Even with stock cabinets and laminate counters, you can chose quality finishes for a kitchen that not only show quality, but also fit into the character of the home. My recent kitchen project was in an older home in Inglewood that still had many remaining original details. As I recreated the kitchen, I wanted to continue these details and help a modern kitchen not feel ‘too’ modern, if you know what I mean…
Tile was chosen for both the flooring and a backsplash. The floor would be 12 x 12 ceramic tile and the backsplash would be classic white 3 x 6 subway tile. Have you ever looked through a This Old House magazine and counted the subway tile backsplashes? There are some variations, of course, but subway tile is definitely the classic choice for an older home. Basic white is fairly timeless and not likely to be out of style in a few years.
The tile design can really add a distinct flavor to a room, but so can the trim-work. In this kitchen I had to fabricate my own trim to match the casings and baseboards in other parts of the home. It’s not terribly fancy, but used a common design from the early 1900’s that is seen in many homes throughout Nashville’s older homes. The old kitchen had 60’s-style clam-shell trim that was completley out of place in this home. I was happy to remedy that.
One other detail that I liked was for the laundry room door. We built a deep closet in one corner of the kitchen to contain a stack-able washer and dryer. Instead of installing a normal door handle, we used a dummy knob with a ball-latch. The knob doesn’t actually turn, it’s just a handle to pull the door open. A small recessed ball mounted on the top of the door is set with a spring so that after you close the door, the ball holds it shut. The great thing about this is that there is no handle on the inside of the door, allowing more clearance for the washer and dryer.