Based on the architectural and furniture styles of the 18th-century middle classes, British Standard kitchens are designed to restore period grandeur in old homes
If you are renovating a period home, it is most fitting to choose a kitchen that matches the architectural style of the home. As the role of the kitchen changed throughout time, so did the way it looked and worked.
Take inspiration from the history books to create your own dream kitchen brimming with authentic period details.
The Georgian period (1714-1830) covers the reign of four King Georges, including the later Regency period of George IV as Prince of Wales. Since it encompasses more than a century, it would be impossible to define a single design style for furniture of the era but today’s interpretation within kitchens is easily recognisable, not to mention incredibly popular.
Pitched somewhere between the austere simplicity of a flat-framed Shaker-style door, and the more ornately decorated Victorian style, Georgian kitchens are characterised by being a very strong classic look that can be made grander with impressive panelled mantels and imposing full-height larders, or kept simpler for a cottage or farmhouse kitchen.
‘A generous Georgian mantel shelf over your range cooker or hob can be used to display attractive pieces of crockery or other kitchen ornaments,’ suggests Robert Lawrence, marketing manager for Moores Furniture Group.
Georgian kitchen details:
- Raised and fielded panel doors, often with bolection (projecting) moulding
- Drawers edged with cock-bead or pencil moulding for delicate detail
- Painted finishes – often greys and blues
- Grand mantelpieces with raised and fielded panels and solid corbels
- Granite or marble worktops
- Butler’s sinks and French farmhouse taps
- Bronze drop handles, cup handles and knobs
There are two approaches to the Victorian kitchen, and they couldn’t be further apart. On the one hand, there’s a utilitarian interpretation based on the butler’s pantry or scullery that was the true working kitchen in Victorian homes. The focus is on a range cooker with free-standing furniture, open dressers and a large, well-worn table centre stage. More often, the kitchen cabinet design we associate with the Victorian era today is styled on the upstairs parlour or dining rooms, although you will often see elements of the ‘below stairs’ kitchen – for example, a butler’s sink, glass dresser and solid range cooker – incorporated.
On the other hand, you will find Victorian kitchens where flourishes are deemed as important as functionality. Again, the Victorian period embraced many furniture styles during the Queen’s long reign (1837-1901), but, generally, Victorian inspired kitchens have higher levels of decoration than Georgian-style kitchens, with elaborate scrolls and corbels, dentil moulding and carved pilasters all frequent features.
Traditionally, kitchens with Cathedral arch doors and barley twist pilasters (influenced by the Gothic revival period) came under Victorian classification but they have been toned down somewhat in recent years, while wicker baskets and open wine racks remain strong.
Victorian kitchen details:
- A large cook’s table or island unit
- Freestanding furniture such as a glassware/crockery dresser
- Ornate cornicing, twisted pilasters and Cathedral arch doors
- Pulley clothes dryer above a range cooker
- Scullery style wet area with butler’s sink
- Copper items such as jelly moulds and kettles
- Cream or white painted cabinetry mixed with oak or teak worktops
- Dentil moulding and intricately carved corbels