Vintage-style kitchen evokes fond memories
THE kitchen is often the hub of the home and a place where family and friends gather to eat, cook or just visit. Many fond memories are created in the kitchen so it should be functional welcoming.
Although the cabinetry and sink in our feature photograph are new, they are in a vintage style that is warm and inviting. The lovely black Kohler sink boasts design from the past but has modern features that make it work in today’s kitchen. First of all, the black colour adds a modern feel (also available in various shades of white, grey and cobalt blue). The sink is deeper than its vintage counterparts were and has a built-in backsplash. The faucet, complete with vintage bar soap holder, compliments the overall look. This is a high-end product that is sure to be the focal point of any kitchen it finds its way into.
The cabinets are what make the room design work. The centre reversed, raised panel doors with beaded insert panels are a popular style these days. Having the cabinets finished in a flat finish makes them look almost like raw wood, which is a rustic feature. The style is reminiscent of an old farmhouse kitchen that is casual and functional. The lattice insert panels on the main lower cabinets are a nice detail that strengthens the focal point further and allow air flow beneath the sink. The cabinet over the sink juts out, which gives it appeal, and includes a plate rail shelf, which is a lovely, classic feature.
You can’t see much of the flooring in this photo but it’s a similar colour and finish to the cabinets. A natural-looking floor, complete with a bit of distressing, is a great look in a space like this. A painted wooden floor could also be lovely if that’s an option for you.
Part of the charm of a vintage kitchen is the quirkiness of the elements; nonmatching hardware and mismatched dishes, open display and unique accessories speak to the ambiance in this space, which is welcoming and unfussy. The cabinet drawer pulls and knobs do not match but work well together in the overall scheme. The cup pulls on the drawers are also quite popular today and are a great detail in a vintage kitchen. The metal pitcher filled with freshcut flowers and the rough wooden garden box filled with the day’s harvest are simple items that become integral to a vintage décor. On the lower shelf above the sink is a collection of old decorative bottles with stoppers.
A space such as this begs for downto-earth accessories like vintage tins, (coffee, sugar, tea etc.), simple handmade bird houses, fresh flowers from the garden and vintage linens. Most of these items can be made or bought for little or no money. Other charming accessories include framed family recipes, preferably old and handwritten, old-fashioned serving platters and mixing bowls, vintage spice tins, old potato or sugar sacks (which could be used as window treatments or to cover chairs) and old vegetable bins.
As I’ve mentioned before, I started collecting old hand-beaters and now have a nice little collection that works well in my cottage kitchen décor. I recently came across some unused milk bottle tabs (from the days when milk was delivered to the home) and have framed a few to add to my cottage collection. The reason I purchased them was because I had an instant visceral memory of them from my early childhood, which gave me a warm feeling. (Funny how advertising paraphernalia sticks with you.) If you don’t include items in your home that make you feel good then you’re missing out. Keep an open mind when accessorizing any room. There are many unique items that can help you create a truly unique space.
The white marble countertop provides understated beauty and function. It is similar to those old marble rolling pins, which brings back memories of Grandma’s kitchen. Again, it’s an element that evokes fond memories.
This feel-good kitchen style is appealing and fairly easy to achieve in your current space. Paint your cabinets in a slightly distressed finish, replace your countertop with a natural product like marble or polished concrete and add accessories that warm the heart.