Old houses have boundless charm, letting modern families get a glimpse into yesteryear and imagine what they might hear if walls could talk. Unfortunately, over the decades of trends and updates, the original beauty and function of the old house is covered up by carpeting, vinyl, and particle-board cabinetry. If you have an old house that has great bones but a lackluster kitchen, you can put some effort into making the kitchen a shining example of modern convenience while staying true to the original architectural style of the home. Here are some things to consider when designing your renovation plans.
1. Choose patterns that make sense.
Many home building trends are hyper-modern, with sleek lines and shiny surfaces. If you are hoping to keep the kitchen looking like it belongs, forego these modern, geometric designs. Instead, research what patterns and styles were popular during the era your house was built. For example, homes that were built in the first decade of the 20th century used small tile designs and mosaics in the bathroom and even in the kitchen. Hexagon, small square, or penny tiles were common. You can call into these trends by making your backsplash from small hexagon tiles instead of the modern white subway tile design.
2. Be thoughtful with cabinet choice.
Building trends of the 80s and 90s saw a lot of cabinets made from oak in a common, short style, with lackluster finishes. These types of cabinets often prevent your house from getting back to its roots. Instead, research what kitchen cabinets looked like when your home was built. If you cannot possibly match the style, choose a wood that matches the color of the original woodwork in your home. Forgo finishes that are too ornate, because old-fashioned kitchens did not celebrate the kitchen as a thing of beauty, but as a work space. If you do happen to have some original cabinetry left in your home (craftsman homes may have a butler’s pantry or a series of built-in cabinets), try hiring a carpenter to make door fronts that match the style. Keep in mind that open shelves or glass front doors are more period authentic to older houses. Crown molding was more commonly found on the roof than on the cabinets, and under cabinet lighting was also uncommon.
3. Finish with flair.
After you have cabinets and tiles picked out, keep going with the authentic style through to the finishes. Kitchen faucets should have two handles, since one handle faucets did not exist in old homes. Hardware should be black, bronze, or copper — stainless steel handles and pulls are more modern. White porcelain sinks are more period authentic. If you are brave, you could even choose appliances in an almond color or that are purposely made to look old, instead of opting for flashy stainless appliance.
For more information, contact Personal Touch Kitchens, Inc. or a similar company.