Kitchens, Baths & Tile
APPROACHES FOR REVIVAL DESIGN
The revival’s design approaches are evident in period cabinets, fixtures and appliances, and specialty tile for walls and floors.
Kitchen and bath are the two rooms most likely to need renovation. For an old house, timeless design and materials make sense, because short-lived trends never really fit. Simple is often better. The room will have a “period kitchen” look if details are borrowed from historic kitchens, or the pantry or hall—rather than copied from high-style details in the dining room. And a simple kitchen is easier to clean!
Keep new rooms in scale: you don’t want it to look like an estate kitchen with a bungalow attached. Keep to the original footprint, perhaps borrowing space from a back hall or pantry. Additions should be proportionate to the house; sometimes just a few feet, bumped out on the rear or side of the house and with windows for extra light, is enough.
Another trick both period-inspired and functional: Use several different counter surfaces. It’s more historical than installing yards of laminate or granite. For practicality, choose something nonporous (such as stone) near sink and stove,
The kitchen is no longer a utility space, but a center of family life. Happily, cabinet designs of the bungalow era, vintage-style appliances, and tile are available for beautiful rooms.
ALONG WITH CLASSIC BLACK & WHITE, ADD SOME NATURALFINISH WOOD
TRIM AND POPS OF COLOR.
butcher-block for prep, perhaps a marble slab for baking or pizza making. You may even be able to save money by buying remnant or salvaged material for small areas.
To get a timeless room that doesn’t follow fads, don’t go all-white or all-black; do consider black and white plus color. (Black soapstone or granite with creamy painted cabinets is a winning combination.) Use some naturally finished wood for the floor, cabinets, or a piece of kitchen furniture. Add color with tiles, wall paint, a retro stove, or collectibles.
And of course, common sense should prevail. Why buy expensive, professional appliances if you eat out five nights a week or mostly use a microwave oven? Then again, if you’re an enthusiastic (messy) cook, don’t use fussy and hard-to-clean details and materials. That said, revival kitchens are often beautiful spaces with furniture-quality cabinets accented by art tile, handsome light fixtures, forged and cast hardware, and decorative textiles. a
A backsplash of handcrafted art tile turns a modern cooktop into a periodappropriate “hearth” in a new oak kitchen.
Historical plumbing fittings are back in vogue.
above Rain showerheads in traditional designs and multiple metal finishes are made by several plumbing manufacturers; they offer a full-body soaking. top left In a 1916 Arts & Crafts home in New Jersey, a luxurious new-old bath was designed around...