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Historic Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Jan 29, 2024 | Kitchen

Remodeling a historic kitchen can be a rewarding and exciting project that allows you to preserve the charm and character of your home while updating it to meet modern needs. Whether you own a centuries-old farmhouse or a mid-century gem, a historic kitchen remodel requires careful planning and attention to detail.


12 Tips to Remodel Your Historic Kitchen

In this article, we will explore valuable tips to guide you through renovating your historic kitchen, ensuring that it remains a beautiful and functional part of your home.

Research and Preservation

Before embarking on a historic kitchen remodel, take the time to research the history and architectural style of your home. Understanding the era in which your house was built and its unique features is essential for preserving its historical integrity. Consult historical documents, old photographs, or local archives to gain insights into your home’s original design.

Consult a Preservation Expert

Engage with a preservation architect or historian who specializes in historic homes. They can provide valuable guidance on maintaining your kitchen’s authenticity while making necessary updates. Their expertise is especially crucial if your home is located in a historic district with strict preservation regulations.

Assess and Document Existing Features

Thoroughly assess your kitchen’s existing features and document its historical elements. Note architectural details, materials, fixtures, and any unique characteristics that should be preserved or replicated during the remodel. This documentation will serve as a reference throughout the project.

Plan Layout and Functionality

While preserving historical features is essential, ensuring that your kitchen functions efficiently for modern living is equally important. Collaborate with a kitchen designer to create a layout combining historical charm and contemporary functionality. Consider factors like workflow, storage, and appliance placement.

Select Period-Appropriate Materials

Choose materials that align with the era of your home. For example, opt for ornate cabinetry and decorative tiles if you have a Victorian-era house. Mid-century modern homes may benefit from sleek, minimalist design elements. To maintain historical accuracy, use period-appropriate materials for countertops, flooring, and backsplashes.

Replicate Historic Details

If your kitchen has original architectural details like moldings, trim, or beadboard, replicate these elements to maintain the historical integrity of the space. Skilled craftsmen can recreate intricate details that may have deteriorated over time.

Antique or Vintage Fixtures

Consider using antique or vintage fixtures for lighting, faucets, and hardware. These elements can add authenticity to your historic kitchen remodel and create a sense of continuity with the past.

Custom Cabinetry

Incorporate custom cabinetry designed to match the historical style of your home. Whether you need Shaker-style cabinets for a colonial revival kitchen or mid-century modern-inspired cabinetry, custom solutions can perfectly capture the essence of your era.

Energy Efficiency and Modern Amenities

While preserving historical charm is a priority, don’t overlook energy efficiency and modern amenities. Upgrading appliances to energy-efficient models and incorporating hidden conveniences like pull-out pantry shelves can enhance your kitchen’s functionality without compromising its historical appeal.

Professional Restoration and Renovation

Enlist the services of experienced contractors and craftsmen who specialize in historic home restoration. Their expertise ensures that the renovation work proceeds with precision and care. Professionals who understand the unique challenges of historic kitchens can help you achieve the desired results.


historic home foyer

Owings Brothers hand-created many details to finish this historic home remodel. See Project Details.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Be aware of local regulations and zoning codes that pertain to historic homes. In some cases, you may need to obtain permits or approvals from historic preservation boards before changing your kitchen. Compliance with these regulations is essential to avoid potential legal issues.

Budget and Timeline

Establish a realistic budget and timeline for your historic kitchen remodel. Renovating historic spaces can be more complex and time-consuming than modern renovations due to the need for preservation and specialized craftsmanship. Adequate planning and budgeting are crucial to the success of your project.



A historic kitchen remodel is a labor of love that allows you to honor the past while creating a kitchen that suits your modern lifestyle. You can achieve a harmonious balance between historical authenticity and contemporary functionality by conducting thorough research, consulting preservation experts, preserving original features, and selecting period-appropriate materials. Remember to work with professionals who understand the nuances of historic home restoration and comply with local regulations to ensure a successful and respectful renovation.

At Owings Brothers, we specialize in historic home remodeling and restoration. If you’re considering a historic kitchen remodel or any other project for your historic property, contact us today. Our team has the expertise and experience to help you bring your vision to life while preserving your home’s unique character and charm. With the proper guidance and attention to detail, your historic kitchen can become a timeless masterpiece that enhances your daily life and the historical legacy of your home.