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How to Create the Ultimate Period Kitchen

Updated on April 8, 2016

In our last article, we discussed creating a bathroom to match or begin your period home. Now you may be thinking about the kitchen. These days the kitchen is looked on as the heart of the home where everyone tends to congregate. It needs to be warm and welcoming, not too formal and clinical looking. A period kitchen can really fit this bill.

The Look of the Period Kitchen

What constituted a kitchen from the 1800s? They would normally have a dark range and looked very different from the light airy spaces with labour saving devices we have today. You won’t want to copy that exactly, and do away with your modern appliances, but many of those can be tucked away behind cabinet doors when not in use. And there are plenty of elements of the Victorian kitchen that have a place in the modern period home, and look stylish and authentic.

Think of the taps, door furniture, cupboard knobs and handles. These little details make a real difference. Brass was usually the chosen metal colour for these accessories in the bygone ages. If you fit your sinks with beautiful antique brass taps, you will also want to complement them in other parts of your period kitchen.

Black and Brass Go so Well Together

Brass teams beautifully with black so you can get closer to the look of an early kitchen with a black range or cooker as long as it has antique brass fittings and rails. You can get an authentic looking electric Aga or Rayburn that is easy to use in this modern age. The colour can be matched to black doors and drawer fronts on your units, with brass handles. You could also mix and match by having lighter units and perhaps some free range units. The unifying touch can always be the brass handles and fittings. Don’t forget the entrance and exit doors, which should also have brass handles and perhaps signage with brass lettering picked out of a black background.

A splashback of white subway tiles completes the Victorian picture. This helps your period kitchen to remain light and airy even with dark appliances, especially if you select lighter counter tops and highlight them with more touches of brass.

Brass teams beautifully with black so you can get closer to the look of an early kitchen with a black range or cooker as long as it has antique brass fittings and rails.
Brass teams beautifully with black so you can get closer to the look of an early kitchen with a black range or cooker as long as it has antique brass fittings and rails.

Ringing the Changes but Maintaining the Family Feel

For a different period look you might decide to have a wooden theme. The main theme of natural wood can be relieved with cabinet doors and drawer fronts painted in a contrasting colour. Again it all needs to be linked with fittings like brass handles or knobs to match your chosen era and to give a family feel with your taps and other kitchen fixtures.

Shelving and Hooks

Period kitchens also often have open shelves on which to display crockery and kitchen utensils. Adding brass rails to these will help to keep your special plates and other items safe while on display. Ceiling or wall hooks from which to hang your pots and pans also add to the period look. If you are lucky enough to live in an old house with exposed wooden beams, they are the perfect site on which to anchor your hooks which, of course, should also be made of antique brass.

Paying attention to all of these little details, and then keeping the warm, welcoming feel with soft lighting and comfortable furnishings for seating areas, will bring family and friends alike to appreciate your period kitchen. You can plan the entertainment, prepare the food and drink, and then enjoy relaxing together with them in the space you can be proud to call your ‘ultimate period kitchen’!


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