A Victorian style kitchen typically pre-dates the invention of today’s typical built-in kitchen that consists of continuous runs of base and wall hung cabinets and exposed appliances. Just for the sake of simplicity, today I’m talking about homes built prior to 1900. These were the horse and buggy days with no TV, no internet, few cars and lots of smoky trains. Homes used gas lighting instead of electric, ice boxes instead of refrigeration and wood and coal stoves requiring constant tending were the norm for cooking and heating. Front porches and upper sleeping porches were used to keep cool in the summers in the days before air conditioning.
But the kitchens were more socially active than the efficiency kitchens that followed them. For one thing, it took longer to make meals than now; so much of the day was spent in the kitchen, so they had to be more multi-functional. For the larger homes that employed hired help, the need for efficiency was offset by the abundance of cheap labor. Natural lighting and ventilation was much more important than it is now, view was not as important. High ceilings allowed the hot air to rise.
Therefore in the period homes that have survived, several large windows, many doors and high ceilings and in some cases a real cooking fireplace have survived. (Note in the picture above of an Australian Outback frontier kitchen, the cooking fireplace is to the left of the stack of copper cooking pots.) But all of these items make the installation of a modern built-in kitchen very difficult to achieve. Not to mention the hypocrisy of placing all of today’s wonderful time saving major and minor appliances in full view!
Not so with workstations that can fit between the tall windows and many doors. Because KWF is so efficient due to their added depth, less horizontal counter space is required. Installation is easier too and this is an extremely important point to make. Tile backsplashes are not required and minimal to no trimming between the walls and the workstations (its furniture) is required. No exposed tight fitting joints between cabinets to line up and level, no inside wasteful corner cabinets, no filler strips, no countertop measuring and custom fitting and oh, no empting countless cardboard boxes that the manufactured cabinets arrive in and no removing and replacing all cabinet doors during the installation process. The list of saved operations goes on and on but with workstations, the above operations are done in the factory. Its furniture! Think about the installation costs and time that are saved!!!
Not to mention the reduced planning time as all standard models and options are pre-priced and shop drawings are done! Once you approve our quote for your job, the order goes almost immediately into the factory!
And most of all the high-tech hypocrisy is alleviated by concealing the high powered ‘hot’ appliances safely from view when they are not being used using YesterTec’s exclusive U.L. Listed safety technology. In addition the refrigerator, dishwasher and all of the small appliances are concealed as well!
This kitchen combines three pieces of KWF with a center island work table that the owners previously purchased. Note how all of the pieces are separated by the wallpapered walls and ceiling surfaces that extend continuously from the adjoining family room space.
All three workstations are made of quarter sawn white oak with our craftsman stain. The range includes a gas cooktop and a slide out range hood and a concealed oven below the cooktop. Honed black granite is used instead of the more traditional (but less durable) slate countertop. There is plenty of storage space for cooking vessels and everyday dishes and glasses due to the extra depth and height of the upper cabinets and the full extension 26” deep drawers.
The sink/island workstation separates the sitting and eating areas from the kitchen. The storage piece at 54” above the floor shields the working countertop from view from the family room and adds additional prep space to this vital 29” deep workstation. Small appliances and/or dishes are concealed behind sliding glass doors leaving plenty of prep space on the extra deep countertop. Honed black granite on the lower worktop and cherry on the upper creates visual and functional diversity.
The Subzero refrigerator is concealed in a large armoire with a working pantry that features a countertop just inside its bi-fold doors. This space provides storage and workspace for the many small electric appliances as well as storage space for dry goods and serving dishes.
But what I like the most about this furnished kitchen is how it is such a social kitchen, different from what it would have been in the old days due to our increase of leisure time. But with the ‘floating furniture’ of the family room blending in so easily with the concept of the separate workstations, a less ‘techy’ look has been discovered, compared to a normal kitchen made of continuous builtins. And there is still room to add additional antique pieces into it whenever they are found. You can’t do that with built-in kitchens. We wanted to build a couple of pieces to fill the spaces now, but the owners chose to wait, and in the end, diversity will be welcomed, just like the island piece adds diversity complementing the three main workstations.
This kitchen exemplifies why we wanted to create an alternative design concept compared to the standard built-in kitchen. We hope you can see the difference and realize just how versatile a furnished kitchen can be.