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Past Can Be Present in Modern Kitchen

Do you long for a more gracious time, beyond even the first-gen vehicles and flapper chic of Downton Abbey?

Step back a little further into the 18th and 19th centuries and the exquisite detailing of the Georgian and Victorian eras. Named for the British monarchs who reigned, these periods begat timeless concepts still embraced today — open shelving, kitchen islands, hanging pots and pans, among other examples.

With a little more embellishment, they can harken back to the artful elegance of these eras.

Freestanding furniture

Most everyone expects the primary elements of the modern kitchen — sink, stove, oven, pantry, counters and cabinets — are built into the walls, which can make them look somewhat monolithic and intimidating.

Finding freestanding models can be difficult, but they do exist and can bring an inimitable vintage charm to your home. There are built-ins available that mimic the look by perching on “feet” that lift them off the floor.

Either approach can lend a brighter feel to the room and add to a warm family atmosphere.

Butler’s sinks

From their name you can tell they were initially found in the “back of house” kitchens serving English nobility, but these sinks installed with the front flush to the edge of the counter make sense in today’s Northern Arizona kitchens because they are accessible, easy to clean and can look absolutely stunning.

Their size and depth are easy for all to see and give you ample room to work. They’re similar enough to farmhouse or Belfast sinks that the terms are often used interchangeably; these other sinks are generally wider and deeper.

Elegant molding

Earlier Georgian kitchens in the 1700s tended to have simpler decoration that still made a statement, including paneled cupboard drawers, cove molding where the walls and ceiling meet and understated drawer and cabinet pulls, if they’re there at all.

During Queen Victoria’s long reign, the artistry became more elaborate with dentil, egg-and-dart and bead or pearl patterns embedded into the molding.

Impressive mantels

Along with open shelving for stacked plates, you can also add decorative mantels to show off your prettiest plates and platters, giving them the spotlight they deserve.

Bring back the days when our collection of china or other dishware was a point of pride, as well as a practical possession, or display plants, rustic baskets, buckets or whatever else suits your fancy.

Dust does tend to settle on these displays, but a wooden rolling library ladder makes it easy to reach while adding another period-appropriate detail.

Table and chairs

Many Victorian kitchens were large enough for dining and entertaining guests and may or may not have had an additional dining room.

Many of us today have a full dining set next to the kitchen, especially in a great room layout. With a smaller space a bistro set or similar concept can have the same effect.

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