Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Step by step: best kitchen

Don't try to google "best kitchen" - the first two million hits will be offers of kitchen design. Best kitchen in well-off Victorian houses or manors were kitchens for show only, kitchens where you would perhaps invite guests to admire you copperware. The real cooking was done in the working kitchen, and of course in a large houses there would be separate kitchens for servants, preparing different kind of food than for the masters and their guests.

I decided to have two kitchens in Womble Hall because I had so many interesting kitchen items, some of them not really matching each other, and kitchens are fun to make.

In the original house, I only had one kitchen that occupied a whole floor. It started very early, even before I made my very first piece of furniture. When I decided to go into dollhouses, almost exactly ten years ago, on December 27, 2007, I went to a huge permanent flea market in Stockholm to buy cheap recyclables, and among many things I found was a lovely handmade kitchen table in the right scale. I have always seen it as a good omen. And that was the beginning of the kitchen, where I made most things from rubbish.  I made a cupboard and filled it with stuff, I made a stove that I am still proud of, and it is still right there, in the best kitchen of Womble Hall. I made a kitchen sink which is also still there; and I kept adding and making things, because really, kitchens are probably the most exciting rooms to make. Some of those early things were very crude because I had neither tools nor materials nor skills. Other things I still have today, like milk bottles. I also tried making food from air-drying clay. I was on long-term sick leave, and making miniatures was a good way of coping with it. I know I am by far not the only one.

Then  we moved to Cambridge, and I rebuilt the house in a cabinet. Again, because kitchens are fun, I allowed a whole floor out of three for the kitchen. I spent hours making a flagstone floor. I wasn't on sick leave anymore, but I was depressed and very tired, trying to adapt to the new country and new job. Resurrecting and improving a lost world was soothing.

There was so much in the kitchen already, and then I got distracted and had other projects, involving a modern kitchen, a Tudor kitchen, a retro kitchen, a half-scale kitchen, so it was not until I started working on Womble Hall that I returned to the Victorian kitchen, when I also decided that I would have two.

Both were in the basement, and to begin with I wasn't sure which would be which. The suitable rooms were opposite each other, to the left and to the right, without a door between them. The right-hand room had a door into what would make a good larder, and that decided it. The working kitchen went to the right, and the best kitchen to the left. I made a marble floor for the best kitchen.

I kept moving objects between kitchens, but the principle was that showy things, like copper - real and fake - would be in the best kitchen, as well as the showy utensils, clearly not for everyday use.

The main design of the kitchen has remained the same, although I have added quite a few new pieces of furniture, including a cabinet, a chair table and some other tables. Tables are useful to display objects in a kitchen.

As to objects, I haven't made a lot, but I keep adding suitable items that I occasionally buy in antique shops. I don't buy many expensive things, but sometimes I cannot resist them. And this is a show off kitchen after all.

The door at the back leads to the rear corridor.  I will write a separate post about rear rooms, but note than when the main lights are off there is light coming from the corridor.

And if you look in through a side window you can see part of the corridor.

There is a lot more that can be done in this room, and I guess I will be adding to it forever.


  1. One of the things I like most about your kitchen is the way it embraces an Old World atmosphere. It looks just like a kitchen found in an ancient Victorian Dollhouse from the 1800's.

  2. It is a Victorian dollhouse so it's absolutely intentional. I am as faithful to the period as I can. Thank you