Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Posted by FalParsi (My Page) on
Sat, May 25, 13 at 18:16

We are stalled. Really need your design help. Kitchen is approx. 12 x12 and has 3 entry ways. Ceiling is 10'. Although small, we manage to cook some nice meals.
1. Entrance to formal dining room is located at front left side wall of kitchen. We are considering moving this entry to rear left side wall. (See star.)
2. If D/R entry is moved, kitchen layout could be more "U" shaped. It is now L shaped with table for 4 near center of room. What do you think?
3. Right wall of kitchen has door to mudroom. The mudroom will be renovated. It is constructed of wood walls and needs to be insulated and drywalled. It now houses the w/d and some storage cabinets.
4. It is suggested that kitchen table be placed in renovated mudroom. Can't remove wall between kit/mudroom because it is stone,16 " thick.
5. Another suggestion is to widen existing doorway between kitchen and mudroom. It is about 36-39" wide (depending on which side of door is measured). We do not know how costly this would be. If the table is located in the mudroom, will it look ok from a design point? Will it look like the rooms relate to each other even if we do not widen the doorway?
6. Powder room is located on opposite side of mudroom. Wall between these rooms can be moved with certain upper level supports remaining. Should the w/d be moved into the p/r? If so, the space for a sink and toilet will be substantially shrunk. This is an old house and options are limited.
7. We will need a coat closet and hopefully, have room for some storage cabinetry in the mudroom. So that's a table for 4, coat closet and storage cabinetry. Is that a lot to ask from this space?
Please, if you would be so kind to give your design help for layout of these rooms, it would be so appreciated. Our range is 30" and hoping to have a 36" refrigerator. (Now where did those layout pictures go?)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

I found the pictures (click for slightly larger versions):


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

depending on a few things like sq footage of home/your long term plans/resale value in area.....I think I'd open the wall to dining room and leave mudroom/storage /laundry/powder room alone for now. Reason: those are really good functions housed in that logical area and will long term enhance resale value as those spaces are not always found in older homes. Dining room is not really outlined , but at this stage I'd entertain the idea of more versatility between kitchen/ DR....a formal table which can also be a day to day dinner table/ and an island flanking the 2 spaces with seating for casual gathering and the smaller meals. do you have a layout to show of the entire 1st floor?


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Thank you, Herb. I do not have a layout of entire1st floor. Basically, it is a 4 square setup with a hallway dividing the house: 2 rooms on each side of hallway. Kitchen and dining room on one side as seen in drawings (thanks, Elofgren!).
The dining room is approx. 12.3 x16.7, with the 12' running along the left kitchen wall. It is formal with large crown molding and a center wall fireplace along the 16' wall.
The kitchen is, well, from the 60's and needs complete renovation. We would like traditional cabinetry in keeping with the overall look of the house.
There are multiple issues. Resale, as you mentioned, is a consideration. Nearby houses have better, renovated kitchens. I do not see this house with an entirely open dining room-kitchen. Maybe that's me. However, we have considered having 2 entries from dining room to kitchen with a tall d/r cabinet between the openings. Would a young family expect some type of eating arrangement in the kitchen? I think so. I would love to have a small island as you suggested.
Hope this information helps. I can work on a layout to include the dining room if that helps. I appreciate all feedback! Thanks.


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Kiddo, the problem is that you are trying to design a modern "outward oriented" kitchen for a Victorian home. It will never look right, and probably not function very well.

You need a Victorian "inward-oriented" kitchen. The elements of this type of kitchen are explained in the link below.

If your kitchen designer does not have enough imagination to make this work, get a new one.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Victorian Kitchen: Understading the Kitchen of Victorian Times

This post was edited by xxxxOldTimeCarpenter on Tue, May 28, 13 at 12:20


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Sorry, posted the wrong link. Try this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Victorian Kitchen: Understading the Kitchen of Victorian Times


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

OldTimeCarpenter, interesting reply! Actually, I am a traditionalist and by example will cite keeping the covered front porch when all by maybe 1 in our neighborhood, have done away with it. So your link lead to deck repairs; not kitchen material. Can you provide the link again? Hope so.
We are trying to maintain the integrity of an old house that did not initially include a kitchen on the first floor. I do not at this time have a kitchen designer. Frankly, I am seeking the advice of this forum because its members are amazing to me and can really help a novice, like myself. May I add that I have never had a renovated kitchen and basically, any kitchen installed would be an improvement to what now exits. Like most projects, this one has lead to consideration of other options which involve other spaces. Advice is appreciated and needed. Thank you again and I am interested in that link as well as:
What would you do?


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

I have a somewhat similar situation with a mud room adjacent to a small kitchen. Mine is in a 1926 French Revival. Everyone assumes that we should annex the mud room when we remodel the kitchen, but I am not persuaded. The mud room houses the laundry and dog crate and is just generally useful as a messy entrance to the house. We are a few years out from remodeling the kitchen as other projects are ahead of it in line. But at this point my intention is to move the interior doorway connecting the mud room to the house from the kitchen to a hallway. This will give me enough extra wall space to improve the kitchen layout considerably while leaving the mud room intact.

We do not have any eat in space in the kitchen and I prefer it this way. (We have a nine year old and a three year old.) The dining room gets used everyday and that's great as far as I am concerned. I also am finding that I like having the kitchen with a door I can close so that I'm not staring at the dirty dishes while I am eating dinner.

I am not great at visualizing spaces I haven't seen so I can't say what I would do with your space, but thought it might be a little bit helpful to lay out my thinking on our similar space. If nothing else, I have bumped your thread up. ;)


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Since I am no designer, I don't know if it's OK to have an eating table in the Mud Room or not from a design point, but I came up with something like this (with approximate dimensions) , assuming W/D moved to the P/R.

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

I am not an expert but I think, for resale purposes, it might be possible to add seating to the peninsula if kitchen is opened to DR.


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

In the past 5 years I have remodeled several Victorian kitchens, two of them in houses on the Historic Register, one an 1890's log house -- that was interesting.

The interior oriented Victorian Kitchen was incredibly efficient. In fact, the only reason we now have outwardly oriented kitchens is that in the 1950s kitchens got smaller -- no room for a central work table. The trend now is back to inwardly oriented kitchens -- what do you think the central island is but the modern version of a Victorian work table.

Keep in mind that you are only going to remodel your kitchen once in your lifetime. Any effort you make to build a kitchen that is functional yet still retains and reflects the unique character of a Victorian era house will pay big dividends in your personal satisfaction.

Anyone can design and build the ubiquitous white on white kitchen with precisely aligned rows of matching cabinets and an acre of counter tops. Easy-peasy, and about as creative as a blank piece of paper. Yuk!!!!!

You have the space, the sense of history, and, I think, the creative bent to do it right. Stay away from kitchen designers for the moment. Talk to antiquarians. Go visit antique stores. Find out what Victorian kitchen furniture actually looked like. Find a working Hoosier cabinet and get a hands-on feel for how efficient and organized this "kitchen in a box" really was.

You're probably not going to use any of these antiques in an actual kitchen (they are all too small -- Americans are 1-1/2" taller than they were in 1900), but you will get the idea of what your cabinetry should look like.

Stay away from mechanical uniformity. Your cabinets should coordinate, but not be the same. Your kitchen should tall a story of how the kitchen evolved as grandma replaced the old wood stove with a gas range, and added this cabinet and that cabinet as the family grew, and incorporated this appliance and that implement as Victorian creativity and inventiveness produced the scads of labor-saving devices that we now take for granted.

Take your time, think it through, stay faithful to the period, and plan it carefully. I guarantee you will be delighted with the results and with the oohs an aahs of your jealous neighbors.

Have fun with it. We do.

This post was edited by xxxxOldTimeCarpenter on Tue, May 28, 13 at 0:49


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

How nice to have your clearly knowledgeable, and wonderfully different input here, OldTimeCarpenter. I think a lot of people have never experienced a good introverted kitchen and don't realize how delightful they can be.

Nowadays, of course, most modern tract homes are still built with such limited space allocated to active living area that it's important to keep the kitchen combined visually. Plus, even if there isn't enough room to put a couple of cozy chairs in a corner for a second conversation area, stools at a kitchen counter can provide that.

FalParsi, your project sounds very exciting. Dining in another room would have a very different feeling than a sociable table right in the middle of the kitchen. But, it's intriguing and done right it might be absolutely wonderful. What does that space offer besides square footage? What would windows look out on? A glass door to the outside lead to? Sunshine what time of day? Do you have other, better access to a your private garden, or is this it? Or would it also need to be an inwardly oriented?

Just offhand, I'm imagining a new door between kitchen and dining room that would line up with the door to a new sitting/morning room (or?). A good designer could make it something very special and could make a strong design connection between the two spaces, but what would it take to make that room so special that you'd love to be there?


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Folks, haven't been able to login till now.
Old Time Carpenter-Great link! Had an unfitted kitchen in prior house and think about it fondly. Would love to have a work table. I agree that the island concept has replaced the work table. Same thing; different name. You offer sage advice and lots to consider. I thank you for grounding me.
Crl-Your reply also has me thinking. Do we need 2 tables in 2 areas away from kitchen? DD says "what's the big deal? So you have to walk ten steps". The young! Glad to hear you use your D/R on a daily basis. I admit it would be an adjustment for us. It would be interesting to hear if anyone has used an ancillary room to the kitchen for eating even though they have a dining room.
Sena01-Thank you for the 3-d representations. Very kind of you to do so. I have limited visualization so I appreciate your help.
rosie-You raise great questions. The kitchen and dining room are separated from a siting room and living room. The dining room holds its own. We thought moving the dining room entry to the left rear wall of the kitchen would give a "look through" kitchen, mudroom, to the outdoors (assuming door in mudroom was moved to more of an alignment, as to see through these rooms) to a garden area. The afternoon sun/evening just looks wonderful from this perspective.
May I say that with regard to O.T. Carpenter's responses and while I do not like to engage in trend thinking, it appears that there is a movement to make kitchens less open (even closed, for goodness sake), i.e." inward oriented".
I hope if you or anyone else has opinions/advice to offer, please do so. Like OTCarpenter said-I am only going to do this one time in my life.


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Forgive me for bumping my post but we really, really need your help. What do you think of having a kitchen with the table moved to a space off the kitchen? Does it seem ok to have 2 places for eating other than the kitchen? I am really stalled on this. Any help you can give would be so greatly appreciated! If you have any thoughts or know of a kitchen with this type of setup, would you kindly share your impressions? Thanks so much.
Here are the possibilities:
1, Move kitchen table to renovated mudroom (sounds real good, doesn't it?) Kitchen for prep and storage. Powder room also would house W/D or,
2. Use dining room for eating with kitchen for prep and storage of food. The powder room stays as powder room and the mudroom accomodates the w/d, coat closet and miscell. cabinetry, or
3. Turn powder room into a butlers pantry and place powder inside mudroom with washer/dryer. Have a work table/eating table in kitchen
4. Keep existing L shaped kitchen and forget about changing anything. (That would be the default position.)
Your opinion is indeed needed! Anything!


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

I know what I'd do, but I think if I were you I'd consult with a KD who is also an interior designer.I believe there are a good number of ways to handle this but your list of options does not contain them.I think you are better working on some part of the aesthetic and the core organic feel of this place along with your growing family's needs...considering the 16 foot wall with a fireplace /and the kitchen and mudroom all available to work into a plan....there's probably a few complex intertwined reasons why you feel stumped and someone needs to unthread the knots and point out some things from their experience and get you to think a little more rather than taking"stabs" at random layouts.You have PLENTY of sq footage.


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Old Time, thank you for posting the link about Victorian kitchens. My first thought was that we are trending back to an inward oriented kitchen via the center island. Then you said exactly that. I will be following this with thread with interest as I love antiques and I am so anxious to see a lovely Victorian kitchen come to life.


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

holly-kay, in keeping with what Old Time's link and advice, the Wall Street J. did an article in 12/2012 entitled "Closing the Door on the Open Kitchen".
Herb, I understand your advice. The options listed for the kitchen were suggested by, hmmm, professionals. Didn't want you to think we just came up with them after opening a bottle of wine. I have been reading GW for some time and posted for advice because of the generosity of talent and insight members offer. Thanks again!


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Have you seen Mermanmike's kitchen? Hope this gives you some wonderful ideas :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Mermanmike's kitchen


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

A few suggestions:

1. it would really help to see pictures of the three areas: DR,kitchen and mud room. I agree with both points above about keeping it historically consistent and seeing how the overall flow, light and views to the outdoors can be enhanced.

2. consider cross posting this to the decorating forum as well to get more of a historical design perspective.

3. look though blogs and design magazines and books to develop an inspiration board of what you like. When you do get to the point of working with a KD this will be immensely helpful.

4. for a tighter space, consider banquette seating, either in the mudroom or the kitchen. I would choose a space that is near windows and light. I recall seeing a kitchen remodel a few years ago that included a type of garden/mud room that was lovely. I can see having space for a table in the mudroom as a very practical choice, whether for folding clothes, school projects, gardening, etc. Not so sure it'd get used for dining though.


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Until I can respond in detail-may I say that you are all terrific!!

Fal Parsi -Pure Fool


 o
RE: 1885 Victorian-Kitchen Needs Your help!

Darn, all the names that resonate are always taken. :)

So, Fal, the dining room is a very nice sized room with great architecture, lovely views to the garden, and pretty light streaming in. And a table. So far IT's sounding wonderful.

You haven't explained a single asset the "mudroom" has to develop except some nice undeveloped space. It looks like it has doors/windows on opposite walls? If left is west, does this mean the lower wall of the mudroom faces south? In any case, that's a dead end space. Family will be drawn there if you get something nice from it that you don't get from another room. Right?

ITM, until that special quality begging to be developed is revealed, I'm really liking your option #3--table in the kitchen, storage/ancillary kitchen functions in space taken from the mudroom. The social life around a table IN the kitchen is special, and it seems you've enjoyed having it. It would also be in keeping with the age of your house.

Lining up the doors to allow all 3 rooms to benefit from the lovely afternoon view sounds wonderful. Would that allow a good layout with a central table? I'm not quite sure where the door would move; your May 25 diagram places it left rear?

The mud room may feel separate, but most of it's no more distant than a good portion of many large kitchens posted here. I really like the idea of using some mud room space to keep the kitchen relatively simple and open for work and casual dining. For instance, you'd want everything you use every day in the kitchen, but everything that is not could be close by in a beautifully and very efficiently design kitchen adjunct through the doorway. This would enable doing away with many, or possibly even all, of the upper cabinets to create a nicely spacious feel to the main kitchen. The idea would be to create both a very good place to work and very good place for family and friends to gather around the table.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here