Wednesday, June 29, 2011

sneak peeks • luncheonettevintage

assembling the tags that go into luncheonette packages: shop coupon and vintage recipe

I'll let you in on a secret. The kitchen here at luncheonettevintage, land of the curatorial orthodoxy involving old clothes and thingamabobs, used to be a crying shame.


When I moved in, it was a mish-mash of wood paneling, painted spoiled milk color, and all laid itsy-katsy and joined together with scraps of wood painted the sad browns of bad digestion. As it got worse (we had to open the wall, etc), we just left it. Not denial, just priorities.

note fiestaware plate sulking in the rack

But priorities are meant to shift. In my world,  kitchen is office and the kitchen table is workstation. And it's a shopwide policy that no task is completed without well-brewed coffee. When I write "from the kitchen" in my convo signoffs, I'm serious.  I do everything, nearly, in this kitchen. Don't we all?

double yoke egg next to single yoke egg on milk glass plate on 50s table

Soon as we could, we embarked on the Great Renovation. Theme: farmhouse kitchen with modern, um, coffee maker. Slightly industrial (there would be an exposed vent pipe) to remind me of the good old days in my Dumbo loft (I once lived atop an old coffee packing factory in Brooklyn). We were trepidatious, but the fortunes of old building quality lurking beneath crap soon smiled upon us.

Within the cracked and besmirched old wall panels, we found old, stalwart beams. Note coffee maker, always within reach.
rough hewn beams in the walls

Under 5 layers of linoleum, we found real wood plank floors. Total surprise there.

hand sanding, then came 9 coats of polyurethane

We finished the floors, applied real wainscoting (hammered and fit together one piece at a time) reused what we could. We refinished the rusty 1950s metal sink cabinet (fun job. right), and the kitchen cabinet. We had to replace the tiny 1970s range (coated with oil, prone to heat surges). But another rule was no fuss. When Supercool Relative Guy Who Wields Them Big Tools came in with giant shelving brackets and bolts, I did not object. It was a combination of get-er-done and do-it-right.

brother in law trying not to stand on new stove

with range hood

Note milk glass 1940s cake plate nestled next to industrial fan exhaust pipe. Noone here loves that but me, but since I am the head cook, it stays. And the reno continues, since my buddy the amazing carpenter guy had to interrupt his for-the-love-of-family, heavily discounted labor to go work on a real (as in real paying) renovation project. So someday, our kitchen will all be finished. Curtains will be hung on real rods, not string.

draped over string

The table cloth below? Just laid out to take a picture for the shop. But that's the point: things can now be laid out and photographed for the shop.

egg colored chairs

So it's not finished. But I kind of love it the way it is. Thanks for stopping in.


  1. What a fun post! Thank you for sharing this sneak peek into your world. I love the "sulking Fiesta Ware plate"! I bet it is not sulking now!!! :)

  2. Hard work always pays off and your kitchen is one I would die for! All that work for the hard wood floors is a true testament for your love of vintage and antiques! I totally enjoyed reading this post!!! Thanks for sharing!
    btw ... I like your cake plate, too!