These days we are seeing kitchens that you could mistake for the interior of the Millennium Falcon. While I think these kitchens certainly have a place in design, very few of my friends and colleagues are comfortable with such a stark look. Always, balance is the answer to everything. We can have beautiful built-in custom cabinetry but then why not even the scales with a gorgeous one of a kind butcher block for extra counter-top space? We are aching for some texture, color and nuance these days. Something to warm up all those tough edges and strong lines
1. Using an antique bibliothèque or a glass apothecary for cabinetry can be a dream scenario. See below Martha Stewart’s butler’s pantry. This all wood look makes me want to get lost in a library of old Julia Child recipes and dust the nose of my sweetheart with flour. Now, glass cabinetry asks a lot from you in terms of organization but who doesn’t need someone to cheer on their tidiness? It can be the right motivator for some.
2. Antique lighting goes a long way to bring some depth to your kitchen game. One well-placed lamp or chandelier can make the space feel like it belongs in your home. We see such a common mistake of people having one look for their living space and another look entirely for their kitchen. If the kitchen is the new living room, shouldn’t we be trying to bring that same style from the rest of your home into the more trafficked room? When you do this it brings continuity which, in turn is soothing.
3. Bring in your tables! Who said if it’s in the kitchen it must be all pre-fab painted particle board storage. Tear that island up and in its place put a table that gives the room a heartbeat.
4. Grandfather clocks are typically overlooked as a kitchen necessity. We think the below installation makes a convincing argument for why we should reconsider. Just a glittering reminder of when form was equally as critical as function.
5. Time worn mirrors can soften some of the sterile edges of a modern kitchen. We love the foxing on an antique mirror, it’s what happens when the mercury separates from the glass and is not something we’d ever try to fix. It adds character and a sort of unstudied elegance to your room.
6. Most of you aren’t living an analog life anymore and because of that we need a clever option for our tech. An antique secretary or desk can be an easy answer. We love what they have accomplished in the below kitchen. Typically, I wouldn’t tell anyone to squeeze an antique into a wall like a fridge but they’ve done it here and it’s an unmitigated success. If it works then there are no rules. This look exemplifies why mixing your antiques with your modern fair is a hard win.
7. Antique bistro chairs can transport you to your very own cafe on the Left Bank! This look is making us want to read Camus amidst alternating wafts of coffee and cigarettes. Ok, so maybe no plumes of tobacco smoke! Design can inspire complicated and exciting fantasies if you let it. And that’s the rub… you should let your intuition lead you and only every now and then check in to make sure you don’t have a fire hazard!
8. Copper pots and pans (especially with the antique tin lining) are known to heat and cool at a much faster rate but they also have no hot spots, this can help smooth over any layman errors. These classic tools not only make cooking easier but give instant gravitas to any kitchen. Simply put, they’re gorgeous and they lessen the expertise you need for certain culinary ambitions; a true no-brainer.
9. Why should your artwork be reserved only for the living room? The kitchen doesn’t want to be forgotten. When choosing a few thoughtful paintings, consider the palette you want to bring in. Whether it’s a rich, earthy oil painting or vibrant, primary-hued watercolor; what mood or sense do you want to enhance? If you don’t stray too far from the holistic pastiche, it will remind you that you are in the same home. There’s no jumping from a transitional style to Bauhaus without some design touchstones.
10. Hand painted antique china is an art that most people seem to have and yet are hesitant to showcase. We’re simply asking you to display it. It’s an easy way to bring in some color or to offer a provincial counter-point to a typically modern kitchen. Antique china seen in context, below.
To me it’s important to check in with ourselves to make sure that the style we’ve chosen still represents us in an authentic way. Parting with something that no longer reflects us accurately can be freeing. Let’s knock candles and share the flame that can be interior design.