The Vintage Cookie

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Search of Vintage Kitchens: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

This summer I am faced with the task of renovating the 1980s era kitchen in the 1920s era extension to my 1810s era house in Old Town, Alexandria. An exciting, and daunting, task for the Vintage Cookie. So, I shall start with my favorite activity - hands on research.

Today I visited Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens today. ( This was the home of  Marjorie Merriweather Post, the American heiress and businesswoman who built Post Cereals into General Foods (with the help of her second husband, E.F. Hutton.) I doubt if Ms. Post spent much time in the huge, key-lime-pie green and lemon-curd  yellow kitchen in the estate, but I did. It is a fabulous, totally over-the-top version of a 1950s metal cabinet kitchen. The cabinetry is all painted metal, in green, with yellow painted walls and light grey formica countertops, edged in extruded metal. Don't think it will work in my house - but if you are interested in mid-century kitchens, go, go, go. You will rarely find a kitchen of this vintage so beautifully preserved.

The gardens, house and collections are also worth seeing - totally feminine, totally confident. Loved them. Didn't get a lot of time to look at the beautiful objects, as I went through the house with the 4-year-old. But we did enjoy the gardens a great deal.

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