Kitchens are tricky rooms when you're dealing with historic homes, be they 1800's farmhouses or 1950's ranches. There are purists out there who would say to keep the kitchen in accordance with the rest of the home's period design. But then there are the realists who want to inhabit historic homes with a contemporary lifestyle:Kitchens are so difficult in this situation because the materials, appliances, and spatial norms change so much over time. They aren't simply the bones of a room to be filled with whatever choice of furniture you fancy. Their styles are permanent and pricey to update, yet their fixtures are constantly changing.
We believe the answer is the classic kitchen, with neutral natural materials, the best major appliances you can afford, and simple white tile on the walls. Light fixtures can be changed out more readily, so might reflect the personal tastes of the current owner or the period of the home. The kitchen featured up top, for instance, is installed in a home from around 1830 (pictured below). It fits it well, yet could also be fit just fine in a contemporary home.
What do you think? Is there a universal kitchen style that does well wherever you place it that can adapt with accessories and lighting?
Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.
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