You may or may not know this is the way our kitchen and center hall looked when we moved into this house. To the left is where we rebuilt the pantry, you can see where the food storage pantry is and the swinging door to the dining room. Down the hall beside the desk is another door going into the dining room, I always wondered why there was another door. One reason may have been for cross ventilation, the air conditioning of the day but another interesting fact and one that may make you a little uncomfortable they are also called funeral doors. I will give you more information on that custom in a future post.
Now for the kitchen, I suppose this was a grand remodel in the 60's and then in the 90's the previous owner did a little more, counter tops, flooring and appliances. Before they placed it on the market they had the cabinets painted white. Livable, but way to white for me as well as being to open. I guess I'm the odd man out I like my kitchen to be warm, inviting and cozy and I like working in the kitchen alone because I am a messy cook.
I also believe I am a bit of a purest. I believe old houses are are to be respected and that means being true to the original floor plan. I know we need to make them fit into our modern world to meet our craving for modern conveniences and I think that is doable. We may buy an old house but we are only caretakers until the next caretaker comes along.
Now I hope Mary is looking down on the attempt we are making to restore her house back to it's natural state as best we can. We rebuilt the butlers pantry or dish pantry and replaced the wall between the center hall and kitchen that was taken down we think sometime in the early 60's. After finding a deposit slip from the local bank behind a cabinet, we think the kitchen wall was taken out about 1962 when the cabinets were put in.
After speaking to a local resident I learned that this house did not have a indoor kitchen. Typical of houses in the South in the 1920's the kitchen was detached. My understanding you left the dining room through the pantry across the porch then into the kitchen. Later the porch was turned into the kitchen.
As we work on this room, I am trying for all the modern conveniences, bells and whistles of today while paying tribute to the past. As we started, I was given two choices for this large refrigerator by my contractor, (that would be husband)! The refrigerator was located on the other side of the room really in the middle of the floor so my choice was to have it recessed into the food pantry or loose cabinets on this side. You see which choice won. You see the little black knob sticking out beside the stove that is a spice cabinet. Picture quality is poor, this is a very hard house to photograph.
Lots of open cabinet space for baking and cooking supplies. I really like being able to put my hands on things when I'm baking and cooking without having to rummage through cabinets with doors and lots of drawers. The plus is, I have to keep them organized, and that is a very good thing for me! You can see a portion of the wall we put back using materials from the original bead board ceiling. More of that later. The microwave also got a home, up and off of the counter, counter space is very valuable in this kitchen. We were lucky that there was an extra outlet you see old house don't have allot of electrical outlets, so unless you are willing to do a complete gut and new wiring you work with what you have.
Storage for cookbooks and the dead space in front of the chimney turned into a space to store baking pans. I removed the 60's paneling and stucco a couple of years ago to reveal the brick.
One of my favorite additions.... My stove hood! Believe it of not it took longer to build this than to put the wall back. If you notice the little wooden knob, this hood lifts up revealing the cabinet which gives me more usable space. After two modifications putting it up, it works perfectly. You can see a small portion of a free standing stove. We did take out the counter top stove and you guessed cut out more cabinets for the stove. This is a temporary electric range, I will be putting a gas range in we are still working on new counter tops and of course a plumber to hook up the gas line. After we removed the cabinets, it was very obvious where two older stoves had been, one being a wood cook stove.
So stay tuned and I will show you what took the place of the refrigerator on the other side of the room. I know this isn't a kitchen for everyone, by no means a modern farmhouse kitchen, a little to rustic for most but I think in everything we are doing we are being true to the house. I get nothing but great feedback from members of the community who visit to see what we are doing to bring the old girl back. Everyone gravitates to this kitchen,( even though there is still lots of work to be done) to have that cup of coffee and maybe a little desert sitting at my old farmhouse table. Now I ask you isn't that what we want all our friends and family to feel when they visit, its cozy, and inviting and they feel at home.