Totally restoring Laura’s kitchen is such a deliciously satisfying challenge. One can tell a lot about a household from its kitchen. Nesters will often hang their pots and pans on a pot rack, “feminize” the décor, and cook with a crockpot while a freer spirit might experiment with the latest gadgets, install ultramodern décor elements, and cook meals using recipes from exotic cookbooks.
In Laura’s day during the late 19th century into early 20th century, this area was always busy and as expected, almost always in the back part of the house away from the grander rooms. Preparing food and cleaning up afterwards made a mess, was hot, had odors and were to be shielded from public view; families would often congregate around the kitchen stove on cold nights. In addition to its main purposes of cooking, eating, cleaning, and food storage, the kitchen might also be a sleeping room for a servant or double as a place to do laundry.
In all, the crowded Victorian kitchen was as a testament to all of its various functions.
In our last kitchen post, we gutted the kitchen walls. Since then, those open and newly insulated walls have been covered with drywall and plaster.
Here’s what this area looks like now…
Here’s a view of the corner directly diagonal from this one, before and after…
Not a bad first coat by someone who’s never painted a kitchen wall before…
Nick and his model Paige Cummins in front of “Becky Thatcher”.
When we invited Nick over for the unveiling of his Becky Thatcher painting last month, we (us two resurrectors, Ron our guy, his son and his nephew) were well into restoring the exterior and interior of the house. The atmosphere was feverish and infectious with enthusiasm, so naturally anyone would want to pitch in, Nick included.
In our next post, we will discuss how we intend to furnish the kitchen. We will show you sample kitchens we're using as our base and we'll even share some old family recipes dating from late 19th century to early 20th century Hannibal.