The charm of a period kitchen is an enviable feature for any home, creating the kind of authentic welcome that really transforms a property. In fact, it’s hard to think of a design that has stood the test of time better than Period classic, with its origins dating back centuries but with its style still clearly embodied in the modern kitchen.
Whether you’re looking to enhance the existing features in a traditional kitchen or incorporate classic character into a modern living space, we’ve put together a few ideas for you to consider.
1. Be inspired by history
That might be a sentence that sparks a little yawn but actually, there was method in the madness of interior design from yesteryear.
Georgian kitchens are a fabulous reflection of the magnificent architecture of the 1700s, combined with elegant simplicity. Whilst kitchens in most households during this period would have been nothing more than pots over a fire, inspiration can be taken from the interiors of the grand country homes during this time.
A focal point here is key with large appliances providing grand centrepieces framed by a matt-finish paint on one wall. If you’re looking at replicating a Georgian design, don’t be afraid to keep utensils or tableware out of the drawer by storing them in subtle furnishings that hold them proudly within practical reach.
Photo by Parlour Farm
Or if you want to go back a little further, look to take inspiration from the distinctive shaker style of the 18th century, encompassing the basic principles of simplicity, and practicality that were fundamental to the religious sect. Light wood provided an elegant finish to a shaker living space, but it was the functional and versatile properties that made this material so desirable. Whilst maintaining a humble authenticity, nearly every element of this style of kitchen served a function.
Tall wooden tables were a prominent feature allowing for a space-saving solution to meat and vegetable preparation; a feature that has evolved into the ‘island’ present in modern day kitchens. You may be familiar with the shaker style handle which remains on trend centuries after its origin. Think about adding a brass or chrome finish handle to compliment a light wood cabinet.
Whatever the era, don’t be afraid to go exploring!
Photo by deVOL Kitchens
2. In with the old, in with the new
Character is key to a welcoming room. If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen that still has original features, don’t be afraid to embrace them. Exposed brickwork can be incredibly versatile in adding either a warm rustic feel or a modern, industrial finish.
Victorian tiling can be preserved by repairing dislodges quickly to avoid further damage or through some careful DIY with plenty of tips available across the internet. If TLC isn’t enough, seek specialist assistance to restore this classic flooring.
Photo by Atlantis Kitchens
Original features are a fantastic asset but it is still possible to incorporate period design into a more modern property. The marriage of traditional and contemporary is a fine one to perfect but executed correctly, can transform even the newest of properties into characterful spaces full of charm and elegance.
The kitchen is first and foremost a space that needs to serve a function, so start by thinking about the appliances that serve your needs and how you can integrate them into your design. If you have the space, Range Cookers provide the classic style that is reminiscent of English countryside, whilst offering a host of features in keeping with the demands of modern living.
These larger appliances can be showcased beautifully with hidden downlighting in the alcove or under shelving, protecting the authenticity of your period design from unsightly wiring and electrics.
Photo by deVOL Kitchens
3. Pay attention to every last detail
You will have heard it before, but the devil really is in the detail. Don’t jeopardise your period kitchen with accessories from a contrasting era and end up losing consistency. Spend time researching the fittings and furnishings relevant to the period you are replicating to execute this style.
Stainless steel tea and coffee jars might be practical and spotlight lighting might be tempting, but are these in keeping with the rest of your design? Charity shops are a goldmine for period bits and bobs but don’t be afraid to buy new if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Handles can put the final stamp on establishing a kitchen style. There’s more to consider than you might think! What would work best; handle or knob? Which finish would work to compliment the rest of your fixtures and furnishings; brushed copper or solid chrome? Where is the most convenient place for the handle; in the middle, to the side or at the top? Question everything and you’ll end up with the handle that completes your kitchen design.
To view our Period Classic range of handles, take a look here.