A Healthy Dose of Drama: Kitchens that Use Antique Furniture in Lieu of Wall-Hung Cabinets

A Healthy Dose of Drama: Kitchens that Use Antique Furniture in Lieu of Wall-Hung Cabinets

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Carolyn Purnell
Feb 29, 2016

Gisbert Pöppler via Dustjacket Attic

Kitchen cabinets: they're necessary, but let's face it—they aren't always the most interesting pieces of furniture. But that doesn't necessarily have to be the case! Here are imaginative kitchens that make use of large, antique pieces of furniture in addition to regular kitchen cabinets. They're drama-filled, glamorous, and practical. Read on to find out why you may want to give this trend a try.

In the kitchen above by Gisbert Pöppler, clean-fronted, modern cabinets in a bold color form a complete contrast to the neutral, ornate curviness of the upper cabinetry. The antique piece becomes a focal element and adds a sense of history, while everything else in the kitchen leans toward contemporary function and style. Sometimes, even a single vintage element has the power to elevate a new room, giving it a sense of depth. And, perhaps counterintuitively, if you love modern aesthetics, that single piece can make a room feel even more modern, since it offers visual contrast.

MilK Magazine

This kitchen, which is also pictured below, has an entire wall dedicated to an antique china cabinet. The obvious boon of this idea is the sheer storage capacity. With both glass-fronted and hidden storage, this piece doubles as a display area for dishes and as a practical unit for the untidy but necessary items that live in our kitchens. Even in a relatively compact space, a large antique piece like this can be great because it adds a sense of grandeur.

MilK Magazine

This example also highlights the power of paint. The old piece is made new again, thanks to the fact that it is painted black to match the more modern cabinetry. The room looks cohesive, rather than mish-mashy.

(Image credit: INSIDEHOMEPAGE)

INSIDEHOMEPAGE via MFAMB

The grand piece over this oven mimics apothecary displays, and items like tea and spices are kept close to hand. This image raises a key point if you decide to use antique furniture in the kitchen: Be sure to consider the depth that you will need to store your items. Apothecary-style cabinets are beautiful, but they would not be deep enough for dishes, and certain pieces that work well for canned goods might not work for grains or other pantry items. Antique pieces can be both beautiful and functional, but be sure not to forget the second part of that equation.

(Image credit: INSIDEHOMEPAGE)

INSIDEHOMEPAGE via MFAMB

Many of the examples in this post feature massive, whole-wall units, like the incredible one above. They are glorious and impressive, which is why I have selected them, but even if these types of pieces are don't match your budget or floor plan, remember that you can still adopt this look. But going back to that very first image, a single hutch mounted on the wall still adds boatloads of character and beauty. Keep your eyes peeled at antique stores, architectural salvage shops, and thrift stores for pieces that will fit your style, budget, and space.

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