Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Early Farm Kitchens

from: Old House Journal, 1998

During one of my antique mall stops last week, I ran across this 1926 bulletin  printed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.  I've collected many of these booklets over the years, but I've never run across one on the subject of kitchen lay-outs.

"The first step toward remodeling an old kitchen is to think out a plan that considers the work to be done, how space and equipment be efficiently arranged, and the relationship of this room to the rest of the house." 1926 Bulletin

"A convenient kitchen is one in which the necessary work
can be done with the least possible effort."
1926 Bulletin

The primary goal of these farm kitchens was convenience and economy--
a concept that was true in our 1930s tenant houses. 


It isn't hard to create a 1920s-30s farm kitchen using today's modern conveniences.
As I described in the post, My Kitchen's Hidden Secrets
dishwashers, microwaves, coffee pots can all be hidden. 

In early farm kitchens:
--Cabinets often resemble furniture pieces
--Cabinet doors are flush with the cabinets
--Most cabinet doors are frame-and-panel
--Lower cabinets normally don't have a toe kick
--Cabinets are painted an off-white or varnished
--Hardware is simple--bin handles, simple knobs, or sometimes glass
--The most common counter top material is wood
--A soft yellow, soft green, or off-white 
are popular color choices for the walls
--Wood for the floor or an appropriately patterned vinyl 
--Vintage or reproduction stoves 

from: Old House Journal, 1998

The key to creating period kitchens is to keep it 

I can't wait to use some of these ideas on our
shotgun house kitchens. . .

This little booklet will come in handy. . .


Beth said...

I bet it will come in handy! this is a wonderful display of the darling, yet practical display of life in those days. I really love looking at old stuff like this! The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the house so i love to gain inspiraion from vintage stuff.

chateau chic said...

I LOVE this. Amazing how much more cooking and canning got done in much simpler kitchens!
Mary Alice

Rosie said...

Reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen. She lived on a farm in Oklahoma.
Thanks for the memories. . .

Unknown said...

Wow those were fun to look at. I did a double take in the kitchen where they talked about the laundry/clothes chute. I have one in my kitchen. We are living in my hubby grandparents 1932 house, as far as I know the only thing they changed in the house is the layout of the kitchen (which is so so soooo tiny. Originally there was a short bench like lower cupboard and next to it was a hole in the floor for the laundry chute. My hubby remembers playing in it when he was a small (much smaller) child. Today there is a cupboard built over it, but the hole is still there. There was the coolest wood box/crate that sat on the dryer below the chute forever, it was used to catch the clothes when they came down the chute. I now use the green box to hold blankets in our room.
One more thing, I was reading one of your posts and you described your style as something simple style (sorry I don't want to use the wrong word and I can't recall at the moment) anyway, I am starting a blog and I named it Real * Simple * Style. Hopefully I will publish it soon, still trying to figure out how they work. . .
Love your blog. . . (Sorry for the long comment)

sunnyskiesandsweettea said...

I love old booklets and magazines like that. It is so neat to see how really advanced they were in their thinking.

Amy Jo

Unknown said...

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