Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Monday, April 5, 2021

Kenmore vs My Modern Kitchen

This post is mostly going to be about the Kenmore kitchen set, but I wanted to add some comparison photos with the My Modern Kitchen, since that is a very popular 1/6 kitchen for collector dioramas. Kenmore is a brand name for appliances, which belongs to the department store Sears. The Kenmore kitchen isn't sold anymore, so it is very high-priced on eBay, for the most part. I bought this set for an incredible deal, even out of box, so I consider myself lucky to have it. You will sometimes see this as the Mammoth kitchen on eBay, since it was made by Mammoth Toys. Summer is our model for today's shoot.



Even the Kenmore kitchen is a bit short for Barbie, compared to a human-sized kitchen to a human. Many collectors put their kitchen pieces up on blocks.





 

 

The Kenmore kitchen has some pretty realistic features. I guess those dark blue circles at the back of the dishwasher are supposed to be sprayers of some kind? Our home dishwasher only has the sprayers underneath each "basket," that spin. The sticker with the controls for the stove was a little bit white at the front edge from peeling, so I fixed that with a black marker. Oddly enough, the dishwasher we just bought last year, looks a lot like the Kenmore dishwasher, from the outside.

 

As you can see, the Kenmore kitchen is taller and sticks out a bit more.  It also looks more realistic. Both kitchens were made as children's toys, but I guess Sears didn't want their own appliances looking cheap, even as toys. The microwave over the stove is more realistic to modern American kitchens, where the microwave also has a steam exhaust fan. The blue tile over the dishwasher and sink below were added by me. I was going to peel them off here, like I did for the stove, but they had stickers underneath that I thought would be more distracting. Plus, the tiles over the sink are currently helping hold the towel bar up. It screws on from the back, but somehow the towel bar came loose.


Neither refrigerator is much to look at on the inside. I pulled out and threw away all the cardboard from the back of the Kenmore pieces, because I washed all of them first, since I got them out of box. This is why the backs of those match the kitchen wall.

Speaking of kitchen walls, this is the first "permanent" room that I have made. I crafted it out of foamcore; the blue walls came in that color. You can see at the base that I wasn't really as neat with the hot glue as I wanted to be. I should be able to cover that with baseboard. I also followed a tip from someone on YouTube, and put sewing pins into the foamcore at the base and the corner on the back, at intervals, to help hold this together. Permanent rooms take up a lot of space, but I want to make the Kenmore kitchen, at least, look more like it has solid walls behind it, instead of four individual plastic units. That will require a long piece of tile to visually join at least two, or all three of the pieces, instead of individual cuts, like I did with the My Modern Kitchen. If I'm joining these pieces together, they should be somewhere they won't get moved around, which means a permanent room. I can also create a corner counter, so the Kenmore stuff doesn't just have to stand there all in a row, and they should all be raised a bit. I might paint the Kenmore cupboards? I've also seen somone separate the cupboards from the tops of the My Modern Kitchen set, and set them further back in a wall, since real life cupboards don't come all the way forward over what's underneath. Modern American kitchen sinks don't usually have cupboards over the sink anyway, because of the humidity, and dishwashers don't always, either. But some of the latter changes would require a lot of work; for now I may just get the Kenmore kitchen a basic set-up, for diorama use.

Do you have a favorite doll room you like to use for pictures, even if it's not permanent?

14 comments:

  1. I had to go back and forth quite a bit Barb before I could decide ... I think I like the Kenmore kitchen the best, but they both work quite well. I never really noticed the height not being to scale until you mentioned it. If you want your kitchen to look realistic, you have your work cut out for you, but kitchen renovations always take a lot of work, don't they?

    I have made rooms from corflute, heavy card and foamboard, but the one I love the most is the last one I purchased locally that has the magnetic walls, it's so versatile. The only drawback is the space it takes up, because although I change it about, I always have it set up.
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. I know, making it realistic would be quite a challenge. The problem is, Xanadu, that I keep seeing other people's kitchen set-ups and thinking how great it would be to do something like that. But for now I may just keep it simple.

      If I do anything with wooden walls, I would like to have Mr. BTEG just cut some for me. He doesn't always feel up to shop work, though, but I have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime. :)

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  2. I like that Kenmore set, I can see why it's a popular collectable! I'm still slowly working on my renovated doll house, as you say, it does take a lot of work-enjoy:@)

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    1. Yes, making doll living spaces can take a lot of time. I would love to make this kitchen super realistic, but there's so many other things that I want to do, that I might just do this up on the simpler side, at least for now. Hope your doll house is coming along well.

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  3. The Kenmore kitchen is beautiful, and the size is realistic, too. A kitchen is such a cool, versatile diorama item for doll photos, anything can happen in a kitchen, secrets can be told there, hot drinks shared with family, neigbours and friends, breakfast eaten or any other meal ... The blue tiles are great, I also love how the microwave and dishwasher look. Congratulations with this hard to find set!

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    1. Thank you! The size really isn't that bad, unless you get picky about it. Most people don't really care when looking at other people's work, and I shouldn't either. A doll diorama should mainly be about the overall effect, and like you said, kitchens are a great place to stage doll scenes. They're great for holidays, too, since so many holidays require the cooking of good food!

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  4. I do agree, the My Modern Kitchen is very popular. Mine is red and I found it at a local toy store. I've never seen it in blue, unless someone repainted it. I do agree, the Kenmore kitchen looks more realistic and sturdier, specially the fridge. Maybe if the My Modern Kitchen is still easy and cheap to find you could get a second one and try to experiment cutting the cabinets. Also, check out Bonequea's post customizing her kitchen (I've never left links on blogger, so I don't know if it will work).

    I haven't been particularly tempted to work on a kitchen diorama, but now after seeing so many people build beautiful kitchens, I'm seriously reconsidering it.

    Hope you have a lovely rest of the week.

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    1. I've also seen the My Modern Kitchen in pink, and also in shades of pink with Hello Kitty faces on it. Thanks for linking to Bonequea's post; I'll have to check it out. It linked fine; yeah for HTML!

      I'd like to see your take on a kitchen.

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  5. Those kitchens are great, I haven't seen them before. I have a Sindy kitchen set, but no where permanent to set it up. I am still trying to organise where I want things in my new place, but having such a big garden means I now spend a lot of time outside, especially when the weather is good.

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    1. Thank you! Sindy kitchen sets are nice too, but those are harder to find here. I didn't know you'd moved house. The weather is glorious here right now, but I only have a very small space to garden. I like going to the beach.

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  6. I haven't even seen this kitchen! Love it. Super!

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    1. Thank you! I imagine it was only ever for sale in places that had Sears department stores.

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  7. The comparisons are interesting. Thanks for sharing them.

    I have 13 inch dolls (Little Darlings) and 18 inch dolls (Gotz Happy Kidz) for which I use backdrops. I have a variety. One is an American Girl Scenes and Sets and another is from Our Generation. The others are generic.

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    1. Oh, I love the American Girl Scenes and Settings. I never had the space for them when they were for sale, though. Nowadays they're probably hard to find.

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