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Deep Dive

This Victorian Kitchen Renovation Keeps All the Good Period Details

The Expert Team
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Photo by Aaron Lietz.

The project: A classic turn-of-the-century Victorian home built in 1895

The location: On the water in the Pacific Northwest

The room: A kitchen (but we also designed the dining area, guest suite, and bathroom)

The client: A busy family of 5(!) with 3 kids

Renovating a 100+-year-old house isn’t for the faint of heart.

It often involves completely rethinking the layout and flow and getting rid of small, closed-off rooms and pokey kitchens that were the norm a century ago (not to mention what you might find behind the walls once you start gutting). For Seattle-based interior designer Lisa Staton—who loves a good dose of traditional flair—historic remodels are an opportunity to blend highly-functional modern-day living with the charming period details that keep many of us turning back to old homes again and again. So when a busy couple with three young kids came to her to completely reimagine their 1895 Victorian with sweeping water views, she knew exactly what to do…

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Photo by Aaron Lietz.

Why do you think this space works so well?

When we came on board, the house had been through over 120 years of various renovations! The layout was cramped, crowded, and very awkward with dropped ceilings all over. The newly-configured space allows for easy flow from the main living area into the new kitchen and dining zone. It maximizes the water views with generous new glass doors and allows for a large pantry that’s connected to a new guest suite and bath and can double as a mudroom when not in use.

What was the brief for this room? How did it need to function for the homeowner?

We needed to open up the whole space to function better and improve the access to the backyard. Aesthetically, we took clues from the original 1800s detailing to recreate the trim and moldings. We also layered in historic features like the painted tin ceiling to give the renovation a timeless look.

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Photo by Aaron Lietz.

What was your inspiration jumping-off point?

The arched detail we found in the entry was the jumping-off point for the kitchen—it was our inspiration for the range hood. We also wanted to incorporate the husband's Indian heritage so we incorporated warm metals like copper and brass as well as dark moody tones that complement the hardwood moldings.

Biggest challenge you had when designing this space:

Making it feel warm and layered but not busy or fussy was the biggest challenge. And incorporating the honey-toned trim throughout by adding in deeper colors and wood accents.

How would you describe the vibe of this space?

"Come on in, grab a mug of coffee, put your feet up, and stay a while!"

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