Hollywood Kitchens

Kitchens – this one is from a Pasadena estate and was designed by Wallace Neff:

A cheerful California kitchen from 1938:

And here’s one you might recognize from “My Man Godfrey”:

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  1. August 27, 2012

    Vickie – having found you through Lanier’s Scent Memory blog, I have to tell you that I LOVE your blog. Your vintage Hollywood pics and stories are wonderful and I just want to repeat saying “Vickie Lester” over and over again with a clipped hollywood/english accent! OK, enough gushing…good luck with your kitchen renovation. I could only wish for a kitchen as big as the ones above. I have a 1939 east coast colonial with a kitchen the size of a cubicle. This in a former suburb of Washington DC (now basically in the middle of the city) where the homes were expensive for the time (and still are!). Where did they cook? Did they have maids that did the work for them? I always wondered that, but the cabinets, etc. do look familiar to the pics above. Thanks again for the fantastic site!

    • August 27, 2012

      You know, your cubicle kitchen probably has a great work triangle… Kitchens of the 20s were often a cupboard, a table, a stove, a sink, and an icebox – in the 1930s they become more modern. Talk about cubicles, have you seen those maids rooms in grand old houses tucked away behind the kitchens? They give me the willies! I did see something interesting the other day in a time capsule house that had never been updated – there was an art deco etched mirror above the sink in the kitchen – so that the maid/cook could seen behind her into the dining room. Imagine!

      • August 27, 2012

        You’re right about the work flow, it is the perfect triangle and does work!

  2. August 21, 2014


    Also: Is Wallace Walter’s more conventional brother?

    • August 22, 2014

      Ha! Well as far as I know he never plotted to collect on Double Indemnity 😉 .

  3. August 21, 2014

    I’ve always simply adored the “My Man Godfrey” kitchen, as well as the one in “Merrily We Live.” Actually, I’d like the whole house from the latter, please.

    • August 22, 2014

      Deco magnificence! And a kitchen big enough to accommodate dolly track, oh yeah!

    • sdaven5191
      August 22, 2014

      I have loved watching both of those movies ever since I first saw them on TMC ages back. And since I have them DVR’d I can watch whenever I please! My husband enjoys them as well, and they are frequent favorites for late-night, before bed viewing.
      I love both kitchens, but I think we get some better views of the kitchen and wonderful butler’s pantry in “Merrily We Live” as well as their Servant’s Hall/Dining Area. It’s a nice combination dining and relaxation area (just a stone’s throw from the fridge!) Quite spaceous and nicely decorated and since it’s on its way out the back from the kitchen to the driveway, garage and chauffer’s quarters, I’m sure it’s for their use. After all, the family has the entire rest of the mansion for their purposes, and I cannot see any of them, except for that dizzy little sister perhaps, sharing any space with the cooks, maids or that impecuneous butler!
      As for servant’s quarters, though, I think Godfrey has that one won, hands down! His bedroom and private bath are nicer than my own bedroom in my home! But then I don’t live in a Park Avenue mansion, either! Oddly enough, we never see Molly’s room, but then hers isn’t used as a plot device, so it makes sense. Her’s is probably just as nice, though.

      • August 23, 2014

        It’s been years since I saw My Man Godfrey! I think tonight we’re due for a viewing!

  4. sdaven5191
    August 22, 2014

    Love the “Saturn” ceiling lights in the 1938 kitchen. Very Art Deco! There’s a space at the end of the counter where the cabinet “steps up” and looks like there should be a refrigerator sitting there. Would a Monitor Top fridge sit high enough to need that sort of “head room?” Or is there another reason for that gap?

    • August 23, 2014

      Well spotted! If I recall, the photo was taken of a “Modern Model Kitchen” in a newly built home and the appliances hadn’t been installed.

  5. August 24, 2014

    One of my favorite things about watching classic films is getting to see the kitchens! And a kitchen with William Powell in it is a very handsome kitchen, indeedy.

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