Tips and Tricks for Creating the Old House Kitchen

Shannon Lee

When you are creating or restoring a masterpiece of yesteryear, the modern appliances and layout of today's kitchens can become a serious sticking point in your perfect home restoration. When remodeling the old house kitchen, it is important to stay true to the feel and era of the house while allowing for all the modern conveniences you deserve.

Old House Perfection Starts in the Kitchen

Although stoking a wood fire in the stove or drawing water from a well is probably not going to be part of your old house experience, finding that balance between the nostalgic and the new is crucial to the authenticity of your home. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track:

  • Reproduction appliances are a great way to ensure that you keep the look of an old house kitchen but still have all the modern conveniences at your fingertips. Restored appliances are also an option for those who have larger budgets and prefer to be as authentic as possible.
  • Avoid solid cabinets with doors and instead opt for open cabinets and shelves. Use period jars and containers to hold the staple foods you use on a regular basis. If you need added storage, consider a walk-in butler's pantry with shelves from floor to ceiling. You can also use an antique icebox for storage.
  • Instead of a kitchen island, use an old-fashioned worktable instead. You can often pick them up at estate sales or antique shops for a song, and you can finish the top with a piece of glass to protect the wood and prevent the spread of bacteria when you use the table as a countertop work surface.
  • Choose wooden floors or linoleum that harken back to the early days with historical patterns and colors. If you choose wood, seek out reclaimed wood that offers both environmental friendliness and the fine scuffs and marks that scream authenticity.
  • Don't forget the small details that bring that old-fashioned feel to your kitchen. Hit the salvage shops to find the perfect farmhouse sink, those old faucets that look perfect with it, and the doorknobs that were new and modern when your old house was first built. If you can't find what you need there, look to manufacturers that specialize in reproductions.

The goal in creating the perfect old house kitchen is to combine authenticity with modern conveniences. Find as many original period pieces as you can, and then turn to reproductions to complete the rest. With a little research into what your old house looked like in its heyday, you can return it to its original glory.


About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

Search Improvement Project