blogland makes our little Island even smaller don't you think :o)

    Have a lovely week Gill.
    Love Donna x

  15. oohh Gill it is lovely so see houses with all the original features and especially the kitchen as its always the heart of the home. Yours is lovely and so cosy. Love your little crochet cushion. I would love to have a pantry its such a great word and reminds me of my nans which was always full of fresh baked goodies. Enjoy your week, dee x

  16. Hi Gill, wow what a lovely kitchen! I adore your oven/range - it looks amazing. We don't have anything like that here in NZ and I remember them vividly from my few years in the UK. I could really do with one in my little kitchen now - it's freezing here!!! Have a lovely week.

  17. What a great kitchen! In our last house our kitchen was circa 1940, but didn't have as much charm... I just love the strawberry painting, what a cheerful touch.

  18. Gill you lucky girl, what a wonderful kitchen you have. It's very 50's but also very 'now'. I am insanely jealous of the rayburn. I love the cosy little armchair, where I can imagine you crafting or reading. Can you imagine when the house was new, it must have been so thrilling for the purchaser to have a fitted kitchen with all the mod cons! Wonderful, thankyou for sharing. Thankyou too for your really kind remarks and for putting my button on your sidebar, I really appreciate it Gill. Have a really great week, love Linda x

  19. LOVE* LOVE* LOVE* it...and i knew i would...gill...we love the SAME THINGS !!!! it is all so charming...just adorable...

    in fact we love the same things so much we both have RED TOY POODLES !!!! hugs to logan

    sending love, my friend

    kary and teddy

  20. I love your kitchen it's perfect in every way. Everything goes together so well!! I love vintage kitchens, and yours is super sweet!
    Have a great weekend!
    Chris :o)

  21. Your kitchen looks lovely, Gill. It has real character and is homely and cosy too. I love the little touches you've added and the flowers! A rayburn makes it feel even cosier doesn't it, and perfect in winter for cooking and drying things. Have a happy weekend!
    Helen x

  22. Your kitchen speaks of love and home...such a cozy and happy place! The kitchen that was in our previous home was from the fifties and I absolutely loved it. It didn't have leaded glass doors though (those are wonderful!), but it had old pine cupboards and funky shelves with scalloped trim, and it was perfect. I miss it quite often actually even though we have the 'kitchen of our dreams now', the memories attached after 11 years made it extra special as well, not many of those in the new kitchen yet.
    Your artwork is so fun...and I love the geraniums!
    xo J~

  23. Hi Gill,
    thank you so much for showing your kitchen, it's absolutely gorgeous, I would never have imagined how advanced kitchen design was in the 50s, it's a real eye opener. To get a kitchen of that quality now would cost a small fortune. You must have been meant to have your house as had it gone to the wrong person, it could so easily have been lost. I could have wept when I saw what happened to the house next door to my parents when the old lady who lived there died. It had all the original features, leaded windows, marble fireplace, pitch pine doors, etc. etc. the new owners put the whole lot in a skip, they didn't even try to sell it, they just didn't see the value in it.
    I am looking forward to hearing how you acquired your paintings, it sounds intriguing!x

  24. Hi Gill, love your kitchen. It's so cosy and you have room for an armchair. Absolutely love it! My aunt had a kitchen a little like yours and I always liked it. She had the pull out boards too. Hope you're well and in the garden being busy. Lesley x

  25. Kitchens were very obviously built to last in the 50s unlike the throw away society we live in today. Glad that someone who appreciates it bought the house. I love your rayburn. Hope everything's ok, you haven't updated your blog for a while.


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x