Capture the warmth of old American architecture with colonial cuisine

Here’s how to bring home traditional style with rustic, handmade charm.

<p>Courtesy of Studio Dearborn</p>
<p>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTc2Nw–/ 8f8f76490582f15fdee3″/><noscript><img alt=Courtesy of Studio Dearborn

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Courtesy of Studio Dearborn

If you’re looking for a kitchen that exudes warmth and craftsmanship, consider a colonial-inspired kitchen. Colonial style refers to homes in the American colonies, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries. In these houses, kitchens were simple and laborious. “The kitchen was centered around a large wood-burning fireplace and a long, sturdy table often occupying the center of the room,” says Kimberly Kerl, founder and principal designer at Kustom Home Design.

These spaces were not the uniformly manufactured kitchens of today, but rather more varied and less equipped in style. “It was a menagerie of handmade tables, rough sawn lumber, furniture bases with stone countertops, hammered sinks and stone backsplashes,” says Kerl.

Even though today’s kitchens are more complex, they can still capture the charm of the era. “Today’s colonial kitchens often draw on influences from colonial architecture, furniture, and millwork,” says Sarah Robertson, founder and lead designer of Studio Dearborn. The result is a classic, traditional style that embraces the refined (and sometimes rustic) touches of colonial architecture and decor.

<p>Ben Ivins / Courtesy of Kustom Home Design</p>
<p>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/ b6851dd8e712fb955″/><noscript><img alt=Ben Ivins / Courtesy of Kustom Home Design

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Ben Ivins / Courtesy of Kustom Home Design

Elements of colonial kitchens

Larger layouts and design elements combined with period-inspired details are the keys to bringing colonial style to the kitchen.

Large kitchen space

The main feature of a colonial kitchen was a stone hearth used for cooking. Today, the focus can be on the stove or cooking area for similar appeal. “Large wall hoods that resemble a fireplace, often accompanied by a mantel shelf or masonry materials, such as brick, stone or stucco, allude to the eye-catching size and scale of chimneys colonial cuisine,” explains Kerl.

Central workspace

“A center island or table is considered a statement piece,” says Kerl. In addition to a large hearth, authentic colonial kitchens typically featured a table as a workspace and a place to eat in the kitchen. A wooden table or butcher’s island gives a similar unfinished look while still allowing the kitchen to look (and feel) open and airy. An island can offer similar, albeit more robust, practical features.

Mix of storage styles

Colonial kitchens are characterized by a more eclectic mix of storage than most kitchen design styles. Colonial style isn’t all about traditional cabinetry, but rather pieces that Kerl says “resemble the look and feel of furniture.” Having a mix is ​​essential to achieving a warm aesthetic.

“Key elements of the design include using cabinets with a variety of finishes, including stained and painted pieces,” says Kerl. Base cabinets that visually differ from upper cabinets, a mix of open and closed storage, and countertop cabinets, rather than upper wall cabinets, help achieve this look. Kerl also notes that cabinet details, like latch-style hardware, copper and brass finishes, and irregularly textured or patterned glass accents, have the rustic, handcrafted look of a colonial kitchen.

Natural elements

Surfaces, from floors to walls to ceilings to countertops, would have largely been a mix of stone and wood in colonial kitchens, elements that are easy to incorporate today. Robertson recommends wide-plank wood floors to capture the colonial feel. “You can also incorporate natural materials such as wooden beams, accents and exposed brick for an old-world charm,” she says. Wood or natural stone countertops add elevated texture and pattern. The choice of materials of local origin, or common to the region, is a nod to the historically local know-how of colonial cuisine.

<p>Courtesy of Studio Dearborn</p>
<p>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/ deebf1e1e55c”/><noscript><img alt=Courtesy of Studio Dearborn

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Courtesy of Studio Dearborn

Colonial Kitchen Design Tips

“Colonial style is the perfect style for an early American home, such as a Colonial Revival, farmhouse, or Cape Cod. It’s perfect for homeowners who have a sense of traditional design,” says Robertson. “This is generally aimed at those who are less likely to take risks when it comes to color in their kitchen.”

Because Colonial style is classic rather than trendy, its neutral color palettes help the kitchen remain timeless. “Neutral, muted colors are typically used for major parts of the design, like cabinets,” says Robertston.

When designing a colonial kitchen, try to choose complements appropriate to the era. “We prefer to use classic tiles, like subway tiles with a watercolor glaze, or historic tiles like Delft, which would have been used in the homes of wealthy settlers for decorative areas,” says Robertston. She also advocates oil-rubbed bronze or mixed metals in lighting and cabinet hardware. “In terms of style, you’ll want to go more traditional and stay away from simple, modern lines,” she says.

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