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Modern or Transi-Traditional Cabinets in an 1886 Space?

sw1347
13 years ago

I own a small 1886 Queen Anne Parlor Apt. with 11 foot high ceilings and overpowering dark woodwork and half mooned stained glass windows. I have purchased very nice ss appliances for the place, miele w&d, dw, small bluestar range, northland fridge. This is really quite a small installation of cabinetry that is going with the appliances.

My final quandry is what to do about the cabinet color. This 120 year old wood work which includes a mirror and paneling around the windows with carved lions on each side of the mirror and wooden shutters is dark--purplish dark. One could strip it back to natural which would take it to a tannish oak, but in my case it's so intricate I am not considering doing this at this point.

So I am putting in a new state of the art kitchen in a space designed for Herman and Lilly Munster to talk about Eddie's bad report card...How does one reconcile this. There are a few top-flight architects in the neighborhood who . Some say..."try to tie things together somehow or you may regret it" while others say "Tradition be damned, full-steam ahead Rudolph. If you want something that's ultra modern then go for it. Just be precise and avoid cheeziness."

To be sure, the issue of mixing old and new is a constant theme in urban architecture, but here, we have to live with it in the same room. Specifically, one could say "whatever you do don't compete with that old wood or else everything will be compromised. No more wood--whatever you do!". Or the conservative approach would be "put some simple shaker-transitional cabinets in you guessed it, er, natural-cherry in and be done with it."

I honestly am on the fence. A close drawing of the kitchen is included at the end of this post. It's situated at the back of the room over looking the woodwork and windows, but it is right next to it in a lot of ways too.

Realizing that this will never be the Taj Mahal, I want to make a wise choice. Comments, suggestions. The choices are Natural Maple, Cherry, Oak, Thermofoil, Painted Wood etc. Been hooked on slab cabinets but not locked in. I don't think I can swing anything really exotic or expensive, but the order has not been finalized yet, so I know I can count on a few readers out there to give honest, un-adulterated advice or criticism. Honesty is all I seek. Cheers, SW1347


http://photos.gardenweb.com/home/galleries/2007/09/microkitchen_plan.html?cat=my_favorite_room

Comments (33)

  • sarschlos_remodeler
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Do you have any pictures of the space? Not having seen the space, my inclinitation would be to use painted cabinets in a simple style without a lot of raised panels and stay away from wood. Go for a traditional counter top -- soapstone, marble (or something that looks like it), or tiles. They are fairly timeless, and a beaded inset would look lovely in that style house. I am of the opinion that it would be best to work with the style and age of the house. You don't need to live in a time warp, but if you go too modern/transitional, you will have something that is jarring and out of place.

  • socalthreems
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am very intrigued, but pictures would help. Is it possible for you to include both pics of the space as well as pics of the room the kitchen will overlook? I know it would help me really get the feel of the old wood you are dealing with.

    Also, what is YOUR style? If it was all up to you and there was no competing woodwork to contend with, what would you lean toward?

    And lastly, what style furniture do you have (or intend to have) in this space? I think that you could do a modern sleek kitchen even with the neat antique wood accents in the rest of the house if your furniture, etc, tipped it's hat to both styles. If, however, all the furniture in the room is complementary in style and feel to the old woodwork, then I would probably try to stay consistent with that in the kitchen.

    This is just my two cents. I personally like a more eclectic look to a space, with modern touches and antiques mixed. There's a chance that it could end up looking hodge-podgy, but I think with quality finishes and clean lines, that won't happen.

    As for the layout, I will leave that for others on this forum who have more good advice in that area. I noted that you do have your w/d in the kitchen area, and I assume there is no other location for them. Have they always been there? Will storage be an issue for you? I look forward to what the other GW's have to say - the advice is always so good!

    Good luck! I hope others have more input.

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  • antiquesilver
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree with the above posters. Plain cabinets w/flat panels painted a light color & perhaps a soapstone countertop. Proper scale is important here. Whatever you do needs to blend seamlessly with the house instead of competing with it. Chances are you could never match the existing woodwork (& if you could, it might be too dark & museum-like to live with) so let the original trim be the star & let the cabinets fade into the background. Just my 2 cents.

  • vjrnts
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think going ultra-contemporary would be a mistake, but then I'm a big preservationist. It sounds like you have something unique and amazing, if a ittle overwhelming; I would stay with something traditional, but low-key.

  • fnzzy
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "So I am putting in a new state of the art kitchen in a space designed for Herman and Lilly Munster to talk about Eddie's bad report card."

    that cracked me up!!! But yes, I think I'd need some pics. is this similar in style to what you have??

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:1979344}}

  • Buehl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree w/others...pictures please! Depending on what the connecting decor is like, I also lean toward painted cabinets for you.

    As to the layout...tough space storage-wise. Do you have storage for dishes anywhere else (maybe cabinet in DR)? From what I can tell, you need as much cabinetry (or pantry space) as you can get. All I see right now is the two wall cabinets flanking the range hood, possible narrow pantry to right of refrigerator, and the base cabinet against the bathroom wall...but some of that is taken up by plumbing.

    Just to throw out other options, how would you feel about cabinets over the peninsula/island? If you had glass doors on both sides you would still get some of the open feeling.

  • sw1347
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for all the great comments. I include a very old picture of the window and mirror structures to give you an idea. There is a person in the photo (not me) to give you some perspective. Unlike the picture that buffettgirl submitted (thank you), the scale of what is here is quite compressed: big elements in a small space while trying to jam modern kitchen in the back of the room.

    I don't think I am questioning the "keep it flat and simple" mantra everyone is repeating. It's really the color. The furniture can be changed. The furniture in the picture is not there now and I do have a sort of quasi-victorian couch, but I probably need to trade this in for something a little more compact and neutral once this whole thing is done. Socalthreems makes some excellent points about furniture tipping the balance.

    Many years after this picture was taken I put in an alabaster cupped antique chandelier. Now I am actually thinking of selling this and putting in MR16 recessed housings and a new ceiling. The picture is good in a way to illustrate my point because it's in bw--it shows off the sheer "iconic" mass of the wood elements quite well. Maybe if I were to light these well from above and put in some a clean, properly scaled couch/chair I would be ok with some type of slab door kitchen. The other thing I have too much of are turkmen rugs which I collect. These can pretty much go with anything, but that's another reason to light the space up well.

    To address vjrnts's concerns, yes this would be radically changing the room to destroy existing plaster crown molding etc, but to make the room liveable I have to make some hard choices and would like to lighten it up. As it stands now, granpa munster really could either be swingin' (or hanging for that matter upside down) from my old chandelier which doesn't really light the place that well. There is an isomer of this house which is single family owned where the owner really went all out and preserved everything and restored as much as he could. But even he ended up putting a steel I beam on the ground floor and making a big kitchen-great room out of it. This neighborhood is historically zoned, so we are regulated on anything to do with the facade--so don't worry even if I wanted to I couldn't touch those big window structures you see in the picture.

    I guess I am still inkling to go gloss-slab-thermofoil (maybe light grey or cream~ to keep it light), but am now ready for the next round of comments (if any) to save me from doing something so rash. Yes, it very well may end up looking like a conceirge desk in Helsinki if I'm not careful--horizontal wenge will be tomorrow's period finish of course. To some degree I think this is unavoidable no matter what one does...:)

    One note on the kitchen drawing, for the nice person who noticed. Yes, the washer and dryer are ill-placed and have been moved. They are stacked now all the way to the left and I have 18" landings next to the stove on either side with a lot more under cabinet space. And yes, there is a consideration on another wall for more storeage etc., but am trying to keep this focused on the wood/paint/melamine debate. Thanks to everyone again, your comments are really helping quite a bit. I hope the body of your comments can help others as well

    Here is a link that might be useful: Large wood-glass Elements in front of room

  • Buehl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    There are actually two people in the photo...one on the sofa and one on the mat on the floor!

    Now that I see the picture, I'm not as sure about painted or flat/slab cabinets. I think your decor calls for something a little more formal than slab and paint; a door w/some detailing that compliments the rest of the house...but I could be wrong. I do have a preference for doors w/more detail.

    Have you looked at the Finished Kitchens Blog? There are many painted as well as stained cabinets and the same for door style.

    Here is a link that might be useful: FKB Cabinets

  • soshh
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am dealing with a similar issue in my house, though my woodwork is not nearly as ornate as what is pictured. I would keep the cabinets simple, but not do thermofoil.

    My first thought is for the base cabs, do a distressed painted finish, so some dark wood shows through. It could be a dark cream (look at Farrow and Ball off whites/creams for inspiration, they happen to be quite dark) or muddy gray/green, off black, whatever. The big issue is that they look worn. For counter think of how it may have been back then. I could see stainless tops which would wear beautifully. Maybe with a wood edging to match the cabs. I have a pic in a book KITCHENS by Chris Casson Madden that has a kitchen with stainless tops trimmed in wood, with a black marble splash. GORGEOUS! For the upper cabs I would do unfitted, unless it was a full height unit. This would give you an opportunity to play around with different finishes.

    I go for the eclectic myself and that's what I can see working for you. You could even through in some more modern stainless shelving for contrast. Look at This Old House, there is a kitchen with a tin ceiling and unfit cabs. Keep looking wherever you can for inspiration and you will figure it out. But, use real materials, they will prove to be more timeless than anything thermofoil.

  • histokitch
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    For what it's worth, I'll throw my hat in the ring. I have a masters in historic preservation, so it definitely colors my view. I feel, strongly, that every inhabitant of a space has a right to define it and leave his or her mark. The house is interesting as it changes over time. Change keeps the structure alive. I'm guessing that your kitchen is being added to a part of the house that was not the original kitchen. An original Victorian kitchen in a house of this stature would have been very plain and functional in appearance. I cannot tell you what to do with your space, but I can tell you what I will be doing with mine. My house is 1895 (a younger girl). My kitchen opens into a dark paneled room. I have gargoyles on the outside of my house (!). I will be putting in gray painted inset cabinets with stainless counters and marble backsplash. I will have modern appliances clearly exposed. I am not a huge fan of hiding appliances. The original kitchen in my house would have looked basic and functional. I'm hoping I can achieve the same thing in my house, just basic with expensive materials. As far as how to tie it together, your kitchen is clearly a separate mini unit within the house. Use rich materials, and I think what you do will stand the test of time. As socialthreems recommended, pay close attention to the furniture. I would probably paint the walls white, use large artwork, ornate oriental rugs, and a mix of types of furniture. It's an exciting project. Go with your gut. It's your space.

  • rosie
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've been watching for Histokitch to come in with some good input on this one. I love old homes and ry appreciate her statement that change helps keep a structure alive.

    If the kitchen isn't discretely tucked away from view, integrating some of the richness of the parlor into its design may well be needed as part of an integration; and after all, the cook's now the master of the house, not a servant. Definitely a sea change.

    It sounds like you will not be painting the woodwork, so perhaps painting the walls a harmonizing midvalue and using a version of that on the cabinets? (Personally, if it were mine, since it's not a large space, the woodwork is rather overwhelming instead of just gorgeous, and the kitchen needs to be integrated, I'd paint the entire thing end-to-end top-to-bottom in a creamy white or some basically monochrome set of colors. That'd lighten, enlarge, and by itself 90%-integrate the different elements very nicely.)

    Whatever you end up doing, though, IMO you should stay way away from Thermofoil-type surfaces.

    Please keep posting here. This is going to be fun to watch.

  • amanda_t
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    What a pretty room and what a unique challenge. I love Histokitch's remarks about leaving your mark on the house.

    I'll tell you my honest opinon: nix the gloss-thermo slab doors. That's really more about my personal taste than anything, although I happen to think that, even though they are not ornate, the look would compete with your woodwork and glass. Also, I would not select anything "distressed." I think it is beyond incongruous to install something that pretends to be old within a home with so much historical context. As Histokitch pointed out, this probably would not have been the original kitchen space, and I can't think of any reason to pretend as though it was by using artificially aged materials.

    I love natural wood slab doors, and can see those working very well. But the first thing I thought of when I read your post was this kitchen I saw the other day. I don't know if it would "fit" in your layout or not, but it is essentially a kitchen concealed within custom furniture pieces.

    I hope you'll keep us up with what you decide! I love historic homes. Good luck!

    Here is a link that might be useful: English kitchen

  • mindstorm
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I guess I am still inkling to go gloss-slab-thermofoil (maybe light grey or cream~ to keep it light)

    This is PRECISELY what I was thinking reading your first note! so I'm glad to read that you're considering it too. High gloss & probably pale colored. Depending on the colors etc. white, gray, cream, pale blue. A dark color - wenge (which I love) included - will add dreariness and not weight to the room if there is a lot of dark wood in the rest of the room already. Pale will will feel restful and play off the weight woodwork already present.

    However, whatever colour you do choose should play well with the woodwork and remember that pale blue and dark brown are very in as far as color combinations go. :-)

    I love histokitch's commentary and loved this particular statement: I feel, strongly, that every inhabitant of a space has a right to define it and leave his or her mark. The house is interesting as it changes over time. Change keeps the structure alive.. I have no formal education in architecture or design etc. but it makes me feel really despondent when I hear people say that they renovated an old house in a way that harkens of the age of the house itself. To me that says stagnation, dead, sans evolution etc. An old house with old architectural elements that are kept but embellished/augmented with a modern hand says that you like the space so much that you want to bring it with you through the ages. Of course, people are free to do what they want to to their space but I just wanted to join histokitch in saying that don't be afraid to insert a modern look into an older context.

    BTW, for just another inspiration - can you get a hold of the latest Met Home magazine? There is a picture of a Boston home that was renovated by an architect couple (both into modern architecture) who fell in love with the 1880s (1780s? don't recall) architecture of the house they purchased and did a renovation that kept or even in some cases, restored the old architectural features, but inserted their contemporary aesthetic in it. One of my favorite pictures in there is of the kitchen area - they kept the inbuild cabinets which are very ornate and reminiscent of yours and put in a light colored kitchen otherwise. Interesting to say the least - the kitchen may be bigger than yours but it wasn't big by any means. Take a look and see what you think of it - their story is so much like yours.

  • kitchendetective
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    What a knock-out of a space! I would like to see as many light and reflective surfaces in the kitchen area as possible because, as much as I love spaces like yours, I also get claustrophobic when cooking in them. For that reason, I love histokitch's suggestion of stainless counters and marble backsplashes. I would also like upper cabinets to have as much glass as possible in them, and appliances to be stainless or glass/stainless combination (e.g. fridge, if possible). I'd like the bottom cabs to integrate with your existing cabinets color-wise and style-wise, which means dark also, maybe inset, with locker-style hardware (I'm not sure of the name for it). I would hope that with all the light and reflective surfaces, the dark wood would not be too overpowering. I would also like to extract a promise from you that you'll sign in every now and then and let us all see photos because this one is so exciting.

  • sarschlos_remodeler
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Love that space. I agree -- painted cabs are a must in this space. I would also consider doing a mix of cabs and furniture style pieces to blend in the more modern while giving a nod to the house's origins.

    You might want to check out some of the pictures on these sites:

    Plato Woodworks -- I like the blue-gray kitchen for your space.

    Rejuvenation

    Crown Point

    Plain & Fancy

    I would also recommend that you go through the Finished Kitchens Blog, Kitchens We Love, and check out mnhockeymom's recent thread with pictures of her finished kitchen -- an excellent example of mixing different finishes, materials, door styles and old-new.

    As for that beautiful old woodwork -- if I were you I would leave the woodwork natural -- but I would have it stripped and refinished in a lighter tone to bring it back to its true glory, and bring lighter materials/colors in with painted cabinets, light colors on the walls, simple light fixtures. Given the age of your house, you should consider looking at some pretty but simple wallpapers for your fabulous parlor that will compliment but not compete with the woodwork. Again, look at the pretty wallpaper in mnhockeymom's dining room -- I think she said it was a stained grasspaper. Gives dimension and texture while being subtle.

    Good luck and keep us posted. I would love to have your space to play with!

  • antiquesilver
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    That woodwork & mirror - oh, to have that mirror - make for a truly spectacular room & a real challenge to make it work as a kitchen. With 11' ceilings & large, ornate trim, the trick (IMO) is to have the cabinets built to the same scale, preferably with some small detail that mimics the original. Are there any original, utilitatian cabinets or doors in the building from which to draw inspiration?

    I have a similar situation in that I have 11' ceilings in a 1858 Greek Revival & I put a kitchen in one of the formal rooms. My old woodwork is plain & painted white, but it is VERY large & I wanted the kitchen to keep the feel of the house without screaming that it is new. I had a local guy build cabinets to the ceiling on one side & to 10' on the other - he, DH, & quite a few friends said I was crazy. Mine are painted with milkpaint (I liked the flatness & 'not-too-perfect look of it) & my appliances are stainless with a copper backsplash. It looks timeless & I think it will age gracefully with the house.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing yours as it progresses.

  • sw1347
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    A lot of very interesting information from the last posts! I am really impressed and touched by everyone's generousity and knowledge.

    The apartment behind me was the dining room and it contains what the present owner calls the "butler's pantry". In this apartment, the a galley kitchen has been fitted right into the place where I suppose served meals were staged for consumption in the dining room. The room I am dealing with doesn't have any such nook. I think it was made into an apartment in the 40's or some such time. To make matters more complicated, the original houses had an alley where carriages went. That alley way was then turned into the foyer. The apartment conversion actually took one of those large wood elements (not pictured as the camera is seated underneath it) and hacked it in half--ouch! It doesn't look that bad, but it kind of disappears into plaster wall.

    My reaction to everyone's comments are that there are a lot of good ones! One of the main things that strikes me is that this large wood work can not be marginalized in any way. It's one thing when a museum dissassembles something and displays it as a "facade fragment", but here, there is no escaping it's wrath. Histokitch mentioned gargoyles on the outside of her house--you can't see it in the picture, but above the bike wheel there is a gargoyle (all four canine teeth and 4 upper and lower incisors perfectly intact). There are 2 of these, which hopefully won't become unpetrified if I were to put something awful in the kitchen.

    I think that there is a lot to be said for avoiding more natural wood--I thought of white maple, but it would look gross and too bleached. I think I would concurr with many who are urging some sort of creme-cheese-light-butter-eggyshell-on-a-bagel color. In this scenario the point of using thermofoil is mute--you accomplish the same thing by using a really high quality finish like this. As for glossy--well, it might be better saved for some place else. The important thing is that it helped get the idea in place to avoid anything to "weigh down" the small kitchen space. I am probably also in agreement about not using distress-signal-antique treatments on anycabinets. I don't need any fake wormholes in this place, although...it's if I were a designer with a lot of experience in how to execute this I would be in a different position to try it, but I'm not.

    A few people mentioned white marble backsplashes--interesting. A victorian kitchen would have been a simple affair back in the day because it was basically a place where trod upon staff members were pleasing their employers. White marble was used quite a bit as were half clam door handles, and oaky-hoosier like cabinets as well. Putting in white marble tile might be an acceptable decorative not to the past there. I probably would use some typ of low maint. quartz counter top for the main work areas. As long as the color works I am not worried about much else. I can't see dark cabinets anywhere in this equation despite some mention of it. I do think I might ease off the "go slab or stay home" mentality though. A simple wide shaker inlay or what some manufacturers call "Wide Stickley" (essentially the same as shaker) might be a candidate with the appropriate finish--But nothing imatative or close to what's already there in the paneling. The shaker pattern might just be the integrative ticket a lot of you are looking for.

    The other option is to try and stay with a light color but stay modern. The comments regarding "lots of light reflective surfaces" are well taken. There is going to be a lot of silvery SS from the laundry, fridge, range, DW. One expensive thought was SS slabs. One thing is for certain as histokitch alluded too: rich materials will kind of mollify the time wrinkes to some degree especially when the materials contrast each other such as metal and wood--probably too expensive.

    And to close soon, I was ecstatic about amanda_t's link to the English Kitchen pictures. I see a lot of American kitchens I don't like becuase they seem overdone or unrestrained in composition--but that's a whole different thread:) These guys, however, really look like they know what they are doing. If there is anything that is a strong vote for keep it light, restrained, simple and elegant this gallery gets it done! Thanks again, I will try to get some pictures back up when I have something interesting to show.

    Here is a link that might be useful: English Kitchen Rebroadcast!

  • goutgrec
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have a different view. I don't believe in fighting architecture.

    If you were doing a gut remodel of the entire space and just leaving a few elements then I could see the stainless and more modern things.

    Leaving most of the woodwork and windows, though is another matter. In that case I would blend, simplify and pay very close attention to materials. The fewer the better since there's already a lot going on. I'd opt for wood finish cabinets and probably marble -- the Victorian furniture look essentially.

    It will be interesting to see what you eventually decide.

  • soshh
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Question for Histokitch: with your gray cabs and marble, will you paint the trim in your kitchen or leave it the natural, presumably dark wood?

    I ask because our kitchen will be in a new space off the dining room. I have been going back and forth as to whether I should do painted cabs and maintain the dark trim or not. (The trim will stay natural throughout the first floor otherwise, the originally we think it was painted and a PO stripped and refinished it all.)

    Also, the distressing I am referring to is more subtle than the wormhole look. Perhaps I am not using the correct terminology. If I can link a pic I will. The Kitchen I was referring to had more of a glazed laquered cabinetry with very luxurious look as opposed to rustic. Just not the same as the woodwork to avoid competing with it.

  • sarschlos_remodeler
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If you like the English kitchens, you should look at pirula's kitchen.

    Pirula's Kitchen

  • histokitch
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Soshh--My kitchen was stripped bare and reinstalled with light slab cabinets. I think it's jarring sharing space with the dark wood paneling and shelves in the open family room. The minimal trim in the kitchen is painted white. I think that my current kitchen very much fights with the house. The kitchen I'll be putting in, with materials and styles (inset shaker doors) that are natural to the time period incorporated with modern appliances that are not, will be a more harmonious member of the house. I have a strong personal distaste for fake old stuff, but that doesn't make it the wrong choice for some people. I certainly do it enough for clients!

  • soshh
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    So does that mean the trim color will be consistent with the trim in your library and rest of your house?

    I also want my kitchen to blend harmoniously with my house, but I don't want it to be too museum like or heavy, which my Spanish/Colonial/Mission/eclectic house can be. That's why we want to do a combo of painted and stained cabinets in the kitchen.

  • beachmusic
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Grey/green painted cabinets with Calcutta marble may work nicely. Depending on how much counterspace you have, marble and stainless steel could both be utilized. The grey/green shade would work well with the existing carved woodwork, and wouldn't be a jarring element in the space (like white thermafoil for instance)visually. Black could be used as an accent color. Good luck with that cool space!

  • mindstorm
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    sw1347, I'm confused by your last post. Are you trying to instruct the responders on how to design for your room? Or are you restating what you understood. 'coz the last post sure reads like you're instructing and critiquing/grading the responses.

    Bottom line: it's your space, do whatever the heck you want to do to it.

  • sw1347
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi mindstorm, yes it's easy to minsconstrue something from a communication forum such as this, and I take my share of responsibility where it is due--sorry if my post offended. My response was to 1)offer thanks to those that responded and 2)outline some of the ones that made sense/didn't make sense to me. Each post is important and of course re-reading something a week later might elicit an "ahah moment" that might not have registered at first glance. It seems the question I posed did get some interest and I was simply sharing the enthusiasm back--unfortunately sometimes passion does overshadow decorum, but I think (at least hope) everyone takes this forum for what it is--a great place for the TKO public to share ideas (not just color options) that they are passionate about. One of the reasons I decided to do this was because I thought it was interesting and that others might get some knowledge from it. Thanks again for your post regarding this and the feedback.

  • terible
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love how the wall tiles in this picture would tie-in the wood work in your home. The base cabinets are also very unique with colored fabric behind the lazor cut doors.

    Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen

  • mindstorm
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hmm, I'm still not quite sure from your latest response whether your intent is to extricate an aesthetically suitable plan for your space or to give others knowledge and artful criticism, but that doesn't really matter.
    If you have any interest in designing a kitchen for your home and marrying a modern element into the room, I still say take a look at the Met Home article - the folks did precisely what you stated at some point that you were deliberating and with large victorian elements in their home, to boot. However, if that particular English kitchen catches your fancy, forget the Met-Home suggestion; there is not very much about the kitchen you linked that seems simple and restrained to me although I'm sure it is very attractive.

    Good luck with your project. This is the fun part - you establish what your home wants from you and you learn something about yourself in the bargain.

  • malhgold
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mindstorm - I was intrigued by the Met Home article so I ran out to take a look myself. I absolutely love that kitchen!!! That is the look I am trying to go for. A mix of new and old. The layout is very cool as well, but obviously that was meant for this space.

    sw137 - this sounds like it might fit the bill for you.

    I am including links to the kitchen photos and also a layout of the kitchen which might help make the photos more understandeable.



  • socalthreems
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh, I saw that article. It was great - weren't there more pictures though? That is exactly what I meant about marrying old/new - having something eclectic that works - they definitely achieved it without the space seeming incongruous with the rest of the house.

  • DYH
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    What are your kitchen storage needs? You mention that there is a small installation of cabinetry. Have you considered an unfitted kitchen since you like the English kitchens? Finding a painted hutch may give you sufficient storage? Finding a butcherblock table with shelves underneath may give you sufficient prep space? Hanging pots on a wall rack or placing dishes on open shelves can let your architecture still show up well. You may find a sink base that you like. The advantages of unfitted is that it will be less expensive and easily changed later if you like (or if you sell).

    BTW, I like your choices of appliances.

    We didn't put upper cabinets around our range. We use hutches (although made by our cabinetmaker) for dish storage on one side of the sink and another one as a food pantry. You can accomplish the same thing with individual ready-made pieces. We were inspired by English cottage kitchens. I would have loved to have used soapstone but it wasn't available locally at the time we built.

    For example, this glass front Crate and Barrel bookcase (see link) can hold a lot of dishes and/or food. You can paint the back walls a different color or put wallpaper inside, etc. if you want to personalize it. I have an antique bookcase that belonged to my grandfather that we use in our kitchen for cookbooks and a few dishes and serving items.

    Also, take a look at Martha Stewart's kitchen. The tables and cabinets have clean, modern lines, yet the color scheme and open shelving work in an historic setting.

    Just a few thoughts. You have a beautiful parlor that you show in the photo.

    Cameron

    Here is a link that might be useful: think outside traditional cabinets

  • mindstorm
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mahlgold, That's the one! Isn't it cool? Definitely some out-of-the-box thinking in the layout. The close-up of those secretary/china cabinets was so cool that despite my yen for modernism, I'm so glad they didn't trash them. socal, I have the magazine although not with me at the moment, and i think there may be more detail in the article.

  • malhgold
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    There were more pics in the article, but none of the kitchen. I love the rest of the house just as much. I may have to paint all my walls white again(my DH will kill me as that's where I started 13 years ago). One of my favorites is the "ghost chairs" in the kitchen. The first time I saw them was in a different kitchen mag about a year ago. They just are the perfect transition between modern and traditional.
    The OP could use high gloss white cabs and mix in darker pieces if she wanted, or the contrast could just be all the wood that already exists. Great idea wonbyherwits.

    Just thinking out loud about my never finished layout...I could put a sink cabinet run in the middle of a long 18' wall and flank each side with the 2 Crate and Barrel cabs that wonbyherwits linked above. Would sort of give the effect of the china cabs flanking the fireplace and would save me boatloads of $$$$$$.....I could even use the IKEA high gloss cabs....saving more $$$$$$.

  • sw1347
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Unfortunately the newsstands had already changed out the Met Home issues to December last friday so I couldn't look at the paper edition to what mindstorm suggested. Thank you mahlgold for putting up a couple pictures from it. It's really very interesting. At first I thought that this was something that could only be pulled off in a much larger space, but after looking again a couple times over the we, I see that the kitchen is really quite narrow in spaces. The dark wood elements seem really nicely "iced-in" by the white walls etc. which is exactly what I was thinking of. Not sure if this is exactly something I can do, but thanks for the idea...it's very interesting. There is another example of introducing modern kitchen elements into victorian spaces in the current "Dream Kitchens", but it's not interesting as this.
    Wonbyherwits asked about hutches and storeage needs. Of course, I am limited, basically 60 inches total of undercounter space (2x18" on either side of range and a 24" base next to sink) and 30 inches of wall cabinets (2x15" on either side of the hood). The reason this is all so small is the ambition of putting a stacked laundry set on one end of the alcove. Will definitely check out the MS kitchens!:) The thing that was so impressive about the English Kitchen link was the simplicity and scale of the work pictured. I think I keep imagining this space is bigger than it is which is really just wishful thinking!