How to Integrate a Modern Kitchen into an Historic Home

“It’s all about creating balance—trying something with a modern sensibility that works with the period of the home,” says kitchen designer Nadia Subaran.


Photography by Bret Gum

Subaran’s 10 tips for a well-designed kitchen:


1) Panel the refrigerator, freezer drawers and pantry space to look like furniture.


2) Design a custom hood. For example, try a mantel-style stove hood with corbels, hiding the internal venting system.


3) Create an Old World-style butler’s pantry, including glass-fronted cupboards above, to showcase dishware and stemware.


4) Combine a mix of closed cabinetry and open shelving. In this kitchen, shelves above the sink draw the eyes to the windows while providing space to display potted plants, enamelware and vintage figurines.


5) Use materials consistent with the period of the home. Subway tile and natural wood work well in this 1926 California cottage.


6) Consider a brick-pattern subway tile as the backsplash to match an older or vintage-style home.


7) Make the island fit the home’s style and period.


8) Use lighting from different eras and styles. Here, an old-style sconce blends with a modern classic blown-glass chandelier, as well as discreet recessed fixtures.


9) Pick appropriate hardware, like these cabinets’ simple bronze Arts & Crafts-style pulls.


10) Match flooring to the rest of the home for continuity.


by Charlotte Safavi


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