Creating a New Kitchen in an Old House. Part Four.

A few months back I did three posts about how to create a new kitchen for an old house.

No original fittings remain in the kitchen of the Cross House, although the room is architecturally intact.

The butler’s pantry, and main pantry, are also mostly intact and will be fully restored.

The other day I came across a kitchen on Old House Dreams which made me gasp.

You will, too:


1931 French Eclectic – Saint Louis, MO

The house is a 1931 French Eclectic, in Saint Louis, MO. The kitchen is thrillingly, amazingly, breathtakingly original. S W O O N. And the walls are — drum roll, please — green Vitrolite. How cool is that?



I am currently working on creating a kitchen in the adjacent carriage house, and this would be my dream realized.



I found this same sink a few blocks away from the Cross House, but in green! GREEN! I did a post about the adventure. And what an adventure it was! I almost did not survive the Forces of Evil!!!!!!!!



My lust is scarily large for this room. This wall is where the refrigerator rested. You know it must have been fabulous. What makes me a bit queasy in looking at these images is the awareness that a new owner will likely, likely, tear out everything. I will never ever understand this kind of thinking. Never.



The bathroom has lilac Vitrolite panels. I am swooning all over again.


In America, a kazillion dollars are annually spent on new kitchens. And most of these kitchens are, in my opinion, ugly.

This baffles me. We used to do gorgeous kitchens in America, as shown in my previous posts on the subject. And, don’t get me wrong, I do not think that all kitchens need to look like old-style kitchens. I also like a modern-styled kitchen:



The rare new kitchen I like.



Back however to The Gorgeous Beauty. I do not understand why people don’t create kitchens like this anymore. Even people who own old houses, and who want a new kitchen to replace their 1978 “updated” kitchen, do not create kitchens like this. They normally do a very modern layout, and with every possible convenience, but with “classic” detailing. The end results though look NOTHING like the above image. Creating such a kitchen (and, yes, a dishwasher can be easily figured in) is not rocket science but we seem as a nation to have suffered a collective aesthetic amnesia during the last couple of decades, at least when it comes to kitchens.



This is the style kitchen one commonly sees today. This is SO not what the green kitchen is. SO. NOT.



  1. Lady Cynthia Dschankilic on November 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Two posts in one day! Huzzah! Couldn’t resist tempting you with the wares of a company local to me. They have a wonderful retro line, but even more importantly an 1890 styled line with all the modern conveniences. Have fun lingering.

    Thanks again for keeping your fan club in the loop! I love seeing how our beauty is doing.

    • E.J. on December 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      I looked at this website, and the selection of appliances is wonderful. Yes, they’re pricey, as you might expect custom items to be. I just love the Robins’ Egg Blue.

  2. Brenda Orlowski on October 28, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I may be one of the few people left that abhors dishwashers. I love the camaraderie that occurs whilst hand washing dishes after a festivity (I also love old China and always ponder each piece during the process). I love your writing style and your ability to pull in readers as if they each have a personal stake in the process of your restoration.

    • E.J. on December 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      I live with my 2 lifelong best friends, and we all cook. A functional kitchen is what we needed, appearance is secondary. A 6 burner dual-fuel Viking range handles that, SubZero refrigeration takes care of cooling needs. All stainless steel, but the fridge is hidden in a custom cabinet, covered by doors that retract alongside the fridge when they are open. There was little to do about the range, but all that stainless was accented with brass trim, and that inexpensive luxury softened the overall shock. A 3rd bestie is a skilled carpenter/cabinetmaker, and other modern additions, like the 2 Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer dishwashers are hidden by custom front panels. I don’t hate dishwashing, but one of us is a wheelchair bound person, who can’t stand at the sink. Dishes are done by the end of every day, or we would be over-run by mice. Trash is taken out every night for the same reason. I do put my china in the dishwasher, silverware, too!

  3. M.T on March 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    I actually own this house, and beyond restoring the floors, the rest is still intact! Vitrolite is in excellent condition!

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