Monday, January 3, 2011

Stove Pipe Dreams - The kitchen

The biggest project we need to tackle, aside from updating plumbing and electric, hvac system and the repairs to the floor, is the installation of a kitchen for the Ugly Duckling.

The room measures a solid 11'x12', in no way huge but not teeny either. It has a window to the backyard, a door to the future mudroom/laundry area and a walk-through to a teeny hallway with an archway to the dining room. While I'm NOT a fan of open-living concepts and prefer my kitchen to be its own separate room, I still wanted it to feel open and airy with clean contemporary lines, yet a twist of classic details to fit into a historic home.

So, here is my kitchen wish list

- white shaker-style cabinets
- dark butcher-block counter tops
- wood floors (hopefully we can preserve the original floors under the gross linoleum)
- either library pulls or some sleek brushed nickel handles
- either white wainscoting with yellow or apple green on the walls or just paint and a white subway tile backsplash around stove and sink
- open shelves instead of upper cabinets above the sink area
- farmhouse sink

Using a cabinet planner I came up with this first draft for our kitchen:
You're peeking into the kitchen from the laundry-mudroom. There's the window to the backyard on the right and across the room to the left you see the walk-through to the diningroom. Straight ahead is the wall with room for the range and over-the-range microwave. Counterspace is sacred, oh yes, it is! To the left is the sink and dishwasher side of the kitchen which will get two rows of open shelves (which are not part of the program so I can't include them. Just like bin pulls and a farmhouse There's room for a cute little bistro set in front of the window for a small eat-in nook.

Then a thought hit me. Maybe I should do a little research and see what style kitchen would have been in this house when it was build? You know, just to see if that was something that we could combine with our modern creature comforts and aesthetics to a harmonious, albeit slightly anachronistic combination, what with stainless steel appliances and such? Just cause we're like that. So I used my trusty search engine and here's what we found ...

Welcome to the 1910s

If you look closely the cabinets resemble shaker-style cabinets and are clearly white. I love the hutch on the left side. Open shelving, big white sink - a really cute kitchen even though the individual furniture pieces, open cabinet doors (Looks like she's got a hubby who leaves them open all the time!?!?) and the random accessories (Miniature rocking chair? Huh?) make it look a little cluttered.

Welcome to the 1920s!

Hellooooo darling! White shaker-style cabinets, bin pulls, open shelves and a big white sink. Check, check, check and check again! Interesting to see an actual patterned rug in the middle of the kitchen and I wonder what that little R2-D2 shaped thing is underneath the sink ...

Looks like we're right on the money when it comes to rehabbing our house with a kitchen that is both contemporary and close to historically appropriate for our little Ugly Duckling :o)

2 more weeks 'till closing!


  1. It's interesting how we went through a very modern stage of house decorations from about 1995 - 2005, and now it's switching back to a more old-fashioned feel. For example, those white cabinets you're talking about? They are EVERYWHERE, the new style. I remember before it was "the darker the better," and before that it seemed like it was "the more neutral/natural, the better." Interesting how the fashions change...

  2. Funny how white tile and white cabinets were "IT" back then. It was advertised as "hygienic". I've never been a great fan of the dark wood kitchens but I really really love dark, almost ebony wood floors :o)

  3. I'm amazed at the details of those old kitchens, they are totally in style today. Those light fixtures, those cabinet pulls! I even love that retro scale. What a great idea to pull inspiration from a decade that corresponds to your house. My house would have a 70's vibe. Does that mean dark wood and paneling? I bet they will come back in style sooner or later.
    Two weeks is a blink away. Are you planning on diving right into the work right when you get in?

  4. Irina - That's the plan but you know how it is: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." (Robert Burns)

  5. Wow so cute kitchen room with open cabinet doors and random accessories! That looks like a little cluttered. This is a really informative post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Cabinet Pulls

  6. John - Yeaaah, the open cabinet doors give me the willies. I can usually 'feel' them 2 rooms away. Open shelves with drinking glasses, a few white dishes/storage containers, perhaps my cookbook collection and a plant - that I can deal with.

    I like the link you added at the bottom of your comment - thanks!