Kitchen The Victorian House

Cooking on Vintage and Antique Stoves?

I’m sure some of you have (or have cooked on) vintage stoves. Care to share your experiences? When I think of vintage stoves, I think of sweet mid-century models like these.

Vintage Stoves
1 // 2 // 3

What is waiting for us in the new house though, is this.

Victorian Kitchen

That’s our new kitchen! (And the first and only sneak peek inside until we close on the house next week.) The stove isn’t just vintage, it’s antique. It has four gas burners on the right side, and the oven directly below has a dial for ‘hot’ and ‘very hot.’ Precise! There’s also a pilot light that shoots out flames with the push of a button, which will be fun for the whole family. (We’re going to have to look into rigging some kind of stove guard. Or rear perfect children that will never touch The Forbidden Stove.)

I don’t know if/how it can be vented. I’m not sure if it’s still wood-burning on the left or if it can be converted to electric at some point. It’s an amazing focal point, but frankly, I’m feeling weirdly apprehensive about using it! I’m expecting a bit of a learning curve — especially with the oven.

Next week, next week!

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  • Laurie
    August 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Gorgeous! I think cooking thermometers are going to be your best friend though. That is very intimidating indeed! I’m afraid I would be chicken about a lot of foods and stick with the microwave and grill when the meal counted.

    I did have an older stove/oven (1940s?) years ago when I lived in LA and I absolutely LOVED the little warming oven on one side. It didn’t have a direct way to control heat but it stayed pretty warm when the stove and oven were in use and it was a great place to put bread or something that finished early. I do miss that on these newer stoves.

    It will be interesting to see what you find out. You’ll have to give us a “tour” of your new stove someday!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      We do have a cooking thermometer, and yes, I think we’re going to be more well-acquainted for a while. And at the very least, I need to take a video of the flames that shoot out!

  • Emma (Broke Ass Home)
    August 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    My only experience with vintage stoves is they are energy hogs! It cost us less than one month of cost of using it to have the thing removed! They’re adorable but man, are they expensive to run.

  • Rebecca
    August 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve had 2 midcentury stoves, similar to the ones in your first couple of pictures. lOVED THEM!! They worked great and inspired my cooking- broiling was pretty popular back then.
    Your “new” stove would intimidate me though

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Glad I’m not the only one that finds it intimidating.

  • Ceci Bean
    August 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Sadly, I have no helpful info for you. I imagine you’ll have to do some trial and error cooking to get a feel for it.

    But I can’t help but notice what a funny contrast it is between that sculptural stove and that sleek stainless fridge.

  • Barb
    August 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    One word. Abt. You know. Or somewhere that normal stoves are found. The one in the photo would be great for plants on a porch. And safer for the kids as well.

  • Annie
    August 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    You’ll definitely have to get used to how it acts! I don’t blame you for feeling intimidated. I had an old wonky stove/oven a few years ago and I got an oven thermometer. I’d definitely recommend starting there to decode “hot” and “very hot”! Good luck!

  • Janet
    August 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    LOL I’m cracking up at the description of the stove! That’s awesome. The burners should be okay but I’m guessing the oven is going to be extremely inaccurate. I would get cooking thermometers like the previous poster mentioned, and I’d also get a regular oven thermometer that can just stay inside and tell you how hot it is. I’d put that in, and then run it empty on each heat setting to see how hot it gets. From there it’s trial and error, and I wouldn’t beat yourself up if you ruin a few things.

  • Jaimie
    August 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    We inherited a vintage O’Keefe and Merritt with our new house, probably circa 1950’s

    It was totally disgusting and the burners would not ignite without help from a lighter. We decided to keep the gas turned off to it for now (partially because it’s 100+ degrees outside and I don’t really want six pilot lights running all day), until we can get the burner heads and burner grates re-porcelained.

    I highly recommend looking at the sites listed on this page at Retro Renovation: also had this awesome article about them

    While a full-on restoration is not anytime in the near future for my stove, I do think it’s worth the expense of getting it to good working order. I mean, I could spend probably the same amount to get a new one, but would it really be better?

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks for those links. I hope you’re able to get your stove sorted out. Everyone always raves about how wonderful those mid-century stoves are when they’re in good working order! I hope the same can be said of mine.

  • Natalie
    August 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    We recently bought a house with the original stove from 1951. I was nervous about it going in, and anticipated that an upgrade would be one of our first purchases. But I love it! Both the stovetop and the oven heat up infinitely faster than at our previous place. And so far, I’ve found that the oven temperature settings seem to work (although I haven’t tried baked goods yet, so we’ll have to wait and see).

  • Rachel
    August 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    It’s a really pretty stove, but it doesn’t seem to be all that practical for modern cooking needs. Since it works and has at least partly been updated to electrical, you could try selling it and putting that money towards one of the mid-century models you love so much…

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      I don’t think it has been converted. We looked at it during the inspection, and unless I and the inspector missed something, it’s still a gas/wood-burning hybrid. It does work though, and seems to be in good condition. I figure we should go into the kitchen with an open mind (but I’m also liking your suggestion)!

  • cd
    August 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Wow – what a space. Are you going to paint all of that wood? I’m normally a fan of white kitchens, but that wood looks stunning.

    Sorry – off topic, I know.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      I love white kitchens too, as evidenced by the kitchen we just left! I’m not planning to paint the wood there though.

  • Kelly
    August 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    That is a lovely stove and I think it would make a great conversation/display piece. It looks odd next to the sleek SS fridge though — maybe you could install a modern stove and use the vintage one elsewhere? Or get a big toaster/convection oven to set on the counter for baking?

    I love the millwork in that kitchen, though. It’s beautiful. Congratulations on your gorgeous new home.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      I’ve been thinking about whether we can put a microwave/convection oven elsewhere in the room, and mostly use the antique stove for its burners and as a backup second oven.

  • Stephany
    August 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I grew up in a house with one of these in the kitchen, but it hadn’t been converted to gas. It was all wood. We also had a conventional modern stove. We used the wood stove for heating and it was lovely for that purpose. My mom baked in it now and then, too.

  • Heidi
    August 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    We have a stove just like that in our family cabin. Throwing a little wood fire in to warm the kitchen and make a pot of tea is the best! The propane burners work just fine. I’ve baked cookies and biscuits in the oven… just relying on the thermometer, not the oven dials as a temperature gauge. Don’t be intimidated!! Start small and see how it goes.

  • Ashly
    August 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    While I don’t have any experience personally with an antique stove like the one photographed, I have seen them in use elsewhere in other homes. My advice: Shortly after closing, and before using it, have a professional how specializes in antique/vintage stove come over and to a good inspection/tune-up. This person should also be able to walk your though how to use it safely. The fun thing about these old stoves is that they seem to develop their own personalities. You’re going to have fun learning your new stove’s quirks. ;)

    • Ashly
      August 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Oh Lord.. I should have proof-read.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      I anticipate a few quirks. ;)

  • jenny
    August 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    No experience with older stoves, so no advice to be given.


    “Next week” can’t come soon enough. I’m so looking forward to your new space!

  • Clair
    August 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Wow. I am definitely not the person to ask about that stove. This post made me realize how much I am looking forward to seeing the inside of your new house. :)

  • nanu
    August 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Cooking in that kitchen will be the best you’ve ever done! Cooking with gas is another world! As for the oven, I suggest a good thermometer, it’s just a matter of practice. Otherwise I can not to congratulate you for your new old stove.

  • Jackie
    August 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm


    I have a mid-century model in my kitchen called the Magic Chef Golden Jubilee. Simply put, it’s hard to use. We can’t set a temperature in the oven so it jumps from “hot” to “very hot” to “hot” again in a matter of minutes. After living with our Golden Jubilee for two and a half years, my husband and I finally caved and bought a convection oven. It wasn’t an easy decision because our Golden Junilee fits so well in our mid-century kitchen, and, let’s face it — it’s really cool ( — but it’s time. We’re in the middle of a lot of home renovations and are having it installed soon, and while I know I’ll miss looking at the Magic Chef, I don’t think I’ll miss using it.

    That being said, if you really want to keep your stove — and I totally understand why if you do — would you consider having it restored/having all of its components converted to electric? This wasn’t an option for us because nobody around here does that kind of work, and shipping it alone would cost more than a brand new, state-of-the-art appliance, but I bet you have more options in Chicago!

    Best of luck. I look forward to finding out what happens!

    • priscilla
      August 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Are you keeping the rest of your kitchen? What kind of stove are you considering?
      Thanks, Priscilla

      • Jackie
        August 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm

        Hi Priscilla,

        Our goal is to keep everything that we possibly can! We are putting in black and white tile floors in a diamond pattern, and we’ve already put in butcher block counters to replace what was there (they were peeling and cracked, sadly). We also added a back-splash to compliment the glass on our cabinets. We are keeping: the cabinets, hardware and sink, and the layout is staying the same. As for appliances, we purchased this stove/oven:, as well as a dishwasher and refrigerator (all GE brand, or GE Profile).

        What are your thoughts on your stove?

      • priscilla
        August 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        I’m waiting for the new GE Artistry series to come out. I need a whole new kitchen but it’s tiny so it wont be too bad. I live below you in Saugerties!

    • Ashly
      August 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Home girl, I would kill or maim for your upper cabinets.

      • Jackie
        August 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm


        We’re holding onto those cabinets with all we’ve got! But if we ever decide to get rid of them, I’ll be sure to let you know :) And thank you for the compliment!

    • Brooke
      August 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Oh wow, my stove is nearly identical! Do you have the griddle in the center? I can’t seem to date mine, but the original owner I purchased it from said she bought it in the 50’s. We live in the country so I had our gas providers look it over and convert the orofices from Natural gas to Liquid Propane, and they also cleaned out all the jets and pilots. I have a little trouble getting my burners to stay at even temps, two are more trusty than the other two. The oven though is pretty darn accurate and cooks like a dream. I am in LOOOOOVE with my Magic Chef! I choose to turn off the gas in between uses though, to save on costs so the pilots don’t stay on all day and my daughter doesn’t mess with the knobs and turn gas on. There’s no way I’d ever convert it to electric. This is my dream range.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Jackie, that Magic Chef looks so good! Pity it was such a pain to use. I’d love to see your kitchen again after you’re done making changes! I imagine those cabinets would pair really well with the butcher block you installed, and the new flooring.

  • SEM
    August 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    What a cool kitchen! I even love the stained wood and wallpaper and I’m not usually a fan of either. Super charming space! I can’t wait for the big reveal!

  • Jackie
    August 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Also, CONGRATULATIONS on the new place! Your kitchen looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see more photos!

  • Marisa
    August 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I had one very like your #2 stove above. It was white and very cute, but terribly impractical. The oven was small, so doing big sheets of roasted veggies, say, wasn’t an option. And it was also barely insulated, so it used a lot of gas and basically heated up the entire house.

    We got rid of it, but with hindsight I wish we had kept it for the stove and had a modern wall oven installed. There is no universe where I would have wanted to keep using it as our oven, however. You can have them refurbed, I think, but even so the size would have been a problem for me.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      The oven is really small on ours too. I’ve been considering the wall oven option. Well, a combination microwave/oven. The only counterspace you see in the photo is the counterspace for the whole kitchen! Putting a microwave there would look terrible, and take up a lot of space. There is a little nook though, which would be right behind the camera in that angle, that could theoretically work with a new built-in (done in oak, to match the rest).

  • Clare
    August 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    So neat! But i agree, definitely intimidating!! Maybe it can serve as a conversation piece and you can get another oven? It is so lovely…

  • Vanessa
    August 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    That kitchen is amazing. Like- amazing as in, I can’t wait to see what you do with it, what paint colors you choose, how your accessories look in it etc.

    I say hock that beast, dude. You could probably make some good dinero on eBay and get something modern (i.e. matches your fridge/other appliances) and be confident and comfortable when cooking. Eh? Just trying to think outside of the box. CONGRATULATIONS to y’all on your new place!!!

  • The Art of Doing Stuff
    August 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Nicole. Are you positive it’s antique? And not a reproduction? Like an Elmira stove? Since you’re the one who has seen it in person I’m sure you know whether it’s an antique or not. As long as it has somehow been converted from wood to gas it shouldn’t be much different than cooking on an oven from today. I’m just making that up, but hopefully it’ll make you feel more secure. ~ karen

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Yep, it’s definitely an antique. I wondered the same thing, before I really got close to inspect it. I think that only half of it is gas, and the other half has remained wood-burning, but I’m not 100% sure.

  • jbhat
    August 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    And what a sneak peek it is! I spy lots of potential projects making for lots of super interesting blog reading! Such fun.

    (My stove vote? Buh-bye! There, I said it. But I’d store sweaters in my own if I wasn’t a mommy.)


  • Elena
    August 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    The kitchen is EVERYTHING! Can’t wait until next week!

  • Emily @ The Em Dash
    August 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Wow! I love your kitchen. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    And I’m so jealous that you have that stove. My grandmother had one very similar and swore by it. And I bet that you could update it in some ways that would bring it into this century, make it safer and yet keep its charm.

  • Stacey
    August 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    ha. awesome. lucky you–a pilot light! we’ve had to get used to using matches to light the gas burners and even the oven on this baby:

    ours is from around 1928…previous owners hauled it out of Amherst College. and painted that hidous blue on the walls. gone now! anyway. i’m confused…your oven isn’t gas too, like the burners? if it’s still wood-burning, that’s probably more work, but also will smell lovely in the fall/winter!

    as far as advice, an in-oven thermometer is a MUST! i initially thought the size of the oven would be a problem (the two on the left are disconnected and we just use them for storage), but it’s actually worked out okay (haven’t made a Thanksgiving turkey in it, though!) The main reason i’m considering a replacement is just the space it takes up and the headaches i’m getting trying to reconfigure counters and redesign a kitchen around it! Also…pro/con..the burners get WAY hotter than on a regular gas stove…but no matter what, there is always a lingering gas smell in the air any time you light it…not dangerous, just annoying. and then paranoia inducing (IS there a gas leak?!) Have fun!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Hey now, that looks familiar!

      The burners are gas, and the main oven below is too. The left side was all wood-burning though. I think the wood burned in the top little oven and heated the cast-iron cooktop, and maybe the little oven below? Clearly I have no idea how this thing works. We inspected it during the inspection for safety, but that’s not really the same as getting in there and cooking on it.

  • Kate Guideau
    August 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Omg, those cabinets…TO DIE. The rest of the house could look like a warehouse and I would still cheerfully live there.

  • jenne
    August 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    My Gibson stove was electric from the 1960s. It worked great, except for the burners randomly losing connection. I’d have to grab a hot pad and wiggle them to get them to heat up again. I kinda miss that stove.
    Are they leaving you those wonderful oil lamps and brackets I see around the windows?!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      The brackets, probably, as they’re attached. Everything else though, probably not.

  • Stacey
    August 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    p.s. KEEP IT! after seeing so many people say haul it out–i’m voting as someone who cooks on one of these every day–it CAN be done! (my antique fridge that is the size of, um, half of a normal fridge…not so much!! :) )

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      I know — so many people are in favor of pitching it! I want to make it work.

  • Janice
    August 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    If it were me, that stove would be out of there pronto. But that wallpaper – that wallpaper I am wild about!

  • Jen H.
    August 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    My jaw dropped when I saw that sneak peek photo. Amazing kitchen! Very cool stove and I would definitely be inclined to keep it if you can figure it out. We had a similar (though way less pretty) one in our dilapidated farmhouse, and the insurance company made us remove it. I wasn’t heartbroken because it was in pretty bad shape and there was no way we’d use it. Good luck! Can’t wait to see the rest of the house – the exterior and kitchen shots have already wowed me.

  • Lynell
    August 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Whoa, loads of charm! I see what you mean on the stove, it’s such a unique and amazing piece, but who knows when it comes to cooking.

    I’d say try using it a few times to get a feel before making a final decision.

    And might I add how jealous I am of your soon-to-be home even from just this photograph!

  • Mar
    August 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I have no helpful tips about your stove…but, whoa it is very cool looking!!! As is that kitchen! Thanks for the sneak peek!!!

  • Cheyenne
    August 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    If it is still a wood burning stove then, yes, I do have some experience with it. My parents have a similar stove in their home and it is what I learned to cook on. If it’s gas (which hopefully it is!) I’m not quite as experienced :). It’s beautiful though!

  • Laura
    August 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I love them. My experience with them is limited to a small country cottage i visited in my younger days. While i know they aren’t kind to the energy bills, they are so unique and such a great conversation piece to have these days. if you can make it work, i highly suggest keeping it! Perhaps you can have it modified if needed?

  • Emily
    August 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Beautiful kitchen with so much potential! I would start with They have information about new products as well as helpful tips about antiques. They can also recommend a professional to inspect, etc. your stove.
    The little side compartments are generally warmers, but can you can put thermometers in there as well and cook things like potatoes or other sides that might not be able to handle the full blast of “hot.”

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      I think that one of the side compartments on ours would have been for the wood. I’m sure they both get hot/warm though, so that’s a good suggestion. And thanks for the reminder to check out Elmira Stoveworks. I’d been considering their 50’s-style fridge for the old house, but of course they have antique styles (and reproductions) too!

  • Erica
    August 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Wow, I almost squealed when I saw your kitchen!!! So nice!!! My advice is to find your local expert in vintage stoves and put him/her on speed dial. In NYC we have Carlita the Stove Lady, who has helped me out of numerous jams. She helped clean/repair/refurbish our vintage stove and showed me how to use it properly.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      That would be helpful. There must be someone like that in Chicago.

  • Alison
    August 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I bet the ceiling fan and windows are your vent. : )

    Just curious, did you have an inspection? If so, did the inspector have any thoughts on the working condition and safety of the stove? When I’ve bought and sold houses, inspectors have aways turned on and tested all the appliances.

    Not much more to say but gorgeous kitchen!!

    • Jeanne Cameron Washburn
      August 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      We had a lovely old 1940s oven that came with the house – 36″ wide, 4 gas burners, and a side door for extra large cookie sheets and muffin tins. Just charming. I loved it but…the big but…the oven temperature was never consistent. Ever. It was always a surprise to discovery how long something, anything would take to cook. Thanksgivings were especially challenging, but I loved that old thing. After one memorable blackened turkey holiday I decided we could no longer use the oven. My mother was appalled. How can you live without an over? Lots of one-pot stir-fry meals and a toaster oven for heating bread was the ticket. But, finally, I gave in. We now have a workhorse 36″ stainless model, not charming, but it does what it’s supposed to do. Have fun with your lovely stove – it will “make” wonderful family stories for years to come (!)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Alison, that’s what I was thinking, regarding the ‘vent.’ We did have a inspection, but that was a lot of house to get through in just a few hours, and we looked at the stove, verified that it worked and was safe to operate, and moved on. That is when we saw the jet flames in action! You push a little button to make the pilot light in the center shoot out and light any of the four burners.

  • julia-lifeonchurchill
    August 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Oh my goodness how gorgeous! We looked into buying one when we remodeled our kitchen. I read that repairs can be pricey so we ended up going new. But yours looks like a beauty! What fun!

  • Sarah LoCascio
    August 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I learned to cook on my parents antique gas stove! Wonderful to use. Actually you can see it in the background in my recent post

    Happy stove hunting!

  • Jo
    August 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    My great great grandparents farmhouse had one exactly like that, but it was only wood burning. I remember my grandma cooking thanksgiving dinner for 25 on that thing (plus whipping up gravy for the dogs even). She is pretty amazing :)

    In my last house I had a gorgeous mid century range. That’s where I learned I love double ovens.

    I might be tempted to sell the one you have and replace it with a modern range…for safety and ease of use.

    The kitchen looks great – so excited to see MORE!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Your grandma does sound amazing!

      Brandon thinks we should replace it. I want to try to make it work. (But then he does do more of the cooking than I do.)

      • Kathryn
        August 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm

        It will look lovely on your porch :)

  • Lori
    August 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    My partner Ed has a wood stove in his farmhouse (we moved to town)…it was great for keeping a windswept farmhouse kitchen warm, and okay for non-fussy foods, but I would have never been able to bake cakes in it. It was unworkable in the summer, as well – that’s why people had “summer kitchens”. I think appliances should work for us – simple or fancy, if it doesn’t work well or you’re not in love with it, trade it for something you love! There are so many beautiful stove/ovens out there…in beautiful colors. Your kitchen is going to be awesome!

  • Caitlin
    August 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I love it! It’s so weird! Which is a good thing in my book.

    Not sure about the exact nature of your shooting flames issue, but just wanted to say that I grew up in a home with a wood-burning stove. My brother and I burned ourselves on it exactly once each- it’s one of my earliest memories. It was a quick path to a deep appreciation for fire safety. A tower of flames is different from a very hot surface, but still- chilluns can learn.

  • Rebekah
    August 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I have had a vintage electric stove for the past 7 years. Your stove probably will work great – people used to cook a lot more in days past than now, and someone once used it, and probably used it well. It will just take some getting used to, I’m sure. What I’ve found with vintage stuff is that it is made much more sturdily than what you can buy new, and it lasts for a lot longer.

  • Alex
    August 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I love all of these! I long for the day that modern manufacturers start bringing out appliances in different colours and styles vs the sea of stainless steel. My parents had a wood burning stove in their cottage/cabin and there are no words to explain how amazing it was.

  • Kate
    August 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I had a vintage stove (GE from the 1950’s) and it looked great but baking anything in it was tough because it never quite heated up to the temperature I tried to set with the dial. To get the temperature as accurate as I could, I used a grill thermometer and set it on one of the oven racks. That helped, but it required a lot of adjusting to get it right, and even then it seemed off because anything I baked was either overdone or underdone. The stove ended up shorting out (it literally shot fire from one of the dials!) and that was the end of the stove. I have a boring electric one now, but it’s reliable and I can bake anything I want and know it’s going to turn out right!

  • elle
    August 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    OMG! So excited to see a pic from the new house! Amazing! So happy for you and can’t wait to see the rest of the photos and all you will do with the house.

    The stove rocks – but you need an real one in that kitchen too. This stove will be amazing for when the electric is out (you can cook on a wood burning stove like The Waltons!), great for dinner parties when you need a second stove, the warmer ovens on top are useful, use it as a buffet to keep things warm when company is there – but for everyday cooking … no. It’s too much trouble and too inconsistent. Get a nice stove in the kitchen (or a range and wall ovens) – keep your vintage stove (of course!) but re-think it’s purpose. My 2-cents.

    Love the kitchen!!

  • Julie B.
    August 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    We grew up cooking on a Wedgewood from the 40s. In fact, my mom still has it. Burned my eyebrows off once when lighting the burners (they went out frequently); but I was tween, so it was probably a user error. Also, our oven ran REALLY hot whenever we used it, which was problematic living in always warm Southern California. You’re going to hate me for being such a bummer, but two other drawbacks: it was a pain in the ass to clean and we think it had a small gas leak that kept killing my pet birds.

  • Chloe
    August 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I lived in Oak Park for a year, in an apartment with a vintage stove – from the 50s maybe? But there was no pilot light, and I had to light the oven by sticking a lit match into a hole inside the oven door, after turning on the gas. It always made me nervous… But I got used to it – and I think you’ll figure out your stove’s quirks!

    I also spent a year living in Michigan, where I worked at an environmental education center that had programs for school field trips, and one unit that we taught was on Michigan history. I would have to start a fire in the morning in a wood burning stove (in a log cabin) and have it going well enough by the time the kids arrived that I could bake cookies, and then make a batch of cookies with the kids. It was an adventure, but you can figure out the wood burning side of the stove too!

    I can’t wait to see more of your (almost yours) new house! It looks amazing so far!

  • marie
    August 14, 2013 at 1:16 am

    My uncle has an antique wood burning stove in his kitchen. It was his mothers and looks very similar to the one you have here. While it is the focal point (sits in the middle of a open plan log home) he uses it only on rare special occasions. They have a modern range as well. You will create wonderful memories with your kids if you keep it and use it occasionally, but a modern range will really make your day to day life easier. Hopefully you can find space in your kitchen.

  • Courtney
    August 14, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I had a rental for about a year with a great big O’Keefe range. Only two of the burners worked (one was extra hot!) and the oven’s dial was broken so it was a crapshoot as far as the temperature was concerned. I managed, but I’m telling you, after a while the charm was definitely gone.
    I would worry with kids around, especially as they get bigger and explore more. I definitely love, love, love your new space however and wish you luck with the stove. Hope you get it to work for you!!

  • Kelly
    August 14, 2013 at 9:04 am

    We had a stove from the forties at our last house. The oven was very hot – the kind of hot that real cooks love. I used it for making pizza, roasting veg., turkey, chicken, beef etc. You could really achieve professional results with this oven. Missing it…… Lighting a pilot is really not a big deal either – you do get used to it. Looking forward to hearing your adventures with it! The kitchen is so beautiful by the way! A dream really!

  • Lauren
    August 14, 2013 at 9:47 am

    If you don’t already have one, a stick lighter or Bic Lumineer really helps with lighting blown out pilot lights. Your eyebrows will thank you!

  • Jen
    August 14, 2013 at 9:50 am


  • m
    August 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Craigslist that baby & buy a stove you love that will fulfill your cooking/baking needs. Someone out there is looking for that thing ; )

  • Laura G
    August 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

    We have a Frigidaire Flair (which is the same model used in the tv show Bewitched). It came with the house, and the cabinets were build around it, so we can’t really replace it without doing major renovations. I really it – the two ovens are really helpful during holidays, and the burners are on a drawer that pulls out when you want to use them. We also have the metal cabinet that it sits on, which I use for pots and pans storage. For me the only draw back is that I’m sure it’s a giant energy suck. Our electric bills are rather high, and I cook a lot. So I’m guessing the oven has something to do with it. Also, I’m sure when it needs repairs, it’s going to be difficult to find parts.

    If they sold this model today, I would totally buy it. The amount of space it saves is ingenious.

  • Ali Burtt
    August 14, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Wow. That’s a gorgeous kitchen. And a very scary stove. Please let us know when you figure it out because I am deeply, deeply curious.

    Also…DYING to see the rest of the house! Next week can’t get here fast enough!

  • Gwen
    August 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I cooked on a 50s Wedgewood for years and loved it! The only real complaint I had was that simmering wasn’t really an option as the heating plates only “calmed” the heat down. The thermostat had to be replaced every 4-5 years and it could sometimes be tricky to find someone to repair it. But people are out there. Yes, the oven is smaller, but it still fit a turkey. I say give it a try. The fabulous thing about old stoves is that they have no electronics so the control panel will never go out on you. This stove will obviously last a lifetime. Don’t be scared :)

  • Cottage Katie
    August 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I grew up with a wood stove in our kitchen, and I don’t remember it being this awesome! It was the run of the mill black cast iron, but I love the vivid colors that the enamel ones come in. Its going on my “wishlist”!

  • Papers and Prints
    August 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    The stove is so cute! Love the color!

  • Jeanette
    August 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I rent a place that has a 1950’s O’Keefe & Merritt. Absolutely adorable and coincidentally the exact same as Joey and Chandler’s apartment from friends. Apparently these units can be completely disassembled for cleaning, bonus if I could figure it out. The oven is hot, really hot. They were used as heaters for homes as well so it’s constantly emitting heat. In a home without ac on a warm summer day you don’t want to use it much less be near it. In the winter you can toast your digits over it (no flame required). Either way it cooks my food just fine and I love it!!!!

  • Nicole
    August 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Wow! That is quite the stove! I coveted a vintage stove my whole life(not as vintage as yours though) and I finally got it about ten years ago. We renovated a beautiful 1950 Wedgewood double oven, six burner. I adore it! My husband, not so much. It does have it’s quirks…one oven runs a bit hot, one about 50 degrees cool, we use a stick lighter to light all but two burners…but I wouldn’t get rid of it for anything, it’s beautiful!
    This is what ours looks like:

    Your stove reminds me of a Holly Hobby little baking oven I had when I was little!
    I look forward to hearing what you decide to do with it!

    • Susan Melcher
      November 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      who did your stove restoration?

  • Eileen
    August 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Love love love the stove. Can’t wait to see the rest of the new place! So fun to see so many bloggers embarking on new projects in new homes!

  • Mrs. L
    August 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I love that stove, and I would not sell it, even if you relegate it to the porch. Try it for a good while before you decide. I have lived in Brazil for over 40 years, always using stoves similar to the gas side of yours, tiny oven and shooting flames and all. They are really great, and are not hard to get used to, once you make up your mind to do it. In fact I have a difficult time adjusting to US stoves when I travel.
    Our three kids learned to operate this kind of stove safely by the time they were school age, nobody got burned, and we ate very well. As adults, all three of them are great cooks.
    I haven’t found my stoves to be extremely expensive to operate. If, however, you don’t want the pilot light on when you aren’t using the stove, you can turn off the gas, and then use a long Bic lighter when you turn the gas back on. It’s easy and efficient, with a bit of practice.
    For oven use, I have small cookie sheets, bought in the USA, that I use for cookies, veggies, breads –three small sheets will do what two large ones do. An oven thermometer is all I need to control the temperature. Several friends have wood stoves and love them, but I like the gas better mostly because it’s cleaner. In fact, I like gas much, much better than electric…but I guess it’s all what you are used to…my husband enjoys cooking on three rocks around a campfire, which I do not!

  • Begoña
    August 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I love it!!!! Reaaaallllllyyyyy love it but as a decorative item, a focal point or something but I think cooking with it is just crazy. I’ll go with something modern for a practical purposes. Dont sell it, please keep it but just dont cook on it!

  • Jeri
    August 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I’ve got a pretty but not entirely practical vintage stove. It works great most of the time now that I’m familiar with it, but my tips are to get an oven thermometer, plan thanksgiving carefully, and if possible, get a good toaster oven for smaller baking needs.

  • Mark
    August 19, 2013 at 5:28 am

    During our vacation last year, we stayed in on of those vacation rental by owners houses. The entire family was in awe when we found out the house had a vintage stove. We were not able to use the stove as we had a very hectic schedule and did not have time to really cook, but we did try to turn it on and it was working. It is so impressive to still see functional vintage stoves nowadays.

  • Fenn
    August 19, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I know, it may come as a shock, but your job as a parent does include teaching your children about the dangers of fire and, you know, gas lines (the former is far more dangerous than the latter). So yeah, maybe notsomuch a “stove guard” (whatever that is), and more, you know, PARENTING.

    • Katie C
      August 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      This comment has an unnecessarily harsh tone! Chill, lady.

  • Holly
    August 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Sweet! That is some stove that’s for sure. We had a vintage Caloric wall oven in our last house and I was a bit intimidated by it as well, but both the contractor that renovated our kitchen and the appliance repair guy were really stoked and impressed by it. Apparently it was indestructible and quite the machine. It did end up working very well and also operated on a pilot. I bet you’ll grow to love that piece of machinery you’re inheriting. Looking forward to see what you do in the kitchen.

  • Amy
    August 20, 2013 at 2:06 am

    That is definitely an antique. And it is fabulous. We had some friends remodel their 1920’s home and PUT a similar one in their kitchen, but they also had a convection oven that they used for day to day cooking. When I remodeled my 1925 kitchen I found a 1950’s Wedgwood double oven stove online and had it shipped to Seattle where I live. It had been rechromed and had new safety valves installed. I LOVE IT. The two ovens run pretty accurately but I still have thermometers in them so I know when they are up to temperature.

    I will say though it has been difficult to find a local repairman who can fix the stove when it has a problem….which is almost never. Our local gas company used to service the antique stoves but don’t any longer. You should look online as there are several websites of restorers who still work with these stoves and can guide you in repair, sell you parts or just educate you on how they work. Also, can’t you talk with the people you bought the house from? They should have some experience to share.

  • Amy
    August 20, 2013 at 2:10 am

    As a follow up, try looking at They were a good source of information for me when I bought my stove 10 years ago. Good luck!!

  • Katie C
    August 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    So, even though it is SERIOUSLY AWESOME looking, if I were you, honestly I would sell the antique stove. Unless you want to use it just as decoration, and get a real stove for actual cooking. I am sure it is worth a bunch of money and someone would die to own it and maybe even really use it. It is pretty freaking great looking though… So maybe it’s not such a bad idea to use it as decoration? :)

  • Holly
    August 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    please tell me you’re not thinking of painting any of that awesome wood white :P

  • The Victorian House: Kitchen, Bathroom, Office, and Back Porch #1 | Making it Lovely
    August 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

    […] seen a glimpse of the kitchen already. Here she is, in all her […]

    • Gary
      January 17, 2017 at 3:49 am

      Hi, can you help me. we are changing our kitchen into 1950s . id like to know best place to get 50s ovens and sink units. wonder if you could help us. thanks Gary

  • Katherine
    August 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    So lovely, even as is! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    I haven’t scanned the comments but I’m sure someone has mentioned that having the fridge next to the stove is very hard on the fridge and your electric bill. We learned that the hard way.

    Best of luck on this new adventure as you fall even more deeply in love with your beautiful new castle!

  • Tena @ sweethopestudio
    September 12, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Our rental has a 1950s O’Keefe & Merritt. Not the gorgeous vintage ones like pictured here but it does the job. And does it WELL. Absolutely love it! Thanks for sharing.