Georgian kitchen - ideas please!(34 Posts)
We are renovating a Georgian house and planning to re-site the kitchen into the basement. The room is about 14' x 12' and has a fireplace. I would like a range cooker, thinking of a 5 oven Thornhill, if I can fit it in, and maybe a dresser and hopefully room for a dining table (we have a separate dining room but would like to be able to eat informally).
I would like something in character, not too fitted, but with enough room for storage. I can probably fit a larder in off the dining room, but need a sink, and dishwasher, and fridge (not washing machine or dryer as there is a laundry room upstairs).
I haven't done a project like this before, so was wondering if anybody could give me a few ideas or pointers about things eg furniture which would fit in, paint colours, floor surfaces etc.
All suggestions welcome!
A Georgian house would have had a cook, maids etc. So keeping in character would be to make it pretty functional rather than stylish.
I would look out the best home design magazines, and get ideas from them. I have the Elle Country spring/summer which has some lovely pictures, though supposedly pictures of peoples' summer retreats. Mag was about 10 quid.
Authentic georgian is generally on display in some national Trust properties plus the georgian house in Bristol.
Yy to functional. Big range (as in fire) with pots, big spoons etc on display. Plate racks. Lots of dusting.
For colours some paint companies issue paint charts for different time frames.
No high shine finish!
We used to live in a Regency town house which we renovated as when we moved in it had been designated as unfit for habitation (which was good as it meant we didn't have to pay council tax).
We had to strip out and redo the kitchen, in the basement, almost exactly as you describe, same dimensions. I had a row of shaker style cupboards along the wall under the window, with a Belfast sink and nickel swan necked tap (and an integrated dishwasher so it did not show). I had a large dresser for storing crockery and pans, plus a kitchen table and chairs. More cupboards either side of the chimney breast.
I painted the cupboards and dresser myself in eggshell paint.
I removed the fireplace (and reused it in the dining room next door) and put a range style cooker in the chimney breast. I would have chosen slate worktops (or what I have now, leathered granite, so a sort of matt textured surface)- but had to settle for laminate as we had run out of money, having spent it on new roof, new drains and various other structural things.
I did leave my fridge free standing, which wasn't quite in keeping, but by choice (and if I had had the budget) I would probably have gone for integrated.
For the floor I chose quarry style tiles as a low maintenance equivalent of what might have been there - the original floor had gone in the kitchen, although we still had what I believe to have been the original brick floor in the room next door. We were lucky enough to have the original walk in larder with slate shelves.
I think keep it simple, but don't be afraid to introduce modern touches - in my opinion stainless steel works well for the appliances. My aim was Plain English style (on a lower budget!)
pimmsperfecto are you me?
We should soon be starting a similar project in a Georgian house. I've also got my eye on the Thornhill cooker, although it is ££££.
Please post pics (before, during and after) - I'd love to see how you get on as you're slightly ahead of me (our purchase is still going through).
Will be watching with great interest
Thanks everybody, some great ideas here!
I am still at an early stage as need to consult with the Council about what they will allow re listed building consent. all very exciting though.
Fairy, I agree that the Thornhill is expensive but still a lot cheaper to buy than the Aga and also much cheaper to run, and I think better made in some respects - doors easier to shut etc.
I was going to go for the red, but now think black probably more in keeping for the period. Which model are you going for?
Either cream or black - three-oven gas (don't think we'll have room for the five-oven version). Have you seen them in the flesh? I live a long way from the showroom but might have to make the trip.
Have you found your CO helpful? When I was researching a LBC issue, not everyone found them to be sympathetic. It seems to vary wildly depending on who you get.
Fairy - Yes, we have been to the showroom and I was impressed by the models on display and how helpful they are. I suspect we might be a little ambitious in having the 5 oven, so am going to measure up carefully. I am used to a 4 oven Aga so I think I would struggle with the smaller model, as it's the 'extra' ovens which we seem to use the most.
The CO have been generally helpful and are very flexible about kitchens and bathrooms, even fitted ones, if we were to want one.
Have you got as far as thinking about furniture and colour schemes yet?
What about bathrooms? Do you have any books, magazines, real life examples as inspiration? Do you have many original features such as floorboards, fireplaces etc? We are ripping up the vile beige carpet next week so I can't wait to see what, if anything, remains underneath!
Sounds wonderful. Country Living magazine.
Period living.co.uk will give plenty ideas.
I look at Houzz and Pinterest for inspiration and agree with Ditsy - those mags are useful too.
Our house has lots of original (I think!) floorboards and fireplaces, one of which is boarded up so it will be interesting to see what's behind the board. There are lovely shutters in the main downstairs rooms and I'm wondering whether to invest in some for the bedrooms as well.
I have no clue yet about colours/furniture - ATM I'm trying to plan basic stuff such as radiators (currently a mishmash of different modern styles). What are the rads like in your house?
Thanks for the info about Thornhill - very helpful
Are you living in the house while you do it up?
I have a period house, the kitchen has low level shaker cupboards ( white) freestanding period larder cupboards ( tricky to find) an aga in the old chimney breast. I also have some shelving for vintage China.
I like the old English look too.
I think avoiding a fitted look is key, top cupboards look modern in imho.
I would say spend more on your cupboards, I had handmade ones and they have stood the test of time, they are set within the frame and can be painted. The quality is good with solid wood carcass. ( I think I got them from the Dorset kitchen company) they were surprisingly good value.
There is a company that do reclaimed or new larder cupboards and the quality is amazing. ( I found them after I had ordered my kitchen, they also do kitchens) E astburncountryfurnit
thanks Fairy and Dandelion - I have found Pinterest which is a great resource.
I was also interested to read about Dan Cruickshank's restoration of a Georgian townhouse in London - sorry I don't have the link. Being an historian, he has done it slowly and painstaking, although he is so purist that he was thinking of doing without electricity.
We have some fireplaces, but others missing. will know more about the floorboards when we have the carpet out. Radiators are a bit of a dilemma. In our current and last house we replaced the modern white ones with chunky Edwardian style ones in cast iron, but it was very expensive. Since radiators are not really a Georgian feature, I was wondering whether or not to just stick with what we have and either paint them to match the walls or all black.
I changed the rads for cast iron. Bought them from castrads. I think well worth the money. I went for a simple design, left them gunmetal grey.
I also put the original pine panelled doors back. ( nightmare to source 20 period 32 wide doors) I think these details need to be correct to do the house justice.
I would be wary of being too authentic, you don't want it to look like a room from a stately home😄 I think that it is ok to have later additions. Like the Victorian rads.
The chap above, was he just renting it on a lease? I watched that, it went a bit too far for me. I did like his use of colour though.
Dandelion, I think you are right. I definitely prefer to have reclaimed where possible, but it will be a question of sourcing things, as you say. Did you find them all from the same place or did you have to shop around?
I will look at Castrads.
Dandelion - I think he bought it decades ago, when it was possible to buy a house in London without being a squillionaire! I seem to recall that it is in Spitalfields which wasn't so desirable then - if only!
I agree that homes need to evolve and that it's not meant to be a museum!
We found a door specialist in the end, they don't match, all very subtly different. You would need to be looking for it to spot it though. We could have had them made but I felt the doors needed to be old. They have slight patching and holes filled from previous knobs etc. It all adds to the charm for me.
We used a company in Manchester in the end. They also do new or old stained glass panels for the doors. I have some internal doors that I wanted glass in. ( again it's not cheap, but they are stunning) everyone that visits comments on the lovely period glass😄
For a kitchen sympathetic to a Georgian house I'd look at units which look like dressers with glass doors to keep an open feel but the practicality of stopping everything on display from getting dusty. Wooden worktops too.
Thanks wow, that sounds like good advice and I was thinking along those lines.
I found The Georgian Society and SPAB had useful info - I did have a set of sheets produced by one or other on different aspects of Georgian buildings, which I think may be out of print now (I'll see if I still have them somewhere)...
We were lucky, we had original doors and box shutters and were able to get someone to repair all the original sash windows.
Most of the fireplaces were intact - we had all the chimneys swept although we only ever used the two fireplaces in our sitting rooms. As our house was built over four floors plus an attic the chimney sweep needed very long brushes...
Most of our floorboards were in poor condition, so I had seagrass fitted on the ground floor and all hallways, stairs and landings.
I'd look at Plain English
and faint at the prices for inspiration
Especially the Spitalfields design. Also British Standard which is Plain English's slightly cheaper arm.
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