Wednesday, April 27, 2011
My second Ken Birkemeier home! (The first one was yesterday's post.) Architectural Heritage Center Kitchen Revival Tour XIII, April 16, 2011
Built in 1949, as a Mid-Century Modern/Ranch/Cape Cod, also known as a Transitional home that combines elements of those three styles. It is in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood and very close to the other Ken Birkemeier on the tour.
From the booklet: This kitchen is a nearly intact example of a mid-century Birkemeier kitchen. Birkemeier was a "hands-on" builder who took pride in personally designing stylish and functional kitchens for each home he built. Perhaps the most striking feature of this kitchen is its original hexagonal tile counter. The powder-blue tile color anticipates 1950s Modern. (An aside, it looks more like sea foam green to me, but I wasn't there when it was purchased, so who knows?) The backsplash tiles are the same color but are rectangular shaped "subway" tiles. Notice too the sweeping curve at the end of the counter. This late "Streamline-Moderne" feature is echoed in the shelving bracketing the kitchen window, and in the curing dining room wall just outside the kitchen door. Birkemeier loved to include curved features of all sorts in his houses: notice additionally the wavy "scallops" at the top of the kitchen walls.
Other kitchen features include the complete set of original cabinets, a stylish "pass-through" opening between the kitchen and dining room, and the natural wood finish on the exterior kitchen door and associated trim. The original floor has been replaced with a new layer of Marmoleum. This is an entirely appropriate replacement material as many original Birkemeier kitchens of this ear were fitted with linoleum floors.
If you enjoyed the blue tile counter, be sure to ask the hosts to show you the blue and pink tile downstairs bathroom. With these colors together with the original plumbing fixtures and bathroom cabinets, you will magically be transported back to 1949's view of the "House of Tomorrow."
I can't remember ever seeing a fireplace surround (or whatever you call it) like this one. I really like it's mellow, warm beauty.