Monday, July 9, 2007

excerpts from...A BOOK OF DISTINCTIVE INTERIORS 1912

Excerpts from the chapter…
Planning the Kitchen
This particular kitchen was expected to be staffed. I have to apologize for the picture quality, the scans weren’t very good.


Convenience, cleanliness and ventilation are three essentials that must be paramount in arranging the up-to-date kitchen and its accessories……
The kitchen should be roomy but not excessively large…... An ideal size for a kitchen in a house measuring 25x50 (containing living-room, reception room, dining-room and pantry on first floor) would be 12x15 feet….The floor may be of hard Georgia pine, oiled, or covered with linoleum or oilcloth. As a covering, linoleum of a good inlaid pattern, while more expensive than oilcloth, proves the best and most economical in length of service. In a house where comfort is demanded regardless of cost, an interlocking rubber tiling is suggested. This flooring absolutely avoids noises and slipping and is comfortable to the feet, as well as being of an exceptional durability. Other floors of a well-merited character are unglazed tile, brick, or one of the many patented compositions consisting chiefly of cement, which is also fireproof.

The kitchen need not be large, if it is compact. In the house 25' x 50' the ideal size is about 13'x 15'. A work table of this sort does away with many unnecessary steps, the lower shelf being a convenient place to put articles that are in constant use


The wainscoting, if adopted for the kitchen, can be of tile, enameled brick, or matched and V-jointed boards, varnished or painted; but in any event should be connected with the floor in a manner to avoid cracks for collecting dust or dirt. This is accomplished (when a wooden wainscot is used) by means of a plain rounded molding which is set in the right angle formed by the junction of the floor with the wainscot. While seldom seen, because of the expense, a kitchen completely tiled or bricked on walls, floor and ceiling is indeed a thing of beauty and necessarily an ideally sanitary room.
The doors, window frames, dressers and other necessary woodwork should be plain, made of medium wood and painted some light color or enameled white; or finished in the natural state with a transparent varnish.
The walls and ceiling, if not tiled or bricked, should be finished with a hard smooth plaster and painted three or four coats of some light color light yellow, green, or blue making a very agreeable color to the eye. This manner of treatment permits the walls to be washed and kept free from dust and dirt, which latter is a disagreeable feature in the use of wall papers.

The sink……may be of galvanized iron, copper, soapstone or enameled porcelain…The draining-board may be of hard wood or of wood covered with copper or zinc. The best are made of enameled ware similar to the sinks. Draining-boards of copper or zinc should be given only a slight slope to prevent the possibility of dishes slipping therefrom.

The refrigerator should be built in or placed against an outside wall in order that the ice can be put in easily from without through either a small opening or window. If it can be avoided, the refrigerator should not be placed immediately in the kitchen, but rather in the entry, pantry or enclosed porch.


A very novel kitchen cupboard is this, with the shelf space in the doors giving almost a double capacity. The bread board slides beneath a shelf and is provided with handles
Have you seen these in the kitchen displays lately?



The kitchen of the small house which sometimes has no communicating pantry should have built therein dressers of such proportions as will accommodate all the necessary dishes, pots, vessels, bins for flour, sugar, etc., cutlery, and other things essential for obtaining the best results under the circumstances…….The top portion, of plain shelves, should be enclosed either with doors or sliding glass fronts; the lower portion, first lined with zinc and enclosed with solid wooden doors so constructed to fit nearly if not airtight. If an exclusive pot closet is desired, it should be handy to the range and at the same time be under cover for sanitary reasons.
Frequently in a small kitchen a counter or drop leaves against the wall are substituted for a table, but in most kitchens a good-sized substantial table, preferably in the center of the room, is found indispensable. The table should have a smooth top that can be easily kept clean. Although costly, a heavy plate glass fitted perfectly with rounded edges makes a splendid top for the table.
In a house, which has two or more servants, a dining-room or alcove should be provided for their use. This may be a part of the kitchen or immediately adjoining, and merely large enough to seat comfortably the servants around a table.
The cook's pantry should contain cupboards in which are all the necessary paraphernalia for preparing pastries, puddings, etc., such as bins, bakeboards, crockery, pans and supplies, and should be lighted by at least one window.
The butler's pantry, or china-closet as it is often called generally located and affording direct communication between the kitchen and the dining-roomis essentially a serving-room and should contain a sink with draining-boards, cupboards and shelves to accommodate the fine china, glassware and other requisites for the table. With such a plan the door between the pantry and kitchen may be either sliding or double swinging, but between the pantry and the dining-room, a noiseless double-swinging door. A slide, with small shelves or counters on either side, between the kitchen and pantry, for the passing of food and dishes, saves time and steps. It is well to have the communication rather indirect through the pantry to prevent in a measure the passage of odors or a direct view of the kitchen by those entering the dining-room or seated at the table. This can be partly accomplished by not having the communicating doors directly opposite each other.
The best artificial lighting is obtained by a reflector in the center of the kitchen, possibly with side brackets where necessary, as at the sink or at the range.

The butler's pantry should have an indirect connection between the kitchen and the dining-room. The two doors here keep out odors, noise and heat from the dining-room. The refrigerator is in the cook's pantry and opens out on the porch


***
A feature of this plan is the sliding door connecting the kitchen and pantry. This may be closed when cooking is in progress and successfully keeps all odors from rinding their way into the dining-room. Opposite windows provide a cross draft and excellent ventilation


***

A kitchen in a large country place that is equipped with every possible convenience, sliding doors, built-in refrigerator, clothes chute, dumbwaiter and a revolving drum between kitchen and butler's pantry. There is also provision made for a servants' dining-room, advisable wherever possible

***

The butler's pantry or serving-room should be equipped with a cupboard and sink in order that the finer glass ware can be stored and the more fragile articles be washed without finding their way into the kitchen

***

A rather unusual plan, in which great economy of space is made by building the service stairs about the chimney. The pantry is exceedingly well arranged in that it takes up no room from the kitchen or the dining-room

Chapters in this book…….
PLANNING THE LIVING-ROOM ...... 5
By A. Raymond Ellis
DESIGNING THE DINING-ROOM ...... 47
By A. Raymond Ellis
DECORATING AND FURNISHING THE BEDROOM . . .69
By Margaret Greenleaf
THE PROBLEM OF THE BATHROOM ..... 87
By A. Raymond Ellis
THE PROPER TREATMENT FOR THE NURSERY ... 99
By Sarah Ley burn Coe
CHARACTERISTIC HALLS AND STAIRWAY TYPES . . .108
PLANNING THE KITCHEN . . . . . . .116
By James Earle Miller

A BOOK OF DISTINCTIVE INTERIORS

1912
A decorating book for the well to do.