Does Your Historical Home Need a Kitchen Remodel? Make Sure the New Design Fits with the Character of Your Home.
Living in a historical home offers benefits that can’t be duplicated in a newly built house. There’s a sense of continuity, a respect for the past, and an appreciation for old-world craftsmanship that comes from owning a home built before we were born. On the other hand, historical homes can involve some special challenges. Their scale is often quite smaller than we’re accustomed to these days, especially in areas that families use the most, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. The smaller scale means it’s harder to accommodate modern appliances that make life today more convenient. And then there’s the concern that if you remodel the kitchen, it might look out of place with the rest of your home. If you’ve decided it’s time for a kitchen remodel in your historical home, here are a few things to consider:
1. Be clear about what you love. Before beginning your remodel, think carefully about what makes you love your historical home and which aspects of its design and overall character are most important to you. These are the elements that cannot be compromised, and the characteristics you want to accentuate.
2. Now think about what you need. How would you like your kitchen remodel to work for your lifestyle today? Are there modern appliances you’ve been daydreaming about? Do you need more storage space? Think about how you use the kitchen now and how you would ideally like to use the room. Kitchens can be designed to thrill the gourmet cook, to provide a welcoming hub for a busy family, or to create a dramatic center of the home for people who like to entertain. Some kitchens do it all! The important thing is to give careful thought to how you and your family are most likely to use the kitchen after the remodel.
3. Work with a remodeling company that understands historical homes. Because of the delicate balance required in the design process, your contractor should have specific experience working with historical homes. You don’t want your new kitchen to look like it landed in your home from the future! Preserving the original character of your home, while adding modern convenience and scale, requires a high level of design skills, careful research and meticulous attention to detail. There are also legal requirements to consider for remodeling historic properties (such as those outlined in the Mills Act) that your contractor needs to be knowledgeable about … missing these details in the initial design process and then having to correct them later can be costly.
Above all, a kitchen remodel in a historical home should look like it has always been there. The successful remodel of a historic home honors its essential character, while adding new spirit and convenience.