About this Site

When my grandma and grandpa moved from Aneta, North Dakota, to build their retirement home in Oceanside, Calif., in the early 1960s, they built a sweet little house that became the epicenter of action for the entire family, which included five of seven children who had all moved west and the growing swarm of grandkids, too. The house was beloved by all. When we weren’t in the outdoor pool, we were likely to be hanging out in the family room, or in the kitchen.

The family room was ready for big-time family action: Wall-to-wall carpeting for all the grandkids to plotz on… an upholstered rocker for grandpa to watch the new color console TV… and dozens of framed family photos that completed filled an entire long wall of the room. On the walls: Knotty pine, of course.

It was a small house, couldn’t have been more than 1,300 square feet. Right outside the den was the eat-in kitchen. There, too, Grandma and Grandpa installed  knotty pine wainscoting, knotty pine trim and even a built-in, knotty pine shelf above the peninsula. It held Grandma’s world famous collection of salt-and-pepper shakers, dozens of them.

Knotty pine is nice.

pam kueber publisher of the daily website retro renovation dot comMy name is Pam Kueber, and I publish the daily blog RetroRenovation.com. I started this other little site, KnottyIsNice.com, to put a spotlight on knotty pine out of concern that folks moving into vintage homes with knotty pine on the walls will pull it down too fast, without first understanding and considering its lovely heritage. And, like another little website that I created, SaveThePink Bathrooms.com, this one was created to uphold, defend and restore the reputation of this decorative feature, which today is often thoughtlessly and undeservedly maligned. Yes: Knotty is nice. I think maybe we have just gotten out of the habit of being able to see so, and to say so.

Our 20th century relatives — heck, our 18th and 17th century relatives! — used knotty pine because it was available, accessible, affordable, functional, durable, easy-to-install and attractive. While it may not be “fashionable” today, knotty pine was just fine — desirable, even — as a decorative finishing treatment for walls for many generations. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking your knotty pine. Contemporary marketeers make their living by trying to get us to rip out something perfectly functional and perfectly beautiful so’s we will buy their new look$$$$. Alas, it’s a cycle of perpetual (usually unnecessary) destruction-in-the-name-of-fashion that never ends.

The family that built my 1951 colonial-ranch house in Lenox, Mass. did not put knotty pine in the basement. But, we do have lovely cherry paneling installed in the 1950s. We love it. Wood is good, just like knotty is nice.

So welcome. Browse around. Enjoy readers’ comfy cozy knotty pine rooms… and a little bit of history — and we’d love it you could take a moment to sign our guest book and share your own knotty pine memories.

Read more about me and my kitchen and my main blog here. And, I have another little website, Save The Pink Bathrooms, here.

xoxo, Pam Kueber

4 thoughts on “About this Site

  1. Hi Pam,
    In 2009, we were deeded my wife’s grandparent’s farmhouse that was clad in knotty pine in 1950. We kept all of the original cherry-colored paneling and installed new windows and door casings in contrasting white knotty pine. We also installed new white knotty pine ceilings to replace the old drop ceiling panels. The contrasting tones work well in our opinion because they lighten the feel of the room, but are of the same material. We still need to perform some light repairs and touch up to the old paneling and then put a satin varnish on it, but we love living with knotty pine and the cottage-feel of our place. We really enjoy your websites.

  2. My house was built in 1947. Like many of the era in this area, it has an added on rec room in the basement with a bar. Ours takes up one corner of the basement and is paneled in knotty pine, both inside the room and on the wall exterior to the rest of the basement. There was also a powder room enclosure near by in the unfinished part of the basement that was paneled in knotty pine inside and out. It also had a really cool, very solid door constructed of knotty pine. We are in the midst of adding a guest bedroom and bath to the basement. We needed to move the location of the bathroom and bump a foot into the rec room for the remodel. When we took apart the powder room, we saved the door and knotty pine paneling and will use the old powder room door as an entry to the rebuilt rec room. The old doorway to the rec room will be walled up as the bathroom and guest room will be there. The reclaimed knotty pine panels will be used to cover the new wall inside the rec room. We are then cutting a new door on a different wall to go into the rec room from what will be a common hallway at the bottom of the basement steps. When finished, we’ll have a restored knotty pine paneled room with the original knotty pine, linoleum topped bar and linoleum tiled floor. We’re going to use it to store our wine collection. I’ll send pictures when it’s done.

  3. I need help! Our new house has an amazing knotty pine kitchen but it’s in pretty lousy shape. Not sure my options…need inspiration! Can I share pictures?

  4. Hi! it was wonderful to find this site! I have the o’knotty in my kitchen and some of the bedroom. Unfortunately can’t find 12 inch boards to replace some where I will remove an old wall heater.

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