Create a convincing "turn of the century" style kitchen using salvaged architectural elements and period reproductions like those featured here.
Before the homeowner undertook the year-long renovation of her early-1900's kitchen, she consulted books and periodicals, foraged through salvage companies for antique building elements appropriate to the late-Victorian era, and enlisted the expertise of Gordon B. Sax, an architectural designer specializing in the restoration of 18th- and 19th-century New England dwellings.
Using antique and reproduction building materials similar to those pictured here, you too can re-create a period-style kitchen. The original 10-foot-square kitchen was enlarged by expanding into a former back porch and mudroom. With the exception of a dishwasher and a new gas range modeled after a 1906 woodstove, all modern appliances were concealed in an adjacent pantry.
Honoring the spare layout of many turn-of-the-century kitchens, built-in cabinetry was kept to a minimum. Constructed of poplar, the custom cabinets are fitted with glass-front doors and reproduction hardware from The Renovator's Supply. Latex paint contributes a lustrous finish to the cabinetry walls and ceiling, as well as the new custom-milled window and door trim. A worn wooden chopping block serves as a work island.
The Gilford Surgeon's Scrub-Up Sink -- a deep, vitreous-china commercial sink produced today by Kohler for use in hospitals -- approximates the style of the period. It's outfitted with a vintage-style chrome faucet featuring porcelain handles and a mounted soap dish. The countertops are made of solid surfacing and suggest the look of soapstone.
A dado of white glazed ceramic tiles from Minton Hollins of England bolsters the kitchen's spotless appearance. To prevent the space from appearing too austere, a vintage window with colorful leaded-glass panes, purchased from a salvage company, was installed. New custom-milled maple flooring and rag rugs braided by the homeowner's father also add warmth. Brass lighting fixtures -- including the center ceiling lamp, culled from an old schoolhouse -- provide sparkle.
"The ceiling is fancier than originals would have been," admits Sax. "It resembles those embellishing Victorian parlors." The nine-foot ceiling features stamped-tin pieces from W.F. Norman Corp., which uses original dies dating to their 1892 founding.
While today's replicas capture the style of the period, they also offer the benefit of modern convenience, like the cast-iron cookstove that features such innovations as self-cleaning and convection ovens.
For information on companies offering vintage and period-style building materials, check out Kitchen Details.