A Touch of Old Europe

Old world kitchen designs take elements from European history prior to 1600.  They use natural organic elements in rustic finishes and cabinetry that look more like furniture than traditional kitchen cabinets.  Take a look at some of the kitchens below….

This kitchen uses a mix of rustic materials. The cook top has a built in hood hidden behind the arch of natural stone. Tumbled marble lines the cooking surface niche.  Cabinets and scraped hardwood floors are stained in rich warm tones.
The island is painted a muted green for contrast.  Corbels support the end of the counter – a great place for seating!
Hidden behind that raised portion of the island above is an apron sink, finished in a rustic copper, while the faucets are oil-rubbed  bronze. 
Focus on the hammered tin ceiling and the repeating metal back-splash for the cook top.  Again, corbels support the decorative range hood.  Raised panel cabinet doors, open shelving, and crown moldings in and antiqued finish help transport us to the past.

Here, a mix of materials – stone for floor, richly stained cabinetry and molding, in this case used as a ledge – serve to focus on the range and its hood.  The tumbled marble back-splash leads your eye right to the area.  Notice the repeat of turned legs on the island and side of the stove.  Another feature – cabinetry that gives the impression of being a piece of furniture.  I like the feature strip of stone around the island that outlines the change of direction in the larger floor tiles.  It reminds one of an area rug.
Stone floors, rich wood cabinetry and turned legs details at the bar.  Notice the pot hanger above – another common feature of old world kitchens.
Here a table extends the island area, both counter and table tops are made from rustic wood.  A mix of countertop materials are often used.  Remember in the 1600 things weren’t too matchy-matchy.  Furniture pieces were often used to hold dishes and utensils, pots and pans hung from the ceiling.  Open shelving was common. 
This is huge kitchen, but it is a good example of the mix of painted raised panel cabinets, open shelving, and turned detailing at the end of the islands.  Notice the covered range hood.  I bet the refrigerator is at the left of the picture; major appliances are often covered with panels matching the cabinetry.   
Remember Old World Kitchens feature:
-Walls of stone, plaster or brick
-The stone is usually rustic in natural matte finishes.  Detailing often utilizes these materials in mosaic patterns. 
-Mismatched often distressed cabinetry – featuring raised panel doors, corbels, crown molding and turned legs – looks more like furniture than kitchen cabinets.
-Major appliances are often covered with panels matching the cabinetry 
-Flooring is often wooden in wide or scraped planks; or of natural stone-Countertops are made of honed granite or rustic wood
-Antiqued finished metals are used for draw pulls, fixtures and other accents
These rustic organic elements in heavy proportions give kitchens a sense of history and authenticity- bringing a slice of the 17th century into our modern world.
images
1&2 – Central Kitchen & Bath
3 – Karen Black Kitchens
4 -Peterson Kitchens Inc
5 – Sawhill custom Kitchens
6 -PDeWitt Designer Kitchens
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