How to Remodel the Kitchen in a 1920s House


Revamping a 1920s kitchen can be an artistic and heartfelt endeavor. Although it is possible to find a '20s kitchen in its original form, most have been updated over the years. If you love the look of your 1920s home and want to restore the kitchen to something resembling what was, consider integrating old and new elements. Combine new appliances with beautiful old dishes, containers and cabinets. Research vintage kitchens and talk with someone in your city who understands historic preservation.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Graph paper
  • Vintage cabinet
  • Electrical wiring
  • Plumbing materials
  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Counter material
  • Copper pot rack
  • Measure the kitchen to create a layout. Use graph paper to tentatively define where new appliances and cabinets will fit. You may need to move the sink and other fixtures to create the most efficient layout. You may also need to install smaller windows to accommodate new counters. Define the work triangle of the sink, stove and refrigerator before placing cabinets on the grid.

  • Incorporate vintage pieces or special items. Search for an old cabinet at a flea market or salvage store if the original cabinetry has been removed from your kitchen. Improve the lighting. Add recessed and under-cabinet lighting. Hang a stained-glass Tiffany reproduction lamp over the breakfast table.

  • Take out the ceiling, walls and flooring material that needs to be repaired or replaced. Gut the kitchen to the studs to run new wiring and plumbing. Redo the walls. You may find old hardwood flooring beneath layers of linoleum. Restore it, if possible. If not, add new hardwood flooring or tile.

  • Install appliances and cabinets. Contemporary appliances, especially stainless steel, can be a sophisticated contrast to the vintage look, but you could also look for a reproduction stove from the 1920s, if your budget allows. Select a reproduction enamel sink to give the kitchen a vintage look.

  • Build an island work center if the kitchen is large enough. Use bead board paneling as a backsplash or install it halfway up the walls. Add butcher-block countertop material. Install a copper pot-hanging rack over the island.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install window treatments and artwork from the 1920s. Buy curtain material in a pattern, such as small flowers or a checked design from the 1920s. Sew curtains and cushions for kitchen bar stools to match if there is room for a bar. Frame prints of old advertisements to hang on the walls.

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