The kitchen of this 1890’s Victorian home, on the National Register of Historic Places, didn’t fit the needs of the clients or match the historic flavor of the home. Remodeled in the 1970’s, the kitchen was poorly designed, in disrepair, and lacked adequate storage. Generally, the owners wanted to keep with the current floor plan of the kitchen, including space for an eat-in table.
The architect decided on a pre-WWII design style with modern updates. The entire kitchen was gutted, and the awkward furr-downs that hid the air conditioning ducts were reorganized. The outdated cabinets were replaced with new face framed cabinets topped with crown molding. New open storage surrounds the range and sink. The kitchen is illuminated by period sconces over the farmhouse sink and window niche, pendant lights throughout the room, and under cabinet lighting. Carrera marble counters and off-white subway tiles in the backsplash contribute to the austere, clean period look.
In order to maximize storage opportunities, new shallow tower cabinets were built on either side of the original kitchen window. The cabinets next to the exterior door function as a kids’ drop zone while those on the other side of the window provide much needed dish storage. A window seat, built of long leaf pine to match the table, provides extra seating as needed. An original brick vertical element from a former wood burning stove remains next to the range, and the Saltillo tile from the 1970’s remodel goes well with the new look.
As might be expected with a more than a century old home, there were plenty of repairs that had to be addressed before the work was able to progress. Additional blocking was added to the home’s original balloon framing. Spaces were sealed where rodents and insects were entering. The original double hung window was rebuilt and the ropes and counter weights were repaired. The hardware of the transoms above the doors was replaced and repaired. Plumbing was reorganized and upgrades to the electrical system were made. New fiberglass insulation was added in the walls and floor.
The family is enjoying the updated kitchen with its enhanced cabinetry, display shelves, and storage for kids’ gear. Once mismatched and tired, the kitchen is now an inspired space with plenty of room to create meals, gather, and spend family time together.