c.1785. If you were putting a kitchen here...

palimpsestMarch 9, 2013

If you were putting a kitchen here, what do you think you would do? This isn't so much a layout question, but there is no room for expansion only the possibility of moving it to a larger room, which may not be an advantage to the house. How do you think you would handle something like this esthetically?
(Photos from Prudential Fox Roach)

The house was built in 1785. I am looking at it tomorrow.

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Since the house is so intact, my first thought was to do something modern and very simple that stands proud of it. A little Poggenpohl-y, but much less glitzy. Deep toe kicks to make it look like the cabs aren't touching the house, etc.

However, in thinking about it a little more, I'm not sure I'd like that in such a small isolated space. I think it would feel like it was trying to startle you as you turn the corner.

Another approach is to be more contextual. I don't know about PA but in Mass. there are a lot of eighteenth century homes with simple raised panels covering entire walls, with lots of hidden features. Doors, cupboards, firewood storage, closets, etc., all subtly concealed by the panels. I think that could be a good approach here instead of the usual American appliance in your face style. Simple and contextual without being a reproduction of what never was.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:55PM
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It appears the hood is vertically vented, heat is HW baseboard. So I assume fireplace is non-working

I would make the fireplace a built in serving buffet with fridge drawers below.

Floor of waxed slate or flagstone.

Cabinets in Wedgwood colored wood in federal or board and batten style.

Counters in soapstone or tile. Possibly zinc, copper also.

Black 36 inch gas range and hood.

Build in fridge in current location.

Move sink and DW to open counter run and eliminate peninsula.

Nestle in a John Boos island with a couple of stools where peninsula is now.

Get rid of ceiling and raise if possible.

It's a very exciting space, to be sure.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Elraes Miller

I think this is a perfect kitchen for mixed cabinets and furniture. A very tall/long china cabinet on the long wall. Old functional work table in the middle. Actually, I hope mammagoose shows up with her ideas. This is a room that needs some creative thinking and retaining the original. I'd give anything for that fireplace.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:48AM
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I would find out what's behind the fridge, as it appears that was a passage,like the one on the right of the fireplace enclosure. If so,Where does it go--in terms of some space that could be repurposed for a pantry-either butler's pantry or effective storage/pantry style. If so, that alleviates some of the typical demands on cabinetry sq footage for the space. Perhaps one wall with island kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:02AM
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I would also do away with the peninsula, and would do mix of cabinets and furniture. Not completely unfitted, since it has to function and I don't think SO would want a vintage range. I would not want to cover the fireplace, but would do something in the opening - a pair of doors that opened to shelves that hold pots/pans. Black iron frame with copper panels would be cool, make it still look like a FP. You could even do doors that had wire mesh in the doors so that they can be somewhat seen through - but then you'd have to keep it neat. ;)

A rolling island, a big as you can get without it being too large for the space. I wouldn't do an overhang for seating.

Soapstone or copper counters, or copper backsplash. I know your SO is a pastry chef and can work with minimal counterspace, but what is his material of choice?

Paneled fridge so it's hidden (like in your last apartment).

The exposed brick wall behind stove is nice... but I don't like the plastic they have installed. How do you feel about an under-the-counter oven on the left wall, but leave cooktop in that location? Considering venting needs to stay where it is.

What time today are you looking? We're going to need an update!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:12AM
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1785? Wonderful to visit and dream about, but not so comfortable to live in and a potential money pit when it comes to maintenance and improvements. Boarded up fireplaces in every bedroom...low ceilings.... horsehair plaster walls... Run away! (But of course if you do end up buying this home I will look forward to seeing the miracles you bring off). Good luck !

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:08AM
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The architect designing my remodel recently renovated an 1860s era home for himself. I like the cabinetry he had built to house the refrigerator. I could see something like this in your kitchen, but I'd try to use an old farm/work table for the island rather than build new as he did.

Here is a link that might be useful: Appliance cabinet

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:21AM
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This is what is behind the fridge/fireplace wall. The corner cabinet backs up to the fridge.
What is behind the range wall is the house next door. Why there is a vertical seam in the brick wall there, I am not sure. This is a "double" house, front and back, built by two brothers, which is why there is two sets of stairs in such close proximity.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:32AM
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How about a one-piece freestanding prefab kitchen nacelle? The only connections would come up through the already very compromised floors, the room could be restored around it, or not, and there would be zero impact to the historic fabric, and it's 100% reversible.
For a couple, it would do, but for a larger family I suspect its limitations would be daunting. It would also fail to meet the expectations of 99.9%of the potential market.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:29AM
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robo (z6a)

I would be tempted to move to the room behind...the fireplace is less obtrusive and it looks bigger. (Is it bigger?) And would use the first room as a very beautiful open pantry with very beautiful cabinetry.

I have seen beautiful ranges set into fireplaces which is kind of an old meets new idea. I am also obsessed with working hearths in kitchen and have for many years dreamt of kitchen with work table below open stairs and pots hung on wall of stairs.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:43AM
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robo (z6a)

My bad

This post was edited by robotropolis on Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 11:45

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:44AM
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I like the idea of free-standing kitchen units, in a wood tone that blends with the old stuff, but making no attempt to be "period". That's the European way to pout a kitchen in an old house.

Get rid of the peninsula, bring in a work table for an island.

Get the frig out of that alcove - that could make a good storage unit area.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:39PM
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I was thinking along the nacelle lines albeit not pre fab.

I was also thinking food and prep in one fireplace room and clean up and dish storage in other fireplace room. They are adjacent, and this would still require less walking than in many of the larger modern kitchens I see

The bathrooms offer a similar problem and solution, I guess. The previous owners, rather than create a bathroom that looked like a bathroom simply put a toilet and a bathtub in the similar rooms upstairs from the kitchen . I think it could be done with more finesse with the currently available options but I doubt my approach would be significantly different.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 2:19PM
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