What can you tell me about this kitchen?

lavender_lassMarch 24, 2011

I really like this kitchen. What can you tell me about the style, finishes and era? I'd really appreciate any help :)

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Cheerful, isn't it? I can tell you that it could have been at least as early as 1930, as it looks like my parent's kitchen in thier thirties craftsman. The arch to the b'fast nook, the windows over the sink, the wooden cabinets clear to the ceiling. You can see a lot of modern touches, but kudos to the owners to kept the old stuff.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Interesting that cabinets match the walls. Very different from most modern kitchens, and much more appealing because of it.

Contrasting bullnose tile on the counter edge. We did this in our kitchen some 20 years ago and I still love it. So you can still get that stuff - I think it was Dal Tile, but couldn't swear to it.

Light floor. Again, current trend is for dark floors, which I hate. Floors play such a big role in filling a space with light. That said, this kitchen has a feature that it's taken me years to figure out about my own house that is a key part of its appeal: there is light entering the room from two directions.

White fridge (and rounded lines on the fridge). Since you can just see the stainless steel dishwasher intruding into the picture for contrast, you can see how much deader that finish is, even in such a light setting.

Oh, and cafe curtains. Again, very much about letting the light in so it can dance around, and then paint/tile/floor colours that the light can bounce off of.

Colour theory holds, interestingly enough according to Maria Killam, that light spaces should have light colours for just that reason. Darker or stronger colours become harsh in that much light, but in dark spaces, light colours have no light to pick them up so they just get dull, while the richness of darker colours becomes evident as they enfold you. Or something like that. So I think a great deal of the appeal here is having the right colours (and colour intensity) for the quality of light in the room.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Finally, a post I feel comfortable contributing to! I've been lurking in the shadows for months just waiting for a post like this to come along.

That bones of your kitchen would work in practically any 1920s-1930s kitchen, and this house does look Arts and Crafts. The cabinets are face-framed with inset doors, as they always were during that period. The wall-mounted faucet with its tile-in sink is also correct.

Many here, including me, strongly recommend Jane Powell's 'Bungalow Kitchens' if you are at all interested in this true-to-period look. I devoured it in one sitting after patiently waiting to find it in my price range; I eventually snatched it from eBay for about eight bucks after adding shipping charges, so it can be done. It contains all the information I've shared with you here and so much more.

I was also excited to see your post because I have the very same image saved to my inspiration folder! It's such an adorable little kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:09AM
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Thank you for the responses :)

Calliope- It is cheerful...and I was hoping it was from the 1920s or 1930s.

Karinl- I think you're right about the light. I've tried to design most of my remodel, so that there is light from at least two sides in every room (except the bathrooms). I like the white appliances and lighter floors, too.

Elizabethlee- I'm so glad you have the same picture! It's a very cheerful, friendly kitchen...and I'm not usually a big fan of yellow. While I don't think I could paint the cabinets and walls all bright yellow, I do think it's wonderful in this kitchen! Thank you for recommending Bungalow Kitchens...I'll look for it this weekend :)

My kitchen is from a 1904 farmhouse, but the goal for my remodel is to bring it back to the style of the 1920s and 1930s. I really like the vintage cottage look and with the kitchen and dining area all one space, I hope it's a good fit. While the yellow is very pretty, I'd probably be more comfortable with blues, greens and whites, but soft yellow is a nice match...so maybe yellow walls? They are cheerful! I really like the vintage style fridge and hope to find a stove to match. Also love the work table and cafe curtains :)

Since many of you know a lot of history of houses, I'm trying to combine the vintage cottage/farmhouse style with a few english cottage accents and french style furniture (chairs, marble work table, etc.) It sounds very eclectic...but, I did read that at the end of the 1920s, there was a resurgence in european style (fairy tale) that incorporated a lot of english and french influences. So, I'm hoping I can find a way to make it all work!

A few of my other inspiration pictures, but I'd prefer white appliances...and the last one seems more like the fairy tale style.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Lavender, your first picture is very nice, and it would fit the period you want, but the cabinet knobs would be more like the pulls in the second and fourth pics in the post just above. Wooden knobs like that are a sign of the seventies, I'd say. Also, a toe kick is a no-no--it goes against the sanitary drive of the times, and really, serves no useful purpose--an extra two inches isn't getting you much closer to the sink or counter, and how hard is it to stand next to a counter?

The second pic in the post just above comes closest to a proper look by giving the impression of free-standing units and a straight line from top to bottom with the use of quarter-round at the bottom. The first pic above makes the mistake of using too fancy feet--and doesn't recess the space so that it is out of view. My original pantry cabinets have turn latches and pulls like the second pic, and no toe kick at all--just quarter round at the bottom. It makes the floor much easier to clean. When I redid my kitchen, I used the same designs in building my own cabinets.

As a side note, I'd stay away from 'farmhouse' sinks, as they don't look period--they are the current trendy model trying to look period. When the fad dies out in a couple years, the next owners will be pulling them all out. Enamelled cast-iron with at least one drain board is a more period look--my pantry has such a sink along one whole wall.

I love the pale yellow color--and may paint my kitchen that color! My pantry was originally painted a medium minty green, at least from what I've seen, but I currently have it done in beige. That yellow looks more and more appealing.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 2:09PM
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Lav, it looks a bit like your dream kitchen style is morphing from "french country" proper to 1920-30 bungalow, with deco influences or cottage (including English and French cottage). It is great to have time to plan and refine your plans.

I was thinking about what columbusguy1 mentioned, that you shouldn't have toe-kicks, and it reminded me of one of my favorite kitchens in the finished kitchen blog MaryLynnNC's kitchen. She did not do toekicks, but did do a 3 inch overhang on her countertops to compensate. Never heard of that before, but she commented that it worked well for them. I also love her beadboard ceiling and Pionite counters that look incredibly like marble! It's a good kitchen (although more farmhouse arts and crafts than cottagey). I'm linking her page on the FK Blog here for fun. Click on her link for all the pictures. Wish I'd known about the "no toe kick" thing when I re-did my kitchen! I do think they look too modern for my house.

By the way, there are several great retro and vintage kitchens in the FK Blog! If you haven't surfed around there check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: MaryLynnNCs kitchen

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Columbusguy- Thanks for the explanations about the different kitchens. I have an old farmhouse sink, but it's huge, so I was going to use it in the pantry!

Kim- Great link. It has kind of morphed from french country into vintage cottage, with some european accents...but the porch is still french country. Lots of windows and tea accessories...with a french feel. Hopefully, I'll have enough french flavor in the kitchen, to pull this off! :)

Kitchen plan, changed slightly, due to problems with roof lines...but I think it might work out better, overall.

My beautiful sink (okay it needs some work) but I found it outside our farmhouse, in a pile of junk, when we moved in!

This is where I got the idea for the bump out window seat, from Sarah Richardson's farmhouse remodel...and the second photo is just wonderful, with the bookshelves, but the leaded glass is a little too fancy, for my farmhouse :)

And here's my inspriation picture for the work table...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 5:46PM
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Nice pics, Lavender! My kitchen sink is just like that, but with two bowls...it came from a dumpster. Just had to scrub it and put in new strainers and faucet. There are two chips in the white enamel, but so far, I think they add character. :)

Something to consider: since people were shorter in the old days, I'd raise the sink higher than 36"--mine is at 40", and works great--no sore back from bending over to work on the counters. I found my original cabinet doors in the garage, nice stained tw0-panel with mortised hinges. Had to buy vintage porcelain-knobbed 1900 latches--was lucky to find a set of six at an antique shop! My cabinets are framed by 2x4s, covered with oak around the inset doors.

I like the idea of a wide overhang for counters--it allows you to attach an apple-peeler or grinder to the top for cooking! I'd build such a countertop next to the sink to give extra prep space. My kitchen is 11x12, so no room for an island or a prep table--but then, I have the pantry with it's own counters--which have about a 2" overhang with metal edging.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 1:45AM
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Columbusguy- That's a really good point! So many of the older kitchen tools, needed an overhang...I never even thought about that before.

Great idea about the sink, too. I don't have any cabinet for it, but I'm sure I could find something I like the idea of making it a more convenient height! :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Lavender, the original picture definitely has a late 20's/30's vibe to it. The kitchen in my Mom's house has almost the exact same cabinets (except they are painted white). It is a tudor revival built in 1928.

I hate her kitchen, but she loves it. lol.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 8:54PM
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Mama's kitchen also has the shelves for bric-a-brac high up near the ceiling where there isn't cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Krycek- Hi! Nice to 'see' you :) That's the style I'm interested in...that english cottage/tudor/french revival period. Hopefully a good way to mix a vintage 20s/30s look, with some european accessories!

Calliope- I love those high display shelves! Everyone says they're dust catchers (which they are) but they add so much display space. I like it so much better, than cabinets up to the ceiling.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 1:23PM
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