Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bird's Eye View of a Victorian Kitchen

Here is our kitchen. There are three doors in the kitchen To the left is the summer kitchen, and to the right is the dining room. I'm standing in the downstairs bathroom door adjacent to the kitchen. I've been standing on a ladder washing down wood work. I thought it was an interesting view, so I stopped to take a couple photographs.

Beside's being a Bird's Eye View of the Kitchen, it's also a Bat's Eye View of the Kitchen! Let me explain. Friday night we had a bat in the house, and Jon stood in the kitchen while the bat went round and round and round, and finally the broom caught up with the bat! We think the bat may have been in the Christmas tree we bought!

The doorway trim on the eight ft. high doors is original, and also this great hutch is original w/ original hardware. The drawers slide back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room.
DH Jon hates stainless steel, and he was dead set against a white kitchen, otherwise as he explained I could have anything I want when we built the kitchen. Hmmmmm, and I fell for that logic too. In the end I'm glad we followed Jon's idea for the warm cinnamon birch cabinets. Certainly easier to get past the everyday finger prints, that's for sure.

The kitchen is small 13' 8" by 15' 3". But it works well for us. The two-drawer dishwasher is excellent! Very convenient, and extremely quiet.

The drop leaf tall table serves double duty as a prep island. I want to comment about the paint color--its called Aged Photo. It is actually the color of coffee with a bit of cream. The photo makes its look like a mustard color--and that's a false read.

All the baseboards, door hardware and trim are all original 1893 throughout the house.

Here's another view of the original hutch--about 15" deep, plus the wall depth. There is another set doors on the dining room side.

Here are a couple of photographs without the flash and with the larger ceiling light "off".


  1.'s beautiful to say to least! How cleaver--a cabinet that opens from each room!! Someone was one smart cookie!

    Did you take pics from the Historical Society's visit. If so, I would love to read a blog about that! That had to be an exciting visit!

    You are so blessed to be caretakers of such a precious piece of history.

    Have a great Sunday.

  2. What a beautiful kitchen! Your light fixtures are gorgeous! And that original hutch is amazing. You're so lucky to have all your original woodwork and hardware intact.

    The colors are so warm and inviting! The appliance and cabinet colors are great. I don't like stainless steel, even though it is so popular now. It does show the fingerprints, so when it comes time to replace our appliances, I'll have to decide which color to chose (we currently have outdated 80's almond color).

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Happened upon your blog & love all that you have done! Great Job!

  4. Stumbled across your blog. Just love your kitchen! I have a 1901 farmhouse and am hoping to redo my own kitchen. Can you tell me about your cabinets? Are tgey custom made? If not, who's the manufacturer? The style, finish and bin pulls - all perfect!

  5. Hello there,

    Responding to your question about the kitchen cabinets . . . they were custom made by a master cabinet maker Ed Thompson of Red Granite Wisconsin, now retired. The kitchen cabinets design--doubles doors, plain stiles and rails, long panels of glass, interrupted by small upper multiple panes, and upper shelves with led lights for display items. The cabinet doors are based on an antique jelly cabinet in upstairs bathroom. Ed was clever to create identical crown molding profile on the kitchen cabinets, copied from the black antique 1893 kitchen hutch. The knobs, knob plates, and drawer pulls are available at Menards in Wisconsin--very very affordable. While I don't have the brand name, etc. I could soon acquire that information for you on my next trip to Stevens Point, WI. Let me know. Thanks for your interest.

  6. Sure - would welcome the info on the pulls. Thank you.

  7. Dear Anonymous,

    Below is the link (information) you requested about the kitchen cabinet pulls, i.e. drawer and scroll down to see matching knobs with knob plate we installed in our kitchen. You can see Menards has priced them so reasonably.

    By the way, these cabinet door knobs, knob plates, and drawer pulls have held up beautifully. No scractches, nicks, easy to clean with semi-damp cloth. Wonderful mechandise. If I had to do it all over again I would change absolutely nothing. I'm so pleased.

    I picked this hardware because there are little squares pressed into its relief work. The squares appear on the knob plate and drawer pull. Those little squares tie in well with the little glass panels (rectangles) featured at the top of the kitchen cabinet doors. I would describe the finish on the hardware as a dark oiled bronze finish, but I believe in Menard's advertisement is called Antique Pewter and is in the Arts and Crafts Collection.

    Hope this Menard's catalog information is helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  8. Loved looking at your kitchen. We have owned our 1875 Queen Anne for 29 years. We are finally doing the kitchen over and I have chosen a light yellowpastel for the walls. I was so happy to see you also used yellow.Love your one of a kind cabinets. We are going with cherry. It made me chuckle when I read about your husband. My husband and I went back and forth, he wanted wood I wanted white. He also wants real oak floors to match the rest of the house. I will Email youto ask about your floors because it took me all day to find your blog and I don't know if I will find it again. By the way, our kitchen has 8 doors and 3 windows.Makes nit very tough to decorate. Thank you so much for the pictures it putmy mind at ease. Julie Dagle, East Hampton, Ct.

  9. Hi,

    I just found your blog and I am so very excited because we are currently restoring our 1896 home and your kitchen is just what I needed to see right now. I have done so much research on windows that my head hurts. It is my understanding of the architecture at the time, that the windows had more of a vertical element as opposed to being horizontal.

    Our windows are two over two and I wanted three windows above the sink (like yours) but I wasn't sure if I had enough room. Additionally, I wanted to ensure that they didn't look 'horizontal' as so many do. Is it possible for you to let me know the width between your upper cabinets? What are the dimensions of your window? I think it will fit perfectly in our space and still retain the original 'feel'.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this blog, I subscribed and I and sure that I have many hours of reading ahead of me!

    Best Regards,

  10. Hello Paula,

    Thank you for reading my blog. I sure appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I would like to correspond with you about your 1896 home restoration, and to keep in touch with you. Will you start the conversation by emailing me. I am at mrs.durrant1@

    3-Window Unit:
    The kitchen window was purchased through a local building supplies store and I could contact them and get the window number, and brand name--if their records go back to year 2007.

    The window width from left to right measures 64.5 inches wide. From the bottom of the window to the top is 44.5 tall. Measuring just the glass panes of each window--I see they are 15" wide by 20 inches tall. Regarding the split glass panel I saw many examples in other old houses here in rural central Wisconsin and I was smitten.

    Kitchen Layout:
    The area where the kitchen window was added was formerly a door. In fact, there were 4 doors in our original kitchen--one in the middle of each wall--making it challenging to layout a new kitchen. So, we eliminated the west kitchen door, and reframed the wall to accept a new 3-window unit.

    The new window gave us a view to the backyard--an opportunity to watch the deer and other critters. It brought more light into the kitchen and a lovely breeze as desired. Only after the 3-window unit was installed--did we have the cabinet maker make measurements.

    The cabinet maker paid special attention to match the molding profile of the original 125 year old black pantry built-in, and incorporated the same profile to build the kitchen cabinets.

    Paula, I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Linda (Mrs.D)
    Mill Street Studio and 1893 Victorian Farmhouse
    Scandinavia, Wisconsin