Have you ever fantasized of cooking in a modern and advanced kitchen in your mid-century modernist house?
As you may already know, taking influence from the Bauhaus and American high-prairie style homes, mid-century modern architecture became extremely popular in United States after the Second World War, fueled by famous European architects working in the US such as Walter Gropius, Richard Neutra, Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies. At its peak in the 1950s and '60s, mid-century modern architecture was iconic and adored – as much as it is now again.
Today, these homes are considered some of the most beautiful in the United States and much sought-after, because of their unmistakable style, simple, classic materials and equal weight given to form and function.
If you're a fan of elegant and minimalist style, you'll love the results of a thoughtful period-correct remodel of a mid-century modern house.
But most of the time, owners, purchasers and contractors install entirely inappropriate kitchens.
Which leads to the questions: what are the best possibilities for the kitchen of a mid-century modern house? Do you know where to look? Do you have a limited amount of time to research kitchen designs? Are you afraid a modernist kitchen might be a money sinkhole?
We have the answer for you. In this article, we focus on picking the correct kitchen to replace or renovate the current one in your MCM house.
Kitchens have always been an important part of a home, but over time they have changed their function and consequently how they look. Becoming more technological and innovative while the time it takes to cook has gone down, they have evolved from food prep to social center.
Everyone in the house gathers in the kitchen, it’s where we eat breakfast, lunch with the family, and appetisers before dinner. If space is sufficient, it can also become a place to study and work. No surprise then that our kitchen is one of the places in our house where we spend the most time with our family and friends.
If you are embarking on a renovation of an MCM home, chances are high that the kitchen you choose to install won't match or will be from the wrong time period. This article is all about assisting you to make sure you don't pick the first option on the market but instead choose carefully, so that your kitchen can become the new best space in your house. You do not want an average kitchen–you really want a kitchen that matches, emphasises and enhances the design of your home.
So, what are your options?
Here at Modern Florida Homes, we researched and made a list of some of the best companies in America that make kitchen cabinets (appliances are a separate subject not covered here). We included our best hints for designing a modern kitchen to suit your tastes and different budgets. Depending on the design you are imagining, here are some options to update the kitchen in your mid-century modern home:
If you do not want to spend a lot, start at the home improvement stores. Home Depot has some low-cost options for a modernist kitchen that will fit in with the style of a mid-century modern home. Neutral colours are best for modern kitchen solutions, like the Cambridge Base Cabinets or the Shaker Wall Cabinets. Lowe's is a good alternative for modern kitchen compositions in the same price range and has a wide selection of modernist kitchen cabinets.
Starting at an affordable range of prices, MasterBrand has a wide range of cabinetry products that are made to fit any MCM or modernist home. Its main office is in Indiana, and it makes more cabinets than any other company in North America, all on different budgets. Their family of brands can accommodate any design choice, but for modernist homes, particular attention can be given to the Ultrcraft and Kemper brands for their minimalist design.
For good quality at a good price range, Merillat Cabinetry is your Michigan-based choice. They can help you improve the layout of your kitchen on a budget, you can request a design consultation, and they also have an online tool that can help you budget and decide what makes sense for your kitchen. Even though Merillat only offers a few designs, the designs are elegant and simple, and all of them can be used to create a modernist kitchen space.
For mid-range solutions Starmark Cabinetry offers some options for your modernist kitchen. The Bedford door style could be one of the best solutions. Paired with marble or stone surfaces, it will give your mid-century modernist home a new design.
For luxury solutions and beautiful designs, with a passion for Italian design, Snaidero has multiple showrooms and gives you many ways to make your kitchen look and work the way you want. Trendy or classy, the kitchen cabinets will make your kitchen look like a monument.
Porcelanosa is an alternative, with European-style cabinets that are sleek and full of new concepts. With solid surface countertops, Porcelanosa is a diverse company with a wide range of products that go well with a mid-century home renovation. In the United States, Porcelanosa has multiple showrooms and it’s possible to book an appointment with a design consultant.
If your upscale taste leans towards clean and beautifully crafted German design – which Tobias as a German will applaud with a wink – you’ll be delighted by the German Kitchen Center. They have 17 showrooms throughout the US, two of those in Tampa and Miami. In addition to a wide variety of European kitchens – not only German but also Italian etc. – they offer free catalogues, a free 3D kitchen design program to download and free kitchen design consultations.
As an additional guide, the website Chef's Pencil has a ranking of ten German kitchen manufacturers present in the US; oddly enough Miele is not mentioned.
That said, would you rather go the way of least resistance and let your General Contractor install something, or would you install a modernist kitchen in a mid-century modern residence?
Kitchens in modernist homes are designed with an eye on function and form. To achieve crisp aesthetics and effective ergonomics, flat surfaces and geometric forms are emphasized in modernist kitchen designs. It is possible to add a modernist kitchen to a modernist home without compromising the décor, and ideally will yield a unified seamless result, a harmonious ensemble integrating your kitchen with the whole of the home without a break in style.
In addition, modern design is based on the most recent developments in the kitchen design industry. Rather than a cohesive movement with a specific style, design changes with trends, taking inspiration from a wide variety of styles from different times. You really can pick a modernist kitchen that matches the color palette and style of your home. Modernist kitchens can make your home a better place to live, raise the value of your property, and make your daily life more fun.
Plus, your friends and family will be amazed. You’ll never get them to leave.
Do you have any experience installing a period-correct kitchen? Or questions about it? Do let me know please!
"Why does your Modernist Home need a Modernist Kitchen? (It does)" and photos by Tobias Kaiser, CC BY-NC-ND
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Tobias Kaiser works as an independent real estate broker and consultant in Florida since 1990. Always putting his clients' interest first, he specialises in modern Florida homes and architecture, as well as net leased investments.