Kitchen Tour: Restored Vintage Kitchen

Careful research enables a couple to re-create the original look of a vintage kitchen.

Authentic Restoration

Because this early-1900s home is located in a historic district, the homeowners researched its past carefully when they remodeled the kitchen. As a result, the appliances, cabinetry, surfaces, colors, and layout are authentic to the original style of the home.

Footprints from the Past

A certified kitchen designer (CKD) and member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) helped the homeowners choose era-appropriate elements, including hexagonal floor tiles in white -- with splashes of terra-cotta that spill over from the hallway.

Voluptuous Vent Hood

To complement the scale and spirit of a fully restored 1948 gas range, the homeowners had the ventilation hood custom made. The hood's gleaming steel trim rivals the reflectivity of copper ceiling tiles.

Go Bold with Patterns

Floral wallpaper colored in cream, green, and burgundy on a field of gold isn't afraid to mix and mingle all over the kitchen. The paper incorporates colors from flooring, stained-glass windows, and wainscoting.

Backdated Back Stairs

The homeowners' research revealed the home once had a back staircase. Tear-out work revealed vestiges of the long-gone stairs, which were re-created and now meet the kitchen beside a built-in hutch that faces the dining room.

A Wide Range to Cook From

The vintage range was restored to working order. The nearly 5-foot-wide model features an all-white porcelain exterior, eight gas burners, a center griddle, two baking ovens, one roasting oven, two broiler drawers, a utensil drawer, and pullout trays for crumbs and grease. The top panel includes an analog clock and a separate 60-second timer.

Icebox-Age Impersonation

The refrigerator is a modern built-in model with freezer drawers on the bottom, but it's covered with cabinetry-matching wood panels to evoke the look of an old-fashioned icebox. Hefty door handles and hinges enhance the effect. The refrigerator wall accounts for most of the storage and countertop space in the compact kitchen, in keeping with the original layout.

Sandwiched Subway Tile

Set between other wall elements, a subway-tile backsplash adds another historical pattern. The quarry tile's antique-white color and coarse texture create a vintage look.

Pristine Period Plumbing

The homeowners found the wide sink with built-in drainboards at a plumbing-supply house that specializes in antique fixtures. The 1940s Kohler model, from the company's original inventory, looked brand new.

Warm Woods That Work Well

The cherry cabinetry is a simple design that evokes fine crafting of old. The countertops are wood, too, another period touch. Their darker mahogany creates a bit of subtle contrast.

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