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Retaining character in a kitchen remodel

When it's time to remodel a Victorian, Georgian or even Tudor home, homeowners won't want to lose the beautiful character that drew them to the property in the first place. However, knowing how to design a modern kitchen around those quirky features can be somewhat of a challenge. We've rounded up just a few of our ideas on how to showcase your period property in a modern and stylish way.

Identify all your favourite elements. Once you've done this, you can let any tradespeople, designers etc know exactly what they mustn't remove. Assess the condition of the cornicing, ceiling roses, original doors, anything else you might have, and consider specialist repairs for those needing a little love.

Don't hide away quirks and features- show them off. Awkward angles, alcoves and architecture can become beautiful and unusual focal points in a modern home. With a bespoke kitchen, cabinetry can be made to fit the most unique of spaces, creating storage, reading nooks, designated pet areas, just about anything at all. Additionally, clever lighting or artwork can enhance any awkward elements, taking a kitchen from cheerless to charming.

Be selective with your appliances. Almost all modern kitchen appliances were yet to be invented when your home was built in the 1800s or before. In most households, open ranges and stoves were the sole apparatus, placed within the kitchen fireplace, utilising the flue and chimney to remove cooking smells and smoke. Now, homeowners are once again choosing to install Ranges and Agas in the fireplace - it being the most practical place for it- reflecting the period of the house.

Other electricals such as kettles, toasters and coffee machines, whilst invaluably useful, aren't in keeping with the character of the home. To avoid a clash of centuries, modern pantries concealing breakfast nooks are becoming increasingly popular. Often with sliding doors, these pieces of cabinetry can easily hide away appliances you need easy access to, but don't want on display at all times.

Use colour and style to gently modernise. If you're looking to retain the features and quirks that first caught your eye about the house, you'll want to consider the use of colour and style to complement the character. Muted, heritage hues such as sage, off-white and dove grey pair perfectly with shaker style cabinetry, bringing a kitchen up to date, not over-modernising. Strong, rich colours such as plum and forest green also complement the character but create a bolder, more striking theme.

As trends come and go, character and period features sway in and out of style constantly. By retaining these elements, creating focal points around them, you're protecting your home's personality and history. With more and more new-build homes on offer, owning a home with charm and quirks in abundance is becoming more of a rarity. With many years' experience working with period properties, our team at Thomas James Bespoke is guaranteed to retain and enhance the character of your home, while easing it smartly into the 21st century.


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