Bringing Your Victorian Kitchen To Life

It’s all in the details in a Victorian kitchen.  The timeless elegance of a Victorian style kitchen is really held together by the details; the small authentic touches to decoration.  And decoration is something that Victorian kitchens have in spades. M ore than the similar Georgian or old-fashioned kitchen.  Still Victorian kitchen designs have a utility to them that makes them especially appealing to busy professionals and families alike.  The Victorian kitchen has the best of both worlds, unique design elements and useful design.  Some of the stylistic details include scrolls and corbels, moldings and carved pilasters.

If you’re picturing an almost frightening gothic style twisting pilaster and arched entryways and cabinets take a deep breath, that intensity level has been curtailed in recent years.

Modern Victorian kitchens tend to feature:

  • A simple and clean island table
  • Freestanding ornate and sleek glassware cabinet
  • A range stove
  • Cream and white colored cabinets with teak or other dark wood accents
  • Overhead racks for pots and pans

Indeed, you may say that Victorian kitchens today look quite similar to a contemporary style kitchen.  That being said, if you want to pump up the Victorian features you certainly may by taking out built-in furniture pieces like cabinets and replacing them with freestanding pieces and you can do this on a budget.  The reason this is a very traditionally Victorian stylistic choice is that back in the 1800’s they didn’t have built-in cabinets, they had furniture that provided the necessary tabletop work space.  Today it is not uncommon to see old classic bureaus used as kitchen island in a “modern” Victorian style kitchen.  This type of furniture is well built, has all the classic designs, and adds a wonderful accent to the kitchen.

Of course, we don’t recommend taking out your cabinetry.  Built-in cabinetry is quite a useful invention and it is easy and possible to make your kitchen Victorian without tearing them out.  Other classically Victorian style furniture pieces you may want to consider adding:

  • A kitchen dresser
  • A larder or pantry
  • A central workspace table

As for flooring there are four options: wood, linoleum, cork or ceramic/stone.  Wood flooring wasn’t favored in Victorian kitchens until late in the Victorian period.  Linoleum was favored in more upscale Victorian kitchens and was popular due to how easy it was to clean.  Not many people think of cork flooring when they think of Victorian kitchens, but it’s still true that they were a popular choice at the time and a green choice now because it’s made of recycled material.  Ceramic and stone floors are hardly surprising and are popular choices nowadays for old-fashioned kitchens but they aren’t specifically Victorian.  Of course one drawback to ceramic and stone floors is that they can be hard on the joints whereas the other options tend to offer more cushioning.  Something to think about if you spend a lot of time standing in the kitchen.

So the long and the short of it is this; Victorian kitchens are not old and boring, and if you need to liven yours up, dig deep, do some research and find a way to add your own personal touches.  Have fun with it!

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About Katey

I am a writer in my late forties, my interest is the rapidly changing world of women, and how those changes affect them and their relationships - relationships with their friends, family, work mates and even the person they pass on the street. Everyone has life experiences; I reveal some of mine, talk about some of yours, and share my observations and what I have learned. I love to hear from you: your comments, your questions and even column requests and ideas. Email me at hart.katey@yahoo.com
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