I am *totally crushing* on this kitchen from Vintage House. Every nook and cranny exudes pure Swedish kitchen perfection. I also love the tile from Franska Kakelbutiken (say that five-times-fast). And don’t get me started on the open shelving, the concrete counters, and the apron front sink…
Today, I want share some of the images that have inspired me as we plan for our new kitchen and the comfort it will (I hope) bring to our little house. If I had to define the style we’re going for, I suppose I’d say it’s Scandinavian-meets-Craftsman — a little rustic, very lived-in, and clean and bright…
We have two door frames entering into our kitchen from the dining room right now — a remnant of when our house was built and the kitchen and breakfast nook were totally separate rooms. Someone at some point tore down the wall between the rooms but left the weird double-entrance. That needs to be addressed in our reno, big time. The current layout is pretty horrible — a corner sink, and all of the cabinets and major appliances squished into a small ‘L.’
A contractor I spoke to early on suggested we “blow out” the whole wall between our kitchen and dining room, but the aggression of this struck me as all wrong. Consequently, for months, I was really against having any opening where the second doorway is and wanted to just block it off.
But Manny pointed up that closing the wall altogether would obstruct the natural light that enters the dining room from the kitchen. Seeing the image above with that craftsman-column and white wainscoting really helped me overcome my aversion to keeping part of the second doorway open between the kitchen and dining spaces. It’s still not completely clear what the ultimate design will look like, but I now really love the idea of a passthrough.
This picture is great in that it keeps me motivated to work on the enormous project that is restoring the much-maligned heart pine floor in our kitchen. I’m going to write a separate post just about that floor one day, if we can save it. (There was a bad orange-laminate floor over a plywood subfloor, which was in turn over the original pine.)
I think we can save the original heart pine, but a few contractors have told me it’s too far gone and needs to “ripped out” (NO!) or covered in something like “a good laminate.” (NO NO NO!!!)
The other thing I like about the image above is the white cabinetry and natural light. It’s the same thing that attracts me to this kitchen:
I know white cabinetry is super-trendy right now, but as Jane Powell discusses in Bungalow Kitchens, white is a period-appropriate choice for cabinetry in a 1920s kitchen.
I also like a lot how the second image mixes the sleek white cabinetry with vintage wood furniture. The old/new balance here is super striking.
Also, neither of these kitchens has much going on in terms of upper cabinetry. I’m not a fan of upper cabinetry, re-sale value be damned. I think white walls in a kitchen, painted or tiled, give the space a brightness that’s really appealing. We plan to have some open shelving in our finished kitchen, but otherwise it’s going to have a really horizontal profile, we think.
Here is another kitchen I think is really lovely. I like the Scandinavian-countryhouse vibe. This jibes especially well with Manny who, unlike me, actually spent a good deal of time in Swedish country cottages growing up. (*Jealous*)
I’m also aware that apron-front / farmhouse sinks are considered by some to be quite a fad. I’m still on the fence about whether one will be right for us at this point in time, but I do love me some IKEA DOMSJÖ action.
Speaking of Ikea, at the moment we’re really leaning toward IKEA SEKTION cabinetry, particularly the GRIMSLÖV door fronts in off-white. You can’t exactly get craftsman-level quality from IKEA, and we started out with some reservations about IKEA cabinets, but I’ve seen so many rave reviews online from people who’ve gone this route (particularly from Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn) that it seems like it could be the modest investment that makes the most sense for our home.
A note on tile. Given how much I love green, it’s perhaps surprising that I’m not heading for a Jungalow-style kitchen a la Justine Blakeney:
I do love this kitchen, though, and am inspired by it. Maybe for us, the right road will be to incorporate a little bit of green as such:
That is some old-timey, vintage tile goodness. Why couldn’t my “distressed” kitchen tile have looked like that?!
Our ultimate goal is a kitchen that:
- is safe (!)
- has clean lines and isn’t fussy
- is period-suitable for a 1920s house
- makes good use of the natural light we get through the original windows that remain in the breakfast nook
- represents the right investment for our house
Basically, the aesthetic we want will have the right blend of humble and bright. I hesitate to say we want something cottage-y, but I do admit that the images I’ve included would fit right into a Scandinavian summer house…