Half remembered furniture
April 5, 2012 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Does anybody know the term to describe this particular style of vintage kitchen/dining room hutch? It came in many forms but was generally made from a blonde, plainly figured wood and had bright red accents. I remember seeing examples in nearly every Toronto junk shop was ever in.

I think it was a very common, lower-end style of display hutch, probably popular in the 30s. It had a distinct art deco look, sometimes with rounded corners made from formed plywood. Probably the most distinctive thing about it was the use of red cabinet and drawer knobs or red muntins (whatever you call the wood strips that divide the glass panes). They often have multiple drawers and doors. More funky than elegant.

I'm trying to google examples of this style and coming up blank.
posted by bonobothegreat to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you thinking of a Hoosier Cabinet?
posted by Floydd at 2:12 PM on April 5, 2012

Response by poster: Probably a similar era, but a little less "country kitchen" than that. The style I'm thinking of is often about 3/4 the height and could look at home in an apartment dining room.

I just found this:


..which is the general type but not as deco an example as what I'm hoping for.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:34 PM on April 5, 2012

"Hoosier cabinet" isn't a decorative style, it's a configuration. They typically had upper and lower cupboards, perhaps a special tin insert for flour, a chopping surface, etc. A lot of the functions they served are now built into kitchens.
posted by adamrice at 2:48 PM on April 5, 2012

I know exactly what you mean, and it's not a Hoosier, but I'm at a loss to give it a name. It's consistent with 1930s moderne-style simple wood furnishings.
posted by Miko at 3:52 PM on April 5, 2012

LIke this but with natural wood? This table as example.
posted by Miko at 3:54 PM on April 5, 2012

Response by poster: Sort of, but I think those follow the hoosier cabinet aesthetic (looks like Floydd's suggestion sitting on the right of the kitchen illustration.) The stuff I'm thinking of tries to look a bit more elegant and not quite so utilitarian. A light coloured wood like maple, birch or poplar with red bakelite handles. I remember seeing tons of examples over the years but never bought any.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:38 PM on April 5, 2012

Pie cabinets?

Something like this?

Maybe an icebox?
posted by cooker girl at 4:58 PM on April 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all. It's looking like it may not be a "thing" in the sense I'd hoped for and I'm wondering if it was a local Ontario style. This one has been painted white but has a lot of the features I'm thinking of (rounded corners, deco feel).

I always admired the style because it was humble, low-end furniture but tried to look architecturally grand.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:16 PM on April 5, 2012

Could you be thinking of waterfall furniture, which seems to be an offshoot of art deco and which frequently had rounded corners and Bakelite handles? One example. Another. And a third, for luck.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:08 PM on April 5, 2012

I feel like I can visualize what you're talking about though the images I offered do lean more toward enamelled furniture. I bet you would do well talking to antiques dealers in that region.
posted by Miko at 7:28 PM on April 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, Monkeytoes. I suppose that's as close a descriptor as I'm going to find. However when I think of waterfall furniture I think mostly of bedroom vanities and dressers. The funny thing about the stuff I'm talking about was that it seemed a little heavier, was almost always made of pale, plain wood (never had any parquetry design) and always featured bright red handles and often had incised red lines.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:37 PM on April 5, 2012

I know exactly what you mean now. And I bet you anything it was, like, a department-store line. Maybe check some period store catalogs.
posted by Miko at 6:36 AM on April 6, 2012

Response by poster: You're probably right Miko. Now I'm wondering if anyone has online versions of Eaton/s catalogues from the depression.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:45 AM on April 6, 2012

Wonder no more....good luck.
posted by Miko at 8:40 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hey! Thanks Miko. I was at that archives but never found my way to the catalogues. Nothing matching what I'm after but I was surprised to see a hoosier cabinet and a table very close to the enamel topped style you first linked to.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:54 AM on April 7, 2012

« Older Can I record debt collector calls that are already...   |   Successful therapy with an intern? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.