Four ways to add Victorian charm to your kitchen
By Mike James
When you think of a family home, it’s difficult to imagine life without a toilet, a nice warm shower and lighting you can turn on or off at the flick of a switch. These luxuries were first introduced into homes throughout Britain back in the 1800’s, during a period of history known as the Victorian era.
Fortunately, a lot has now changed since those days, due to various advancements in technology over the years. That’s not to say that new is always better though, as a number of Victorian influences do still remain present in British homes to this day.
Traditional country kitchens in particular often incorporate a number of design ideas and details from the Victorian period, including sinks, furniture and various cookware. While these may all look great, it’s important to find the balance between old and new. You don’t want to overdo it and make your home look like it’s still stuck in the 1800s. The trick is to devise an original style that not only fits with your 21st century lifestyle, but also complements the rest of your Victorian home in terms of design.
Here are some top tips on how to incorporate the best of the Victorian era into your country kitchen:
Source: Copper Utensils
1. Invest in copper cookware.
First things first – for a truly authentic looking Victorian-style kitchen, you’ll need to invest in some copper cookware. You’ll then want to display it on open shelving – ready and waiting to be used as and when you need.
Back in the old days, the vast majority of Victorian sculleries displayed gleaming copper pots and pans on open shelving units in kitchens. This is because copper was a cheap and staple material that was used throughout the time period, across a wide variety of industries. From saucepans to kettles and pipes to taps, the amount of copper cookware you want to incorporate in your kitchen is up to you, but you’ll definitely need to display it somewhere if you’re after a classic Victorian look.
You can find a great range of copper cookware here.
2. Invest in antique furniture.
No classic Victorian kitchen would be complete without one or two pieces of Victorian antique furniture. For example, old Welsh dressers not only look fantastic, allowing you to put your best china and crockery on display, but their space-saving design offers a great alternative to cramming full your kitchen cupboards.
What’s more, most bits of antique Victorian furniture are incredibly solid, often made from high-quality durable wood. They can really add a certain depth and charm to your kitchen by complementing your fitted kitchen cabinets. They can also be easily painted or varnished to fit your room’s overarching style.
Why not invest in a large ‘preloved’ pine farmhouse table for a truly authentic Victorian kitchen look? These can free up your kitchen surface space and provide you with an additional area for food preparation.
Source: The Independent
3. Invest in a range cooker.
The kitchen is often regarded as the room which gives a house its homely feel. After all, it’s the area where people gather to talk, drink and eat, providing a place of warmth and comfort for the family. Much of this warmth – both figuratively and literally – comes from having a range cooker at the heart of the kitchen.
As already mentioned, technology has moved on a lot from the Victorian days, but the principle of incorporating a range cooker as one of the kitchen’s focal points has remained the same. Today’s cookers feature at least two ovens, a grill and a spacious hob. Not only that, but they also have a number of intelligent features to control fuel usage, as well as a range of programmes to make short work of elaborate recipes. Whether you choose a Rayburn, AGA or another brand, range cookers come in a range of styles and colours to suit the style of your kitchen.
4. Show off original features.
If your home was built in the Victorian or Edwardian period, the chances are that you already have some original features still intact. Make the most of them!
For example, if you have an incredibly high ceiling, think about adding furniture which showcases the height of the room. Likewise, pay particular attention to decorating cornices, friezes, corbels and pilasters, as these components were so revered back in the day.
If you’re lucky enough to already have original Victorian era features in your home, showcase them by either purchasing furniture that complements their look and feel, or by making them as immediately visible as possible.