America has had a notable influence on modern design trends – as you’d expect from one of the most powerful nations on Earth! But there are some which have remained static, retaining a style all their own. We’re talking, of course, about early American kitchens. They’re a little tricky to get right, but with a bit of time and effort, they can give your kitchen a look and feel like no other.
One of the reasons that early American kitchens are so fascinating is because of what they represent in terms of history. The American frontier was a wild and deadly place, and resources were limited – there wasn’t much spare for fancy ornamental design! Instead, early kitchens embody a strong and functional structure, with quality materials and a vital sense of practicality throughout. The decorative features are modest at best, using clean, uncomplicated lines, and simple carvings on posts and furniture feet.
As one of the most readily available materials at the time, natural wood is a big feature in this type of kitchen; whether oak, pine, walnut or cherry. Early American kitchens glow with a sense of rustic warmth and character, and there’s nothing that does this job better than good old-fashioned wood. Similarly, timber floors are a fantastic way to project that sense of historic warmth and pride that was so prominent in the homes of these hardworking frontiersmen.
Natural wood is also brilliant as a material because it speaks volumes on its own – especially when coupled with other natural woods. This sense of warmth and history is also enhanced with other rustic design elements, such as an antique fireplace, exposed wooden rafters or an old grandfather clock – as well as any other early American furniture you can get your hands on! As for your worktops, natural stone like granite or marble neatly complement the wood without detracting from the overall style. Whatever the materials you choose, you’ll want to keep that natural, historic feel throughout. Even if you use more modern materials, if you keep your colour scheme intact with simple, reminiscent earthy tones, you’ll probably find that you have quite a lot of room to experiment.
We’ve always said that your cabinetry is one of the defining features of your kitchen, so it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to it. We’ve already mentioned the varying wood species you can choose for your cabinetry – you might discover that if the rest of your kitchen makes good use of darker wood species, a lighter pastel colour might be fantastic for your cabinetry to really make it stand out. Meanwhile, you can make good use of glass to enhance your kitchen’s sense of space, while giving you ample room to display your prized crockery or other ceramics. After all, if you’ve got some contemporary plates, glass cabinets are the perfect vehicle to show them off!
Don’t neglect your appliances – powerful gas ranges were the most common sight in early American kitchens, and for a lot of situations that’s all the early settlers had to rely on. There’s no reason that all your appliances have to be era-appropriate, though – just cast a careful eye over them first to make sure they don’t break up the carefully cultivated style of your kitchen!
If you need any help or advice, don’t forget that our designers are always on hand to help! You can find your nearest showroom, or book a free home design visit. If you need any advice in the meantime, too, we’re just a phone call away. Our Blackburn kitchen showroom number is 01254 246 046 – or you can find the number of your local showroom on its relevant page!
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