Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Tour of Our Kitchen

Welcome to the Kitchen at Eastlake Victorian!

When the house was built in 1873, there was no kitchen. The owners probably had a small stove in the one-room house for both heating and some cooking. Maybe they cooked in an out building, but there is no evidence left for me to know for sure. The kitchen was probably added around the turn of the 20th century. There are no rooms above our kitchen, but there is a full basement below. Several years back when workmen were replacing all our roofing, they found a gaping hole in the kitchen roof, covered over with only tar paper and several layers of old asphalt roofing. They determined this was probably an old stove pipe location, improperly covered over in later years. There were 5 layers of old roofing that needed to be removed, including the original wood shingles from 1873!

Here's our kitchen as you enter it from the parlor. The back door leads to the basement and to an outside door to the yard. The round table was my grandma's. Nothing fancy here. No granite countertops, nothing special about the cupboards, and just a plain old double stainless steel sink. You can see our recycling bins in the far corner under the counter. We keep our garbage can outside the back door so the cats can't get into it!

Kitchen Overview 3

There are some things I like about this kitchen, and a lot of things I don't like. What I dislike most of all is the ugly vinyl floor covering. It's old, yellowed, and worn out. It really must go! That being said, let me show you the rest of the kitchen. (Try to ignore the floor in the rest of the pictures!)

Ugly Kitchen Floor

The refrigerator and stove came with the house. They are a light beige color, probably from the late 1980's. They still work great. I know a lot of people like new appliances, but as long as these items remain in good working order, I don't see the point of buying new. I'd rather spend that kind of money on something else in the house. Notice the weird shelf over the stove? It's lined with sheet metal, it's ugly, but I haven't taken it down because it's a great place to store the toaster, pot holders and plastic storage containers!

Kitchen Overview 4

Above the Stove

Here's a view of the light fixture I bought a couple years ago. I really love it! It replaced a very ugly neon light fixture. We put in a dimmer switch so that we can turn the light down when we're eating, but turn it up to clean or to prepare foods (we have no under-cabinet task lighting).

Light Fixture

I like the fact that the window over the sink overlooks the garden. It's fun to wash dishes and watch the birds, butterflies and squirrels and see the pretty flowers in the summertime! I put some fake stained glass "stick-on" material in the upper window, then found a cute piece of wood gingerbread that fit the window nicely! It's a bit much, but I'll probably change that out someday. I don't like the casement windows that are in some of the rooms. I'd like to replace them with double hung instead.

Kitchen Window 1

Here's how it looks with the morning sun coming through.

Kitchen Window Morning

Not much counter space, but I've never really needed any more. I usually prepare food on this side of the counter...

Kitchen Overview 2

while this side is for some of the appliances such as the coffee maker and food processor.

Side Counter

I bought this creamware pitcher years ago and I use it to store my most used cooking utensils!

Notice the fake brick wall. When I bought the house I thought this was quaint, but I have since come to loath it. It's very hard to keep clean because of its textured surface, and the paint has chipped where I've had to clean it the most. I can't wait to tear it all off and get something easier to take care of.

Utensils in Cream Pitcher

A peek inside some of the cupboards...

Dish Cupboard

Spices Cupboard

Our mug rack.

Mug Rack

Here's something I really love about the kitchen: Our antique kitchen cabinet! My mom gave us this cabinet about 10 years ago because it really wasn't working in her kitchen anymore. She has a pantry, but we don't, so this has given us so much more storage! We keep all our canned goods and most of our dried goods in here, as well as all my cookbooks!

Tall Kitchen Cabinet

Cupboard Shelves

Jars In Cupboard


The bottom part of the cabinet is great for storing all my odd-sized cooking pans and casserole dishes!

Kitchen Cabinet Side View

This is the cats' favorite window. In the summertime, we attach a cat perch, and they soak up the sun and smell the fresh air. An old rug beater hangs on the wall (yes, I do use it to beat rugs!).

Kitchen Overview 1

I don't know the reasoning behind this high, long casement window. It's too high to look out of, so I hung a nice old piece of stained glass in it. It does bring a little more light into the room, but it's definitely not part of the original kitchen.

Stained Glass Window

This little cabinet holds all our teas and pastas!

Tea Cabinet

I love my antique kitchen clock! I love the sounds that old clocks make. I prefer faces with regular numerals rather than Roman numerals. This clock has beautiful Eastlake/Aesthetic cranes painted in gold on the glass door!

Kitchen Clock

Eastlake Aesthetic Clock Decoration

Back when bakers racks were all the rage, I bought this mini version. It's great for displaying some of my kitcheny knick-knacks.

Bakers Rack 1

Bakers Rack 2

Bakers Rack 3

Here is where the kitties eat!

Cat Mat

I love the sound of our shopkeeper's bell that I attached to the back door!

Shopkeeper's Bell

And finally, my little old recipe box, filled to the brim with old recipes, some typed on an old typewriter and yellowed with age.

Recipe Box 2

A couple years ago, I compiled all our favorite recipes and had them bound into a book. Now my very own cookbook is the one I use most often! Most of the recipes have been tweaked, and some are my own interpretations of foods we were used to eating before we became vegetarians. I go through cycles of experimenting with new recipes, and I'm at a point where I have enough new recipes to fill another volume!

My Cookbook

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Eastlake Victorian Kitchen. Please, if you have any suggestions, let me know! I value your input!

I have so many plans for this room. Here are my ideas so far:

1) Remove vinyl flooring, sand the old wooden floors, and varnish.
2) Replace the window over the sink.
3) Replace all the woodwork.
4) Replace the back door.
5) Add beadboard all the way up the 2 walls near table.
6) Add some narrow open shelving to replace the baker's rack.
7) Remove shelf over stove.
8) Replace the fake brick.
9) Add a fake tin ceiling (can't afford real tin!).

Remember my inspiration picture from way back in October 2009? Even though this kitchen is bigger, and I'll never have a stove like this, I think I can get a similar look. Wish me luck!

Souders Country Kitchen



Blogger Mountain Blessings said...

I love your kitchen now, I was faked out by the fake brick behind the sink. I was going to ask if it was original to the house, thanks for answering that question! I have no doubt you can achieve your inspiration pic because you already have most of the elements you want, which I agree, use what you have. I'm thinking most of your project will be cosmetic. Good Luck and I can't wait to see the outcome! blessings, Marla

February 27, 2011 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Marla-

Thank you for your vote of confidence! I think you're right, it's mostly cosmetic. It's now just a matter of getting around to doing it! :-)


February 27, 2011 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I enjoyed the tour of your kitchen and I like the look of the brick behind the sink,but I know it must be hard to keep clean.Love your window,one thing I always insisted on was a window over the sink!

February 27, 2011 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger La Petite Gallery said...

Great tour. Now you must live in an old house. Those windows are wonderful. I like them and I wish I was as organized as you. I have guilt, have to clean the spice cabnet. Enjoyed your post, and sending warm wishes for a great Sunday.

February 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Elizabeth-

I agree, a window over the sink is a must! I especially like that it faces east so on a sunny day the light comes streaming in! Very cheery. :-)


February 27, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Yvonne-

You know how spices are... you always have so many! It's nice to have the large lazy susan and the double-tiered one, too. That way, it doesn't take too long to find a spice when I need it! Have a great Sunday too, Yvonne. :-)


February 27, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Thanks for the tour. I love your antique cabinet. And really really love the shelf paper in it. My Mom's house had a similar kitchen - nothing above it room-wise plus it had one of those little naroow windows way up high. I never knew what it was for in her house either.

February 28, 2011 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Pam-

Thanks! I love the cabinet and shelf paper, too. I wish I had bought more of that shelf trim years ago, because now I can't find it anywhere. It's actually vinyl, so it will last forever. I need a bit more for the top shelf!


February 28, 2011 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Richard Cottrell said...

Pam, I can asure you my kitchen was much worse. Your kitchen is a pretty simple project.Just keep that in mind, and go after it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. And yes I was an Art teacher for a few years.Richard at My Old Historic House

February 28, 2011 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

Thanks for the advise! I bet you were a great teacher. :-)


February 28, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger The Rustic Victorian said...

Wonderful post Pam! I enjoyed the vist to your home. The cupboards and windows and old treasures are homey and comfy.
I am glad winter is going, it was a long season and way too much snow up north. I am sure the cats will be glad of it.
Where did you find the paper lace in the cupboard, I have been looking for it. I am assuming it is paper not real lace, let me know if I am wrong. A cookbook, kewl...


March 5, 2011 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Marcie-

Thanks for visiting! I'm glad winter is soon over as well. Too much snow this year!

I found the vinyl lace shelf trim in a little gift store before I ever had the kitchen cabinet. That was probably 15 years ago! The gift store is no longer there. I wish I had another roll to cover the top shelf. If I find a new source for it, I'll do a post to let everyone know! It's very durable. :-)


March 5, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger The Dusty Victorian said...

Hi Pam,
I think your kitchen looks pretty good compared to mine. At least you have made some cosmetic improvement and added some lovely decorative touch to it. I haven"t touched mine since we've moved in to The Dusty victorian because I just feel it"s hopeless. What my kitchen needs is a sledge hammer.

March 12, 2011 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Anyes-

I feel for you! Since the Victorian kitchens were utilitarian, they weren't designed or laid out for our modern tastes. And none of us would really want to go back to a true Victorian kitchen! So we have to make due with the original configuration, or gut the house and add on a new modern kitchen. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most difficult rooms to update in Victorian houses!


March 12, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger victorian parlor II said...

I love your kitchen-it's so cozy and warm! I also like the ideas you have for improvements and look forward to seeing them when you do them:). I especially like the stained glass in the small window.



March 13, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Kim-

Thanks! I will keep everybody up-to-date on the kitchen renovation. I've already started, so I'll be posting soon!


March 13, 2011 at 11:43 AM  

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