If you’ve read my previous two posts, Part 1 and Part 2, you’ll know that my grandparents have given me their old 50s kitchen larder. It was in a pretty tattered state but it definitely had potential. After hours and hours of rebuilding, fixing, sanding, filling, replacing, priming and painting the larder was finally finished and could take pride of place in my house. If you hover your mouse over the rather fancy image below you will see it change from its finished state to what it look like when I salvaged it from their garage.
If you hover your mouse over this image it will magically change to show you the larder as it used to be.
I’m really chuffed with how it’s turned out. You’ve got to admit that it looks pretty darn awesome. The mint green colour, which I had matched from the original paint which was put on the larder over half a centruary ago, looks so stunning. It’s a bright, retro looking shade that really makes all the doors pop. I kept the frame and internals of the unit a slight off white (vanilla) sort of colour so that the doors and fittings would really stand out and I think it works.
With the flap door hung down the larder looks almost even better. There is enough space with it closed to keep my laptop inside and with the flap down you can use it as a table to use my laptop down. Inside, the small shelf and divider are handy for storing stationary, paperwork and nicnacs. I use a brown leather, retro style office chair with the larder which goes with the mint colour really well and makes it even more comfortable and functional.
As you can see the original chrome handles are pitted and showing their age, but that is exactly how I wanted it. If i had replaced them or had them re-chromed (as I once considered) the whole thing would look brand new and like a reproduction. I had managed to clean them up a little bit with some orange juice and by rubbing tin foil over them (a trick I read about online). This took the rusty bits away and made them shine like they used to. They are the original handles my grandparents would of been using 50 or 60 years ago and I love that. The individual patina shows their true age and adds to the overall character.
I cleaned the inside of the draw but left all of the scratches and marks as they were. They again show the age and authenticity and by the time I had filled it with stationery, you couldn’t see them anyway. This draw was probably originally used for cutlery or kitchenware but now it functions brilliantly for pencils, pens, glue sticks and sellotape.
As the bottom is the largest compartment, it is really great for hiding away all of my boring documents and paperwork which I don’t want to see every day. It all fits in perfectly, stopping me from spotting it around the house and allowing me to find it all straight away if I ever need it. I re-fixed the shelf a fair bit sturdier than it used to be; now that it’s stronger, I can store a whole ream of paper and more without the shelf bowing.
I absolutely love this larder. I think I would have really liked one if I had just gone out and purchased it. Knowing that it came from my grandparents and all the hard work I put into it myself just makes it even more special. I think 50’s and 60’s kitchen larders are not only really stylish and cool items of furniture but they are also very practical and useful furnishings. Their original utilitarian design makes them very usable in modern homes and living.