If you live in an old Queen Anne or folk Victorian home, you know the challenge of balancing modern updates with preserving the beauty and charm of your old house. One of the hardest places to do this is in the kitchen. The modern kitchen looks nothing like authentic Victorian kitchens, but if you are hoping to redesign your kitchen to combine authentic Victorian style with modern convenience, here are a few design tips that can help.
1. Include some freestanding storage.
In the Victorian era, built-in cabinets were rare -- kitchens were furnished just like any other room. Instead of wall-mounted cabinets and countertops, kitchens had a combination of worktables and storage cupboards. Pots were also commonly hung on the ceiling or on the wall. While forgoing built-in cabinets is probably not entirely practical with today's kitchen designs, leaving a wall free for an antique Hoosier cabinet or opting for a wooden shelf for your plates instead of a closed cupboard can really help bring the old-fashioned feel to your kitchen design without taking away from modern functionality.
2. Choose your sink with care.
Modern trends have a built-in, under-mounted sink in stainless steel, or a farmhouse sink in white or copper. These are nice sink elements, but they are not as authentic to the Victorian time. Most authentic would be a white-coated cast iron sink that mounted on the wall and had a built in drying rack. The space beneath the sink would not be hidden by a cabinet, but instead would be open or enclosed with an embroidered sink skirt. You can sometimes find vintage sinks at flea markets or antique shops, but a reproduction would be just as effective. Consider having this skirted sink as a "break" in your base line of cabinets to really showcase the nod to the house's Victorian heritage.
3. Opt for a butcher block center island.
One of the hallmarks of the old-fashioned kitchen is the work table. This table was sturdy and served as the main prep area and the center of all kitchen activity. Instead of having an outward facing kitchen with no island in the center, consider finding an antique-style table with a heavy wooden top to serve as your prep and work space. The rest of the kitchen should flow around this table.
For more ideas on remodeling your old house, contact a home builder in your area.