May 7, 2024

Designing a Period Kitchen to Complement a Historic House

Welcome to being the new steward of a historic home. You know that the charm of the past can act as both a blessing and a curse. You own a piece of history, but ensuring it thrives in the 21st century often turns into an intricate task, especially in the heart of your home: the kitchen.

Designing a period kitchen requires a good grasp of historical styles, tones and colors, and a keen attention to detail. It's all about finding balance - incorporating old-world charm without compromising modern utility.

Whether your Tampa area home is Victorian, Colonial, or an early 20th-century bungalow, there are style considerations for every era. Our team at The Cabinet Chic is here to help you every step of the way in designing the perfect cabinetry and millwork that fits the period your house was built.  

historic style white kitchen

Color Schemes: Drawing Inspiration from Historic Palettes

When drawing inspiration from the historic palettes for your vintage kitchen, remember that your aim should be to create a setting that is warm, and welcoming, and represents the time in which the house was built.  

Historic color schemes often included a mix of vibrant, eccentric colors along with milder, muted tones. These, when used judiciously, can give the kitchen an eclectic yet cohesive look:  

  • Vibrant Victorian: In Victorian times, fashions favored rich, saturated colors. To incorporate these into a Victorian-style kitchen, consider painting the walls in a bold hue like cobalt blue or emerald green, offset by crisp white trim. Consider including patterned wallpaper, which was a popular choice in Victorian kitchens.
  • Colonial Charm: Olive green, rust red, and mustard yellow were commonly used colors in Colonial kitchens. These shades can provide a warm, homey feel to a colonial-style kitchen. Using duller versions of these shades can also lend an antique look to the space.
  • Eclectic Edwardian: The Edwardian era was all about soft, light hues that air a touch of romance. Experiment with pastel shades of blue, green, or peach.
  • The Versatile Farmhouse: For a farmhouse-style kitchen, choose the timeless combination of white or cream with natural hues such as brown and green, inspired by the outdoors. The addition of shiplap walls or exposed beams can further intensify the rustic aesthetic. Complete the look with open shelving!
  • Retro Throwback: If your house hails from the '50s or '60s, reflect the vibrant pop culture of these decades in your kitchen. Use bold, complementary colors like bright reds, teals, or yellows. To punctuate the look, you could go for appliances with a distinctly retro style and patterned tiles are a beautiful accent.  

By understanding the color palettes from various architectural periods, you can create a visually satisfying kitchen that not only fits within your historical home but also reflects your taste and style. And we LOVE color around here!!

Go Colorful > Beautifully Unique Cabinet Colors

Good Bones: Incorporating Period Features in Your Custom Kitchen

Imagine walking into a traditional 19th-century kitchen. The sight of a beautifully carved sideboard catches your eye, offering convenient storage and a generous surface for food preparation. Opposite stands a sturdy cupboard housing the finest China and crockery. Elsewhere, a hutch provides additional storage, displaying the engraved tinware, and to its side, there's a pantry for supplies.

When redesigning a vintage kitchen, particularly one within a Victorian or Georgian home, it's important to keep in mind some of the original architectural elements.  

  • Elements like elaborate scrolls, corbels, dentil molding, carved pilasters, and Cathedral arch doors are all synonymous with the Victorian era and can add a touch of authenticity to your design.  
  • Georgian-styled homes on the other hand, usually have matte painted cabinets with matching walls. Earlier styles favored dark colors, while later styles used grays, beiges, and even sky blues. Corbel and a mantel over the stove are also synonymous with the Georgian style as well.  

While maintaining historical accuracy is important, your goal should be to design a timeless kitchen that sits comfortably with the architectural style of the house, rather than trying to reproduce a replica of an 18th or 19th-century kitchen. Remember, kitchens from those periods bear little resemblance to the ones we know and love (not to mention, function well) today.  

Chic Inspiration > Creating a Stylish Scullery

white historic styled kitchen with modern accents

Consider Cabinetry Styles

When designing your period kitchen, it's essential to consider cabinetry styles that reflect the feel of an era gone by. One significant characteristic of a historic home is the absence of long runs of cabinets. Instead, kitchen "cabinets" of yesteryears were often freestanding furniture pieces.  

What does this mean for your period kitchen design? It's time to think about variation. Embrace an array of styles from French Country to Swedish Inspired, European to Eclectic Vintage. Explore the idea that not all the cabinets in your kitchen need to tango to the same tune.  

We can help you blend the old with the new by outfitting your kitchen with custom-made hutches, sideboards, and tailored cabinets that come together in seamless harmony. Plus, they will stand the test of time even 50 to 100 years from now.  

P.S. Don’t forget about materials. Hardwoods, such as oak or mahogany, can lend an ageless charm to many styles and eras.

Beautifully Bringing it All Together  

No matter what period your house falls into, embracing its quintessential features while incorporating modern conveniences can transform your kitchen into a timeless culinary haven.  

In the intricate world of period kitchen design, remember that your goal should be to balance aesthetics with modern necessities, thus creating a space that pays tribute to the past while thriving in the present and the future.

rustic styled historic kitchen with hanging pots

Timeless Style to Your Historic Kitchen

Creating a period kitchen that complements a historic house requires a careful balance of design and quality craftsmanship. At The Cabinet Chic, our team of designers and craftsmen is experienced in blending traditional styles with modern functionality.  

From intricate Victorian millwork to the clean lines of mid-century modern design, we can tailor cabinetry, built-ins, and furniture to suit your unique space and aesthetic preferences.  

Let us help you transform your kitchen into a timeless masterpiece that enhances the beauty and character of your historic home. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin designing your dream period kitchen!

“The work of C&C cabinets is incredible. They can make any cabinet dreams a reality. Highly recommend!”    - Seleena N.
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