A lot of the projects that I do, are renovations of older homes that people have bought. I am a huge fan of these places, there is something about the scale and detail of these houses that make them very special. The challenge becomes, though, how do you make a room, like the Kitchen, feel like it is in context, while still making it modern enough to fit a contemporary lifestyle. For me it is important that this room feel like it is part of the original structure of the home, without feeling like an overly romanticised pastiche.
Here are some tips that you might find helpful in recreating a period kitchen:
- Pick one or two decorative elements that evokes the style you are trying to create, more than that and it will look like you are trying too hard. Use these elements throughout the kitchen.
- Try to use surface materials that are true to the style (very few kitchens of the twenties and thirties used granite), try looking for slate or stainless steel counter tops.
- If Stainless Steel counter tops are out of your budget, then Stainless appliances will do the trick.
- Try to avoid things that are very fashionable at the moment, like vessel and apron sinks, they will date your new Kitchen quickly.
- Use a different material on the back splash, than on the counter top, this is very typical of the period.
- Although recessed lighting is very efficient in this situation, try to use a couple of pendant fixtures too, especially ones that have a vintage feel to them. There is a great selection at www.circalighting.com .
- Try to find something cool for the floor too. I am a fan of Linoleum, but in Kitchen above we used Terrazzo which is another old world material.
- The Cabinet Hardware is another opportunity to create your style. I find a great selection at www.crowncityhardware.com try using butt hinges on the doors as they are more old world feeling than the modern Euro hinge.
- Another interesting idea is don't paint the kitchen all the same color, maybe make the island another color. I use the rule of thumb, that if the Island is the same color as the rest of the Kitchen, I can change materials (maybe do a wood top), but if the Island is a different color, then the surface materials, remain the same throughout.
- Years ago while reading a Martha Stewart Magazine, I read about a tip where you paint the inside of glass fronted and open cabinets a contrasting color. It makes the contents really pop. This has now become a staple for me that I have used to great affect.
Well, Good luck with your Kitchen adventures!