Before & After: Updating a Victorian Kitchen (and Bathroom)

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Victoria shared her kitchen renovation with readers at last Wednesday’s Apartment Therapy Design Evening. In case you missed out, here’s a little more about the project. Victoria had bought a beautiful Victorian home, circa 1906, with great bones. Most of the house was in good condition, but it was clear that the old kitchen had to go.

Victoria says:

For the first nine years we lived here, we took care of the basics: painting, new wiring, repairing the roof, an asbestos abatement in the basement, replacing the oil burner, repaving the driveway and rebuilding the front porch. We were finally motivated to tackle the big project when it began to rain in the kitchen whenever someone took a shower. Knowing it was headed for a gut renovation, I had refused to do anything other than pulling down the wallpaper and painting the masonite paneling white. Once a piece of the ceiling came down, it was time to bite the bullet.

Once Victoria discovered that repairing the plumbing issue that was causing the rain in the kitchen would require ripping out a wall and completely replacing the plumbing in the bathroom above, she decided to expand the scope of her project to include remodeling the bathroom as well.

She wanted a modern kitchen, but one that would harmonize with the rest of the very traditional home. To that end, she stuck with a simple color scheme — dark wood cabinets, with light wood counters — and added glass-front upper cabinets, inspired by the original glass doors in the butler’s pantry. A new, smaller farm sink is a nod to the original. Since Victoria loves to entertain, the center island is on wheels, so it can be pulled out for impromptu seating.

The new design of the upstairs bathroom was inspired by the modern, luxe bathrooms in the Garden Rooms at the Hyatt in Hangzhou, China. The unusual arrangement, with the bathtub in the oversize shower stall, means one can shower before or after taking a bath.

The total cost of the project was around $90,000, which included a new water main to replace the old lead pipe, new plumbing to the upstairs bathroom, removing an old sink and gas line, and repair work to the ceiling joists in the bathroom. In total, the work took about seven months. Says Victoria: “It was hell, but worth it. We have always loved to cook and entertain, and now we do it with style.”

We couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing your home, Victoria!

• Stove: Bertazonni, stainless steel
• Refrigerator: Maytag, stainless steel
• Dishwasher: Miele Diamante, stainless steel
• Dual zone wine cooler: Avanti
• Hood: Faber, stainless steel
• Cabinets: Merillat Masterpiece, Montressano. Cherry with Kaffi stain
• Counters: Caesarstone, Quartz Reflections
• Sink: Franke
• Backsplash: Soho Studio Corp. 1″ light gray glass tiles
• Floor: bamboo, iFloor
• Walls: Benjamin Moore, Stonington Gray
• Shades: Smith+Noble

• Tub: BainUltra ThermoMasseur, Origami
• Vanity: Sonia
• Heated towel rack: Warmrails
• Toilet: Toto
• Hardware: Phillipe Starck for Hansgrohe
• Shower head: Grohe Freehandler
• Medicine Cabinet: Sofia
• Walls: Benjamin Moore #1674
• Custom shower door: Quality Enclosures
• Artwork: Greg Voth

(Images: Victoria Rosenblatt)