Victorian style kitchens epitomize classic elegance and timeless beauty. With their refined aesthetics and attention to detail, Victorian kitchens bring a sense of grace and luxury to any home. Here is an in-depth look at how to design a spectacular Victorian-inspired kitchen.
Choosing the Right Layout
The layout of a Victorian kitchen should allow for both efficient workspace and beautiful visual appeal. Here are some popular layouts that work very well:
- The Single Wall Layout – With cabinets and appliances lined up along one wall, this provides a streamlined and organized workflow. The rest of the space can then be used for freestanding furniture and decorative elements.
- The L-Shaped Layout – An L-shaped layout has cabinetry and appliances on two adjoining walls, creating a natural triangle workspace. There is still room for a kitchen table or kitchen island to define the space.
- The U-Shaped Layout – Ideal for larger kitchens, the U-shaped layout has cabinets and appliances on three walls, providing ample counter space and storage. A kitchen island can complete the U shape for a fully outfitted work zone.
Selecting Authentic Victorian Cabinetry
The cabinetry sets the tone for any Victorian kitchen. Aim for true period-style details:
- Opt for extensive woodwork featuring ornate moldings, carvings, turned legs and decorative corbels. Walnut, cherry and oak suit the Victorian esthetic.
- Wood stains in deep colors like mahogany or espresso emanate the warmth of an Old World kitchen. Avoid paints that cover up the beautiful wood grains.
- Glass-front upper cabinets display collectibles while allowing light to reflect around the room. Leaded or stained glass doors add striking visual interest.
- Consider dressers or hutches for stemware and china display. Decorative carved headers and splashboards behind sinks or stoves finish the look.
Choosing Period-Appropriate Countertops
The countertops in a Victorian kitchen should align with the 19th century style. Some options to consider:
- Butcher Block Countertops – Whether maple, walnut or cherry, the thick solid wood slabs used for chopping meats make an attractive countertop material. Oil periodically to maintain their beauty.
- Marble Countertops – Elegant marble like Carrara or Calacatta add a touch of Victorian luxury. Hone and seal properly to protect the delicate stone.
- Soapstone Countertops – Available in a range of gray and charcoal hues, soapstone has a timeworn look. It is durable and heat resistant as well.
- Tile Countertops – Intricate ceramic tile patterns can provide a vintage flair. Use accent tiles judiciously for best effect.
Incorporating Period Lighting Fixtures
Proper lighting sets the right Victorian mood. Ideas to illuminate the kitchen beautifully include:
- Wrought iron lanterns or sconces with either candles or Edison bulbs
- Crystal or cut glass chandeliers for drama over a kitchen island
- Pendant lights in brass for shaping focused warm lighting
- Ornate lamp bases on kitchen counters to provide task lighting
Adding Authentic Hardware
The right hardware enhances the period appeal of a Victorian kitchen. Some elements to include:
- Crystal or porcelain doorknobs with intricate designs hearkening to the era
- Cast iron pulls often featuring decorative scrollwork and patterns
- Hinges with delicate etchings or molded shapes instead of plain utilitarian ones
- Clawfoot legs supporting cabinets, hutches or kitchen islands
Embracing Victorian Kitchen Textiles
Plush textiles help furnish a Victorian kitchen with period authenticity. Incorporate:
- Tablecloths of lace, crochet or embroidered linen on kitchen tables
- Roman shades trimmed with tassels or fringe at the windows
- Plush cushions on built-in bench seating
- Area rugs, preferably floral Persian style ones, to define spaces
With attention to all these details, it is possible to design a spectacular Victorian-style kitchen that evokes refined historic charm. Embrace materials like rich woods, marbles, and ironwork alongside time-honored finishes and accents. The result will be a kitchen any Victorian-era family would be proud to call home.
Victorian Kitchen Design FAQs
Here are some common questions about designing a Victorian style kitchen:
What are some key differences between Victorian and Colonial kitchen styles?
Victorian kitchens feature darker, richer colors like mahogany and espresso while colonial kitchens use lighter natural wood tones. Victorians also display more ornate hardware, carved moldings, glass-front cabinets and marble/stone counters compared to colonial simplicity.
What wall colors work best in a Victorian kitchen?
Deep hues like burgundy, navy, forest green and moody charcoals help create a richer Victorian atmosphere. Consider two-tone colors with a darker lower half and lighter upper walls.
What flooring options complement a Victorian kitchen decor?
Porcelain tile, natural stone, and hardwoods like oak or walnut are suitable Victorian kitchen floors. Intricate patterns or inlaid borders add flair. Avoid stark modern looks like glossy concrete.
What are some ways to add Victorian flair on a budget?
Vintage-style cupboard latches, ceramic knobs, lace curtains and floral cushions inject Victorian personality at a lower cost. Refinish existing cabinets instead of full replacements to save.
How can you give a small kitchen more Victorian character?
Incorporate glass-front upper cabinets, pendant lights over islands, carved open shelving and period-style pulls/hinges. Paint one focal wall in a dramatic dark color as an accent.
What are the most important elements to focus on for a Victorian kitchen remodel?
The cabinetry design, countertop materials and choice of hardware make the biggest impact. Ensure these core elements align with true Victorian style for an authentic and cohesive aesthetic.
Designing a kitchen with a Victorian flair requires a refined aesthetic eye and careful attention to period details. Focus on features like ornate cabinetry, opulent counters, and vintage lighting fixtures to craft a space that feels like a step back in time. Stay true to the era by embracing darker woods, polished stones, wrought iron accents, and plush textiles throughout the space. The end result will evoke the splendor and luxury of the Victorian period in a kitchen that is still fully functional for today’s needs. With strategic choices and quality craftsmanship, it is possible to enjoy all the beauty, grace and warmth of a Victorian kitchen for years to come.