Inviting and Efficient
This Colonial-style kitchen is an OHJ reader favorite; is it the warm patina, or that display of redware? Especially when it comes to houses built before 1860, kitchen design presents challenges. It’s been ages, after all, since the kitchen was centered on a cooking hearth—or even a big cook stove. Multiple remodelings over the decades undoubtedly have obliterated history.
Then there’s accommodation for modern technology and function. Today’s kitchen designers assume you’ll want matching cabinets, lots of countertop space, and a multitude of appliances.
It is possible, however, to combine old and new—by adding a fireplace, or by using unfitted (mismatched or freestanding) cabinets and kitchen furniture. You can opt for historical colors and aged finishes. Period serving ware may be displayed in hutches and on open shelves. It’s easy to integrate a beamed ceiling, wide-plank floor, multi-light windows, and reproduction lighting. The old-house kitchen is a favorite space that exudes atmosphere.
One well-known maker of historical kitchens is David T. Smith of Ohio, whose work is shown here. The period-inspired (though certainly—and thankfully—not reproduction) kitchen is in a house near Cincinnati. Cabinets wear different finishes and paint colors. The owners’ collection of redware adds color and interest.