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A Very Victorian Kitchen

3 Steps to a Fancy and Functional Kitchen

Romance. Warmth. Beauty. It's what most people envision when they think of the Victorian era. From detailed garments and gowns to ornate furnishings, few time periods instill such a feeling of splendor.

Authentic Victorian kitchens were a bit of a disappointment in terms of luxury. After all, the kitchen's inhabitants consisted of servants – and perhaps a few mice. However, the Victorian era can inspire you to create a culinary haven – without heating one ounce of coal.

Step 1: The Floors
Authentic Victorian kitchens usually housed stone slab or unglazed tile flooring. While that option is still available to homeowners today, the current flooring market also offers ceramic tile that mimics natural stone.

For true Old World warmth and charm, hardwoods are beyond compare. Virginia Vintage floors, hand-scraped genuine wood boards, are billed as "the perfect combination of history and 21st Century engineering," and they just might be the perfect combination of charm and practicality for your Victorian kitchen.

Step 2: The Appliances
Functioning antique stoves from this time period are available through qualified technicians. Good Time Stove Co. in Goshen, Mass., offers a wide range of antique stoves (c. 1880-1900), boasting lavish, fancy and elaborate nickeling and filigree. All the ranges can be converted to gas or electric.

Modern appliances with an antique flair are available through companies such as Heartland Appliances Inc. and Elmira Stove Works.

Of course, traditional appliances also have their place in the Victorian-inspired kitchen. Appliance panels can be used to help dishwashers and refrigerators blend with the cabinetry, leaving visitors to focus on the Victorian-inspired accessories.

Step 3: The Accessories
Once the floor is laid and the appliances are picked, it's time to put the final Victorian touches on your kitchen. The ceiling is the perfect place to start.

Pressed tin ceilings are more than beautiful; they're durable, too. They come in a variety of patterns that can be painted to reflect the room's color scheme. M-BOSS, INC., a Cleveland, Ohio-based company, offers a wide range of classic designs.

Lincrusta wall coverings are another option to add Victorian charm to your kitchen. These linoleum-like wall coverings are embossed with decorative patterns that can be finished to look like wood, metal, leather, plaster and other materials that compliment your design scheme. The original manufacturer of Lincrusta wall coverings, Anaglypta in Darwen, Lancashire, England, distributes their product worldwide.

When it comes to countertops, the rugged elegance of granite and tile works best, especially when paired with fine wood cabinetry. White is a popular color; however, dark woods help to create an Old World ambiance.

While you won't be able to claim your kitchen is authentic Victorian, the design elements you have borrowed from the era will certainly leave you creating meals in splendor and charm.

A Q&A With Good Time Stove Co.

Victorian stoves are not limited to reproductions. The real thing could be headed to a kitchen near you, and according to Good Time Stove Co. in Goshen, Mass., you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Family.com: How does the antique stove perform? Are there any cooking limitations?
GTS Co.: Although the employment of the wood stove in our daily lives has waned, the antique stove is more technologically advanced than many of its modern day counterparts. Comparing the artistic castings and uniquely soothing brand of heat produced by the wood stove reveals that the antique stove outshines today's reproduction ranges in both function and design. By virtue of its superior all-around construction, antique heating stoves and kitchen ranges are finding a renewed popularity in homes and kitchens across the world.

There are no cooking limitations.

Family.com: What steps are taken for proper upkeep?
GST Co.: All stoves from Good Time Stove Co. are fully restored and require minimum upkeep and care. If the stove burns wood, coals need to be removed on a regular basis. Enameling is easily wiped down with a soft cloth. All black cast iron stoves and parts are painted with high temperature paint. Unlike traditional stove polish, this coating does not need to be frequently replaced nor will it come off on your hands or clothes. It can easily be obtained and applied for touch up, if necessary. It can be cleaned as you would any painted surface.

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