Vin­tage-style kitchen evokes fond mem­o­ries

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

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.

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