Saturday, September 17, 2011

KITCHENS -Past and Present.

This is my present kitchen at My Old Historic House. The sink cabinet is the only built in cabinet in the whole kitchen..
This is the cabinet with the red counter top and tile with fruit that I covered with cut out roses from the wallpaper.  This house was in St.Louis and I sold it and moved to New York.

This was my very first home that I ever owned. It was an 1860's brick two story in Louisiana, Mo. The cabinets were there when I bought it. I removed the upper ones and painted the lower ones. I  free hand painted the blue willow designs below the sink.

Same kitchen as above. I knocked the plaster off the brick here and left it exposed. The old cook stove was left from the former owners. It worked and I used to fire it up and use it on real cold days. 

    While looking through a pile of photo's the other night ,for one special one, I noticed I had a lot of pictures of my former homes. They  got me thinking and counting and I have lived in 17 homes/apartments  in the past 41 years. That is an average of 2.5 years per home. When you look at it this way, sound like I am a gypsy.And in a way I guess I am. I love to decorate houses, especially mine, but, when I get tired of the way it looks, I find it more interesting to move than redecorate. Now that I am 62 and some what grown up, I guess I might just stick around for awhile. Those moves are getting harder and harder. When I think back, I am not even sure how I did it. I only hires professional mover once and that was when I moved from St.Louis to New York,(Hamptons) and back. That cost $10,000.00 each trip, something you can never get back. I said, if I move anywhere that requires a moving van again, I'm having the biggest estate sale this part of the country has ever seen.
   I am not a big photo keeper. I usually just stick them in a box. Over the years I am sure many have been tossed or lost. Looking through the ones I have, I found more pictures of my past kitchens than other rooms, so I am doing  a blog about my kitchens , past and the present. I 'm sorry I don't have pictures of all 17. I sure wish I did. But, I have a few and I would like to share them with you all.
   One theme that runs true in all my kitchens is the fact that they are all kinda country. I love primitive antiques and I also love Victorian formal, so to put the two styles together is a little tricky, so the solution is to use the primitive, country items, in the kitchen. I have never been one for these huge, mega kitchens with cabinets everywhere and you need roller skates to get from one end to the next. In fact, I really don't like built in cabinets . I would rather have antique pieces that I could take with me. The only cabinet my kitchens usually has, is the sink cabinet. I never replace cabinets, I just re-do them, with paint and sometimes new counter tops. I have been known to paint a few counters in my  lifetime. Heck, once I painted the ice box hunter green. I love wallpaper in my kitchens and  not wall paper that looks like a kitchen. I hate that cute kitchen wall paper with tea pots or chickens or fruit.I usually prefer my kitchens to look more like parlors than kitchens. I have many a time used big pink rose wallpaper in my kitchens.  I love bead board in a kitchen. I love open shelves also and never seem to have enough of them. Another common theme in my kitchens is the use of gingham fabric, for curtains and other decorations. My favorite floor for a kitchen is a wooden one, I have never liked tile floors.

The kitchen from my very first home that I ever owned. 
I free hand painted the blue willow design on the sink.

I have always loved good country primitive antiques. You will see many of these items in each and every kitchen I have ever had.
This house was in St.Louis. I called it, Rose Haven, and it was a Bed and Breakfast. I followed the rose theme through out the house, including the wall paper in the kitchen,  which had huge cabbage roses. This is the house where I pained the ice box hunter green.

Wish the picture was better, but here is a close up of the wall paper.

The kitchen above at Rose Haven had this darling little,6 by 10, screen porch off the back. I continued the rose theme out there and it was my favorite spot. I had many a meal at this small table. See the bird cage, you will see them often in my kitchens. 

For a few years I lived in an old mansion in Hannibal,Mo. that was a museum and open to the public for tours , I was the curator  and this was the kitchen at Christmas. I decorated a  theme tree in every room. This one showcases my Chicken collection.  This kitchen was in my private quarters, but I often let tourist see it. 

I used a quilt for a table cloth.I do this a lot. 

The kitchen at the Hannibal mansion was really my private quarters, but I would let people tour it anyhow. I used a floral wall paper again here. I made the chicken needlepoint you see in this cute hanging piece. I gave most of these chicken things, including the needlepoint to my niece Sherry, She used them in her home today.

    One kitchen had tile behind the sink and a red counter top. The tile had fruit  tiles scattered here and there.I could not afford to replace it, so I cut roses from the wall paper and glued it to the tile to cover  up the fruit. Everybody hated the red counter, but I thought it was just fine.You'll see it today, see what you think?
   Some of you might say, yes, but he probably does not use his kitchens. That is not true. Almost every house I have ever lived in, I have had a Bed and Breakfast, tours or rented for parties. For years I catered huge parties from my home kitchen, and they turned out just wonderful.
     I hope you enjoy seeing some of my past kitchens and my present kitchen, at My Old Historic House. I did not spend thousands of dollars on it, but I love it, and it made a centerfold in this past Junes issue of Victorian Homes magazine. The only built in I have is the sink, the rest are free standing  antique cabinets. The floor is the original 1845 wood floor that I sanded many coats of paint from. The original working  fireplace has a pine mantle. The beamed and bead board ceiling  are not original, placed there by the third owner, but, I loved them and left them. I added bead board to the walls and topped it with an open shelf for display. I added a center island ,that serves  not only  as my only counter space, but home for my TV. Sissy Dog and I set in the kitchen and watch TV. I have an old wing chair covered in 1840's woven coverlet and she has an 1860's cotton picken basket.

In this kitchen  in one of my St.Louis homes, I used a Waverly wall paper called,"First Lady." It is discontinued now, but was a favorite of mine.

This is the famous red counter top. 

The famous Staffordshire dogs, they seem to show up every where.

I love mixing the blue and white porcelain with the floral.

I used these painted French Chairs with an American primitive pine table.

This kitchen had a little pantry nook on the side. It is one reason I bought this house. This is how it looked when I first bought the house.

This is the pantry nook after I did my thing It was a perfect place for my china and glass ware collection. I loved to set in the blue toile chair and talk on the phone. The chair, the paper and the rug all add to the parlor look in this kitchen.

    Please come by for a tour anytime. I would love to show you the kitchen and all around the place. I am sure Sissy Dog will jump out of her basket and give you a giant kiss. If I know you are a comin, I will whip us up something to eat. I've been told I am a pretty good cook. Apples are in season and I could bake us a pie. You know we are  having our Apple Fest here in Clarksville,Mo. Oct. 8th and 9th. My Old Historic House, will be open both days for tours. It would be a real good time for you all  visit.
   Stop by any time, I will leave the light on. Richard

Before I bought, my Old Historic House, I had a little weekend cottage here in Clarksville. I lived in St.Louis and I would come every weekend to play. This was a little doll house. very cottage and almost Shabby Chic. Something different for me. I painted the kitchen cabinets a golden yellow. I used that color of paint in very room. I am sorry the pictures are not better and that I do not have more, because this really was a darling kitchen/

This is the dining room of the Clarksville Cottage, it was right off the kitchen and you can see the kitchen in the back ground. I sold this place so I could buy, my Old Historic House.
This is the center fold that was in the June 2011 issue of Victorian Homes Magazine.

This is Sissy Dog, she made the magazine. She was in her 1860's cotton picken basket.

My chickens live on the center island. They are bigger than life size and are made in Italy. 

I found this chicken at the Eddie Bower Home Store.

This is where I set and watch TV. The wing chair is covered  in an 1840's woven coverlet.

All my kitchens have dogs. I love Staffordshire dogs and they always live in my kitchens. 

The cow creamer were first collected for the Clarksville cottage kitchen. They since then have moved to, My Old Historic House.

1845, original working fireplace at My Old Historic House.

I love Bessie the cow, she has moved around a lot with me.
More Italian life sized chickens life on the ice box.

Above the sink at My Old Historic House.

Almost ever kitchen I have ever had, has had some color or type of gingham curtain. These are in the kitchen at, my Old Historic House, today.

Baskets have moved from house to house and kitchen to kitchen.