Vintage kitchen...practical or just pretty?

lavender_lassSeptember 12, 2010

I love the look of vintage kitchens, especially those circa 1900-1930. There's a Direct Action gas range with multiple ovens in this issue of Country Victorian magazine (p. 63) that I would LOVE to have in my old farmhouse.

Vintage kitchens have such a wonderful lived-in feel to them, truly timeless. Love the wooden table for an island and the smaller work areas, with more storage, like walk-in pantries. Maybe even a butler's pantry...

Does anyone have a vintage kitchen? Does it work well for you? Would you do it again? Hoosier cabinets and freestanding appliances, over everything built-in and streamlined. While I love having running water, electricity, and indoor plumbing (believe me, I don't take them for granted with the well/septic and power outages) I wish that more retro-style appliances were available. Agas are nice, but I would love to find something like the picture in the magazine :)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lavender lass, this is EXACTLY the type of kitchen I want in my house. We're getting close to starting our build. I'm leaving the whole kitchen area pretty much vague (basically just the area marked off) on the plans so we can get the permit process going, and because I want freestyle pieces in there anyway. We are building it ourselves, so I can design on the fly, and feel once the shell is built it will be easier to visualize how I want things. We're sending our plans off for engineering stamps the end of this week.

I've had streamlined kitchens. They're nice.....but too common and not my taste any more. I feel the old style kitchens work better because everything is handy with lots of storage. They are homey and just plain feel good to be in. They have personality. And they are very economical to build. Less cabinets mean more money for quality pieces and counter materials. Bring on the walk in pantries!

I've also decided to have a nice wooden Boos brand island and will have it on casters so I can move it to a pre-planned spot for it if I want it out of my way. They have some nice country styles, and while not cheap in price, will still cost less than a built in island. I've also decided I want my kitchen table in my kitchen, perhaps offset a smidge so it isn't in my work triangle.

I've done the whole "dining area" (not to be confused with dining room)on the end of my last kitchen, and it's too darn far to treck dishes back and forth. The only thing that's been easy about cooking in this tiny mobile home has been having the kitchen table right in the kitchen area. Good thing, as it doubles as a countertop. Takes me all of 2 minutes to serve a meal and clean it up. (Cooking and washing my pots and pans takes longer of coarse). And my husband is right there with me because he's plopped at the table, so I don't feel like the maid.

There is a vintage style stove and refrigerator available from a place called Elmira Stove Works, in Elmira N.Y. They look gorgeous, but I don't know how well they actually work. They are also pricey, but if they work well may be something I could have some day.

My grandmother had a small kitchen with the old fashioned free standing sink unit and a commercial style double range. Her "ice box", also known as refrigerator, was just around the corner in her open pantry. She had beautiful old fashioned (REAL wood) white cabinets in there with glass doors. Well, let me tell you, that kitchen was a workhorse and that little old Italian grandmother of mine sure put out some impressive meals. It was not a "fancy" kitchen. It was built somewhere in the early 1900's, but it was warm and friendly, and I loved being there. That's what I want in my new home.

Now for my rant. You'll be able to tell how fed up I've gotten with trying to plan a new house. Here goes..... I don't want a pot filler. I don't want sub zero appliances. I don't want a beverage center, and I don't want a "hearth" room, or a breakfast nook. I don't want an island with seating. (That alone tells me people want to eat in the middle of the kitchen). I don't want an island to play ring around the island with. (A farm table or moveable island table is O.K.). I don't want a "prep" sink in an island. I don't want my table 15 or 20 feet away from where I make my meals, in a "dining area". Heck, the term "mud room" is starting to irk me. Whatever happened to calling it a plain old ordinary entrance? Or a back porch for petes sake. And what's with this "away room" crap. Don't get me going about a "media" room. Can you tell I'm fed up with marketing and McMansion people? I can't even stand the term "study" anymore after dealing with a floorplan idiot, oops I mean "professional".

I just want a kitchen that is pretty in it's own personal way,feels like home, and is a pleasure to eat in.

I'll have to look for that magazine....perhaps order it on line. Which issue is it exactly?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i think that'd be great! I seem to remember a few that posted on 'kitchens', so post there also.

you can do it and have the good plumbing, etc. Somewhere online i saw new/old fridges the other week too. reminded me of my MIL's fridge. She had her's for over 20 yrs (50's into the 70's when she died).

if anyone posts links to their vintage kitchen on the other forum, let us know here so we can look also.

I know what ya mean about doing w/o plumbing, electricity etc - i live in the boonies and have often been w/o running water inside. Hopefully, that'll end with my move!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 11:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lavenderlass, I would love a kitchen as you described here. Will see if I can find it in the magazine. I guess we have the plain old kitchen. We do not have side by side fridge and we do have a free standing stove. Both white but do not match. LOL I got rid of the matching stove. Bought the one I have now on Craigs list. There is no dishwasher but me and no garbage disposal. My moveable island is an old desk converted to island on casters. Only it is against the wall at the end of the counter. I can move it anywhere though.

We do have a dinning room at the end of the kitchen but I use it as another sitting area with love seat and there are two captains chairs across from it and all have had lots of use. Everything is pretty flexible here and can easily be moved as the occasion arises. I really like to be able to re-purpose things. Some day I might just bring the Hoosier into the kitchen. Just for fun to see how I like it. Put is where the desk/island is. They are close to the same foot print.

Hummm Hubby is going to be away for a day or two. I might give it a try then. OH my aching back!!! But it might be fun.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 11:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Vintage kitchens should work pretty well, considering people did a lot more cooking at home in the old days, as well as baking and canning. The difference today is mostly in the gadgets we have, and you have to figure out how to integrate them. We need our gadgets, because Gramma had a lot more time to bake and can, since she likely didn't work outside the home. Our Hoosier cabinet is really very efficient, with the built in flour sifter and all. Right now, our kitchen is too small to fit anything like a Hoosier in it, but in our new house, it will be a part of the kitchen proper, and I intend to use it!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 6:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My daughter rented an old Victorian with the original kitchen. It had a huge pink stove with the ovens you mentioned. That stove was in perfect condition and I never could figure out how they got it in through the tall thin doors. She loved the kitchen and was so big you could have put a large farm table in the middle.

I don't think she ever thought about how far from the sink to the stove was. Definitely not your designer plan of today back then. There was even a large alcove for the ice box.

A few things were changed, running water for one and they had added a bathroom where the pantry was (large also). The door into the back stairs was from the kitchen, they blocked the stairs off and that was the laundry.

I can't say the place was charming, it had a lot of possibilities. And a lot of work. But I was fascinated with the stove.

They sell the stoves and refrigerators restored or you can find old ones and have them restored. They turn out beautiful. Just search for a year or a model and year. A lot of places show up with examples.

I've mentioned before I would like to have a freestyle kitchen. So much more storage is possible and you can always move things around to work for your advantage.

The UK is ahead of us on this. They sell kitchen furniture replicas and have a lot shown on the net with photos of their layouts and use. Plus the four legged (take a bath) sinks, ect.

Here is a link to a kitchen designer blog with pics of free style furniture. They are thinking like you.
Fun blog and lots of links too.

Here is a link that might be useful: antique kitchen

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 7:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Emagineer, don't know where I've been for the last hour. Last thing I remember was CLICKING THAT ANTIQUE KITCHEN LINK.....and then I got LOST.

Dear dear dear, and I added it to my RSS feeds on the old home page so I could keep up with it. The person writes very well. Thanks for the link, which led me onward.

And I'm not into antique appliances at all. I am into an unfitted look, which is why my kitchen will be such a cobbled together thing. Sort of reminds me of the way that FlowerLady did HER space.

I also like to have my countertops cleared of any items. I find it very restful. But I don't want everything to be all the same everywhere. So one half of the kitchen will have the Silestone quartz counters, the other will have the stainless steel tops. Nothing about my kitchen will say "designer" at all.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm so glad that other people like this style, too! Great photos on the website :)

The magazine I'm talking about has a big white bed on the front (beautiful) with a tea service set up at the foot of the bed. It's a lovely old Victorian style wooden bed (I would guess) that's been painted.

I don't know where I'd find a Direct Action stove (can't even find a picture of a similar one on the Internet) but it would be perfect in a vintage kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 2:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Lav,
I bought Arts and Crafts Homes and the Revival magazine for Fall 2010 and it has a section called the Arts and Crafts Kitchen Expo with a long list of vintage stove resources. Some have "ready to restore" models they will restore for you, some have already restored stoves for sale and some make reproductions. (These aren't specific to the Arts & Crafts era by the way.) Check out the list on the link below. Appliance resources are about 1/3 down the page. Hope you find that perfect stove for your vintage kitchen! Cheers, -Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Appliance resources

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

Great thread! And very near and dear to my heart--I'd love to give my kitchen a more vintage look. However, I don't want to cook on a wood-stove or draw water from a well. Until recently I had a pie-safe in the kitchen, and still have an old chest of drawers, and a work-table/mobile island.

I just bought some vintage 'Shaker' style cabinets from craigslist, and I'm hoping to incorporate them into the kitchen--they'll be more of a built-in look.

Speaking of craigslist, I thought of you, lavender_lass, when I saws this ad in the Columbus,Oh list.

Where are you located? You need this stove for the corner of your kitchen :)

Here is a link that might be useful: actual ad

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

lavender, you've piqued my curiosity--did you see the following ebay ad?

Here is a link that might be useful: Direct Action stove

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This should go to another post in conversations, but the stove discussion will keep me from going too off track. But did anyone catch Nate Burkus new show. They had a kitchen like this and an old stove in perfect condition from Craigs List. She bought it for 300 but found out it is worth 2000 in the shape it is. Most of his show is on reclaiming or this first one was. They even talk about the cost of their finds.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 2:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mama-goose that second one is just darling. Neighbor gave us an old trash burner. We have not hooked it up yet. Joe was going to put it in the shop somewhere. Would be fun to have in the house.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 5:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shades, can you give us a picture of the old trash burner? I am curious about them. You said not yet "hooked up?" I am wondering what that meanns, what is its function, and when was this built and originally used?

I have a neighbor who burns trash in his old barbeque grill, and fires are not legal in the city. So I'm wondering if there is a way he could do it and be legal. I would not mind him burning stuff so much, if he did not also do wet leaves, and the smoke comes into our yard and our house. So please go take a picture of this trash burner so I can show my DH what it looks like.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 6:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Elmira makes some great reproduction stoves, and even refrigerators. I'd have to hit the Lotto, though- they start around $5000- and go up!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the links :)

Here is a similar stove to the one in the magazine. The Direct Action stove is a little more petite and has the cutouts on one oven (maybe a warming drawer) like the one Mama Goose shows.

Oh, and I'm in eastern Washington, about five miles from Idaho.

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar vintage range

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ML the trash burner hooks up just about like a wood stove as this is what it is in a very small version. I would like to have it in here. The article say they put out good heat. It is passable and good for back up. I am not sure it is enough for the supplement heat we would like to use it for. But it does burn trash wood, like sticks and small bits of left over construction wood so a person could easily fuel it and the pieces would be small . Not like trying to haul and store a big bunch of fire wood. The shop is the perfect place for it as Joe can fire it up and heat the shop if he wants to work out there and it will cost us almost nothing. The pipes to hook it up are very expensive. Triple walled stove pipe so it does not catch the building on fire where it goes through the wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture on left top next to wood stove.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shades, I saved that link.
It is interesting to me that the site apparently is interested in the factors coming into play for a big disaster, like a nuclear attack or whatever, where it will be every man for himself. I say that because in the text he mentioned night vision goggles could reveal the presence of FOOD COOKING, and it might attract people who could do you harm.

I realize there are a lot of people to whom this scenario is very real, and they are taking steps now to secure their lives against such an eventuality. But I have a hard time envisioning that. At my age, I expect to be one of the "expendables" ....

Is this part of the discussion one we should continue over on the CONVERSATION side? Is there another forum on GW which covers that? Like the one about DISASTERS? I'll have to look into it to see what is being discussed.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 1:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I forgot to include in my above post that I think a vintage kitchen is really the most practical kind of kitchen you can have. Built to stand alone should the need arise, that makes it more practical than one which requires POWER, other than wood I mean. Any kind of stove would require some kind of fuel supply. A fuel supply that is easy to procure and plentiful, now that is indeed practical.

I am more interested in the trash burners than ever. Like in Massachusetts, they do not allow you to put scrap wood into the bi-weekly trash pickup, and you cannot have an outdoor burning of trash. BUT, it seems that a stove which is built to burn WHATEVER, is not the same thing. It would be legal, and also provide a source of heat. If I get a chance to make DH's little garden house into a play house or studio this fall, I'd love to see such a trash burner hooked up in it.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I don't want a pot filler. I don't want sub zero appliances. I don't want a beverage center, and I don't want a "hearth" room, or a breakfast nook. I don't want an island with seating. (That alone tells me people want to eat in the middle of the kitchen). I don't want an island to play ring around the island with. (A farm table or moveable island table is O.K.). I don't want a "prep" sink in an island. I don't want my table 15 or 20 feet away from where I make my meals, in a "dining area"."

I'm with ya on all of those things.

and why is it that the more convenience things we have the less time we have?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ML we just got home from long shopping day of 90 miles and lots of stops. Later I will go out and take pictures of this beast we have. Actually I think it is cute and Joe and I had a discussion about using it. His thoughts are this information on the link about it producing good heat might be written in a higher numbered zone than we are. It takes a lot more heat in 30 bellow temps then in say a 30 above temp. Now this would be good heat in 30 above as that is really not all that cold at just barely freezing. 30 below is a whole nother world. But this thing still is cute.

I glanced back at the link and now see it was posted for dooms day. Did not pay attention to that. Just googled trash burner and send first link with picture.

Guess the dooms day stuff should go on the other "Conversations side". I think we kind of talked a bit about it earlier but do not totally remember.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chris, I think it is cute too. And that is saying something, when a TRASH burner can be cute!!

But what a great idea. I might just have to send the link to the trash burner to my next door neighbor so he will stop burning wet leaves in the back yard and claiming he is barbequeing his dinner. If he was really nice to me, I'd take all his old leaves wet OR dry, since we shred them up and turn them into compost. It is like GOLD. You should see the size of my banana trees, which are very heavy feeders, they are about 10 to 12 feet tall after being near frozen to death last winter. What a comeback, just on rotting leaves. I don't buy fertilizer.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry got side tracked some where behind my eye lids. LOL

Here are the pictures of the little trash burner. This is an old one and given to us. We have not cleaned it up but it will work fine in the shop. That is if I do not talk DH into putting it in the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trash burner pictures #7 and 8

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

shades - you need any sticks for that, let me know. i'll ship 'em up there by the boxload. lol! I have tons of sticks from my brush. every year. I was gonna ask dbf if he has a woodchipper (he seems to have any other type of machine).

how about a chiminea for a patio?

there are tons of styles and colors - just google it.

Here is a link that might be useful: chiminea

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Steph, do your stick consist of manzanita and cholla cactus skeletons? Those things burn nicely with a lot of flavor I think.

And Shades, I must really let my DH see the two pictures of the trash stove. I am amazed that they are not better known all across the country.

I suppose the kitchen trash they burn, besides the sticks, would be something like cardboard, paper packaging? Nothing like plastics though? And would they also be able to burn egg shells and onion skins and potato peelings? I'm trying to figure how I can justify bringing one into my derelict garage project for winter heat only. And consider a composting toilet if needs be, but not a priority.

You ladies are just full of interesting information and exciting options.

A chiminea? I had one of those. It was a small one. I put it on my carport at MoccasinLanding. Then I put a half of one of those packaged LOGS, maybe a quarter of one. I had sand in the bottom as it said to do. By the time it was fully burning, flames were leaping out the stack about three feet, and I was worried about catching the carport on fire. I got the water hose and misted it inside the cavity and the flames whirled in a tornadic vortex and really roared at me. Then I began to worry. I got a suitably sized terra cotta flower pot which had one hole in the bottom, and I used it as a hat over the chimney of the chiminea. This restricted the heat and finally got it under control. After it was out, I looked in the bottom of the chiminea and the sand had turned to glass. Not GOOD glass, but it was brittle glass.

I forget what my DH said caused this great increase in heat and violence...something about venturi effect? Where if you increase the height of the chimney, it can increase the violence of the fire. I know it was hot, and you do have to keep an eye on those things if you use those synthetic logs.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

If you are near Boise, look what you can get for $300.00 on craigslist:

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage wood/electric stove

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mama_goose- Great stove, but I'm starting to think of maybe getting something new, after all. I'm not handy with electronics and I've had a lot of appliance issues this week. Thank goodness for warranties :)

I love this kitchen! It looks very english to that kitchen in the book I was telling you about in an older post. Anyway, I'd rather have metal hardware, but that's an easy fix. The beams are great and the stove just fits into that area perfectly. I don't know about the red (for me) but it works in this kitchen!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wonderful kitchen

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

lavendar lass, I love that kitchen too. It does look very English. I've seen a stove like that in a British tv show and always thought it was neat.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 5:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Is anyone else having trouble getting on this new Houzz site???
If you're having trouble (which I did) use your email...
This "makeover" is too bad to continue with. Too bad.....
" I agree with Paul8511 "going elsewhere...
Fancy expensive 'niche' market appliances
Just now reading @appliances, and there is ever more...
Who has blogs...can we see them?
I know there's some disappointment with the new format,...
How many square feet is your "small home"
My house is 859sf. It has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, but...
Sponsored Products
Zig Zag Giclee Luxe 4-Light Multi Light Pendant
Lamps Plus
Curved Finger Pull Cabinet Knob
Signature Hardware
Typhoon Dining Table in White
$599.00 | LexMod
Dayton Cherry Russet Stained Wood Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
Brushed Nickel Vessel Faucet
MR Direct Sinks and Faucets
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Home Decorators Collection Rugs Summit
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™