Collectors' Retro Home with a Vintage "GE Wonder Kitchen"

Collectors' Retro Home with a Vintage "GE Wonder Kitchen"

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Tamara Gavin
Nov 12, 2016

Name: Letitia Walker and Whitney Shroyer, two dogs, and about 250 sock monkeys!
Location: West Asheville, North Carolina
Size: 1,386 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 16

This idiosyncratic, hip, little home in West Asheville is owned by Letitia and Whitney — a couple of collectors who love found objects, abstract expressionism art, and music. Letitia, a yoga instructor, also loves turquoise and uses the color unabashedly throughout the home, accenting it with her homemade curtains, vintage lamps (which have added to the retro movie-watching experience as some of them appear in old movies like "Inside Llewyn Davis"), and colorful concert posters.

Probably the best use of the color is on the restored GE Wonder Kitchen. The original turquoise finish was not in great shape, so Letitia repainted the cabinets with automobile paint to give it that even, lustrous finish, which makes the piece resplendent in this old bungalow. The piece inspired their entire kitchen renovation and is a great example of their distinctive style.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-mod, found art and objects, displayed collections, organized clutter

Inspiration: 20+ years of scrounging, thrifting, and antiquing. Neither of our parents were thrift store hounds, but Whitney and I both loved what my dad always called "old stuff". When we got together in the mid-90s, we scoured thrift stores, flea markets, and antique malls, gathering records, sock monkeys and mid-mod pieces before mid-century was popular. Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage and Antiques was a huge source for us and eventually, we traded-up many of our starter pieces with items from them.

Favorite Element: The custom-made record storage units in the record room and our 1959 GE Wonder Kitchen unit

Biggest Challenge: Our kitchen remodel took seven months and eight years (see our biggest indulgence).

What Friends Say: Friends love how cheerful, happy and bright our home is. The kitchen and the record room are the main hang-out rooms. First-time visitors always comment on the amount of records and sock monkeys.

Biggest Embarrassment: It took us 15 years to finally hang all our artwork.

Proudest DIY: We're not big home remodel DIYers but we both have a craft table in our offices at home. Whitney started making collaged and decoupaged 45 boxes from his collections of comics and vintage magazine, and they're another "found object" element of our home.

Biggest Indulgence: The GE Wonder Kitchen. Though not because of price. Simon and Christi Whiteley of Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage and Antiques had pulled the turquoise 1959 GE Wonder Kitchen out of a house in Hendersonville. They knew we wanted to redo our kitchen and that I loved '50s metal kitchens and turquoise, so they wondered if we were interested. The all-in-one unit just exactly measured the length of one wall in our old kitchen, so even though we didn't know when we would actually do the remodel, or how it would work out, we bought the kitchen and stored it in our basement for 8 years!

Best Advice: Make sure you really want it before you bring it in the house. Don't be afraid to prune.

Dream Sources: Everywhere! The unlikeliest places! Keep your eyes open while having an idea of the things you need and you'll find them. Nearly every piece in our house is vintage, sourced from anywhere from thrift stores, flea markets, antique malls, peppered in with a few family pieces.

Resources:

LIVING ROOM
Mid-Century Sofa – A long-since closed antique mall in Asheville
Lillasen Desk – Ikea
Lippa Side Table – LexMod
Vintage, Asian-inspired, Black bookcase – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Stripped Heywood Wakefield bookcase – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Drexel (?) Hutch – family piece
Turquoise and Gold table lamp – yard sale find
Turquoise and Gold floor lamp – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Vintage Pole lamp – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Mid-century black-topped swivel stools – The Screen Door in Asheville
Bigarra planter – Ikea
Linden Pillows in Ocean and Copper – Crate & Barrel
Mid-century barkcloth curtains – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
The Green Lady, Tretchikoff – The Ice Chalet Mall in Columbia, Missouri
Rock City, Andy Herod – Horse & Hero
Album Art, Steve Keene – Steve Keene
The Mississippi Sheiks, Suzie Millions – Suzie Millions
Love from Above, Charley Harper, a seriograph from my father's collection
Light blue and fireplace interior paint - Sherwin Williams Waterscape
Bright blue accent wall and fireplace facade — Sherwin Williams Cooled Blue
Ceiling paint — Sherwin Williams Bubble Tea

RECORD ROOM
Vintage, Bakelite-topped, drop-leaf side table – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Vintage, fuzzy, green chair – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Mid-century, sliding slatboard coffee table – purchased with the sofa at an Avl antique mall
Custom-made record cabinets – Mike McCracken
Vintage barkcloth curtains, sewn from found fabric
Rug – Atomic Furnishings
Technics 1200s
Kardemumma Planter – Ikea
Vintage clock, yard sale find
Claws, Charley Harper, a seriograph from my father's collection
Ponderosa Stomp poster – Church of Type
Record Player, Truly Grace Hall
Paint color — Sherwin Williams Bubble Tea

KITCHEN
1959 GE Wonder Kitchen Unit and Geneva cabinets – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Maytag Dishwasher – Sears
Counter-depth Fridge – Fisher & Paykel
Stainless work table – Restaurant Supply Store
Yellow dinette – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Trashcan – Simple Human
Vintage clock — yard sale find
Vintage lighting – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Galaxy Sconce in white enamel – Rejuvenation
Formica Countertop, in Dogbone White
Stainless edging – New York Metals
Flooring – Forbo Marmoleum Click in Eternity, Volcanic Ash, and Silver Shadow
I Hear Sorrow, Jenny Hager art – Jenny Hager
Vintage Miro poster — from my father's collection
Wall paint color — Benjamin Moore, Sunny Yellow

BEDROOM
Vintage bookcase headboard – Eldorado Mid-Century Salvage & Antiques
Orla Kiely duvet in Flower Blossom – Orla Kiely

Thanks, Letitia and Whitney!


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