Kitchens in the Period House

In this section we look at practical issues with recreating a period kitchen in a Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian or other early 20th century home.

Of all the rooms in your house, the one where you are least likely to want a truly period room is the kitchen; few people would want to cook on an original coal-fired range, have to carry buckets of hot water to the bathroom, have no central heating, and forego the convenience and food safety provided by a fridge and deep freezer. Few people will want to devote a whole day each week to the laundry, with a coal-fired copper to heat the water, the clothes and linen washed by hand, passed through a mangle and then smoothed with a set of irons heated on the range.

However, there are some original features that are functional for the modern house owner and in the decoration and choice of furnishings we can be sympathetic to the Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian kitchen. Alternatively we can opt for an outrageously modern style or aim for a look which nods towards the past.

What do we need in a kitchen? We need places to store tools, utensils, as well as foodstuffs. We need to be able to wash fruit and vegetables, to prepare them for use, cook meals and then to wash the tools, utensils and crockery. The modern kitchen must also provide laundry facilities, and is usually the location for a boiler to provide domestic hot water and central heating.  In this section, we give guidance on choosing a range or range cooker, as well as key pieces of furniture.

How do we style a period kitchen; we discuss here how you can reflect the period origins of your home.