Remodeling a historical home requires more attention and planning than working on most modern houses. In addition, the farther back in time your house was built, the harder it can be to harmonize the needs of modern families with the history of the house.
Victorian houses present many of these challenges, and one of the most challenging rooms for today's owners to renovate is the kitchen. However, you can successfully create a kitchen that works in all ways — here are five tips to help you do so.
1. Respect What's Special
Your Victorian kitchen, like many aspects of the house, has a history and elements that make it special and of its time. Start your renovation by identifying what these aspects are and how you can use them to give the kitchen a historical feeling.
Embracing the antique uniqueness of the room helps create a more harmonious theme and makes you love your kitchen. That love will show through in your renovation and help you find the right decorative style. Look for fun features that make you happy, such as original flooring, period windows, architectural details, or even a piece of vintage furniture. Preserve these details as a base when designing your remodel.
2. Look for Appliance Variations
No one wants to cook on authentic Victorian stoves or heat their popcorn over an open flame. However, you can often find modern appliances that have a more vintage appearance. Cast iron stoves are among the best examples. In addition, you can also find vintage hardware that tempers the appearance of modern stoves. Today's sinks come in many vintage looks, too, such as farmhouse or apron sinks.
3. Use Stand-Alone Furniture
You can have a lot of counter space and storage areas without creating an expanse of modern granite or marble that ruins the look of a Victorian kitchen. The trick is to be more creative with materials and furniture.
Try adding stand-alone furniture, such as a dresser or antique table, to the kitchen. For example, you could use freestanding cabinetry like china cabinets and baker's racks for storage. You can also replace a regular island with a cook's table or even a butcher-block unit.
4. Hide Modern Necessities
No matter what your design style is, there are some modern amenities that you really can't do without. Whether it's a large and high-quality refrigerator or your trusty microwave, don't feel like you must try to live without them. In this case, work with your renovation contractor to hide or minimize their visual impact.
Appliance garages are custom cabinetry designed to hide small appliances like the microwave or coffee maker from view. Larger nooks, such as a built-in pantry, can be closed to hide a modern refrigerator when it’s not in use.
5. Add Vintage Details
Victorian decorating was more ornate and flamboyant than many other periods', so continue this style in your kitchen accents. Add molding or cornices around the ceiling and carved corbels in doorways, and use appropriate jeweled accent tones. In addition, you can easily change square entryways into Victorian arches for a period flavor.
Want to add coziness, a conversation piece, and a true Victorian accent? Why not add a real, working fireplace to your large kitchen?
Lighting is another way to easily add Victorian flair. Vintage pendant lamps, exposed wiring, copper finishes, and retro light bulbs all combine to give you needed task lighting and ambiance at the same time. Add simple detailing, like some antique cooking utensils and hang pots over the stove or cook's table to add more details to your Victorian kitchen.
For more ideas about how to combine your Victorian home's period details with modern needs, work with an experienced kitchen remodeling service. For more information, call us at DCInteriors & Renovations today.