I’m dreaming of a vintage kitchen… 🎶
Time keeps passing, we still live in our camper, and sometimes the longing for a real-life house just about overwhelms this Ridge Haven red-head! Just keeping it real, Folks!
To date, we have lived here for 2 years, 4 months, more or less, but who’s counting?
That would be me. I’m counting.
Not trying to, but I do dream of the day when I can spread out my dinner preparations all over the counters, and roll out some biscuits without having to get creative about setting up a little table and using a cutting board for the work surface. I’m looking forward to a full-sized fridge that will hold all of the veggies, rather than hoping it’s cool enough outside to store the salad fixings!
Know what else I’m seriously looking forward to? Using nice dishes and some pretty things!
I want curtains! 😿 But…it’s not my time yet, so curtains are gonna wait awhile still. But no harm in dreaming, right?
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The Stove–Yes, its Vintage!
I decided that since we are building an off-grid cabin, I wanted to have a totally off-grid capable stove/oven. If we have no power, or (as seems likely currently) or aren’t tied to the grid, I still want to be able to cook! And I’m not quite enough of a pioneer woman to solely do a wood cook stove, but I’d probably try it some day! 😉
I decided on a completely propane stove. You can purchase new stoves with no electrical components, but they are pretty hard to find. Most gas stoves on today’s market still have electrical ignition and many even have electric ovens instead of gas. So, just watch for that if you re trying to go all gas.
I know that propane and natural gas still have to be purchased. But, in an off-grid situation, as long as you have gas, you will have a way to cook. I realize that someday the gas will run out, but for now, it works for us to rely on propane for our stove. Baby steps are essential!
I also got a bee in my bonnet to just go old-timey! I have a couple reasons for this behind pure nostalgia!
Reasons I chose a Vintage Stove over a modern unit:
- Made to last. Let’s face it, new appliances are made to replace in a few years when a newer, prettier model comes along! This kind of reminds me of modern marriages too…hmm!
- Don’t rely on electricity. Although some models have electric lights or minor features like the clock.
- Made for people who actually cook. In the 1940s–1960s, wives largely stayed home and practiced homemaking! *gasp!*. IE, they cooked and baked a lot, and the stoves were built for this!
- Big! These ladies are often (not always) Big Betties or Large Marges! They are meant to serve as the queens of your kitchen, and if you search hard enough, you can locate one of these beauties with 6 burners and double ovens! Mine has both of these features, but I really had to look far to find her! Some come equipped with broilers, which mine also has! Although I can’t imagine that as vegans, we will get all that much use out of the broilers! Mine is a full ten inches wider than the standard 30″ stoves of today, which is fine with me, since we are designing the kitchen around her.
- Classic Beauty. Ok–this is part of the appeal! Vintage stoves were made in the era of ’57 Chevies and classic cars–with shiny chrome and classic lines. They (many of them) were built in the post-WW2 era, when people were seeking to have a little beauty after the lean wartime years and the strict economy of the Depression. Whatever the year, vintage stoves have a style that is different than today, but still hold their appeal.
Here’s my beauty–actually a diamond in the rough!
I will connect her to propane and have someone switch her over from natural gas to propane! But I am looking forward to firing her up once we get the kitchen put in!
The next main feature that I’m excited about is my big, old drainboard sink! This sink really is eighty years old, and still looks great! Legend has it that a love struck husband bought it for his new bride, and she kept it until she died! OK—so it maybe wasn’t a legend, but it’s what the previous owners told me when I purchased the sink! And I can’t look at this pretty white sink without thinking of that sweet story!
Why a vintage sink?
- Character—a sink with a past is kind of mysterious!
- This thing is HUGE!! No more water seeping into the seams around my sink and ruining my countertop! This drain board sink has a built-in counter-draining board which slopes into the main sink.
- Wood countertop—since we are planning to do a wood slab countertop, I just felt nervous about the whole water+wood combination. I don’t want a ruined slab, and this really seemed to fit the bill!
- I think it’s cool! It’s vintage like my stove, and I just thought it fit!
- More space! For over two years we have washed dishes in a really tiny RV sink. We have this arrangement: 8” triangle of space, tiny sink, 8” triangle of space, small stove, 2” space, fridge! Literally so cramped! So…I may be going overboard in some people’s eyes, but pardon me if I just want some elbow room! Or a LOT of elbow room!
Where to find a Vintage Sink?
- Scour Facebook Marketplace, Local sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. You will probably find a good deal if you’re patient. Look for chips in the porcelain, which can lead to rust from water damage.
- Order a reproduction! I found this sink that looks just like my sink, only is a cast iron reproduction. Expect to pay a pretty penny for one like this! There are other types of reproductions in acrylic or stainless steel as well. Here’s one on Amazon.com in stainless steel, if that’s your preference.
Here are a couple shots of the layout I have planned. I got my cabinets used (landed the whole kitchen for $200, so I’m going to make them work!), and I like that they are rustic. I haven’t yet decided if I will whitewash them or keep them as is. Since our wood kitchen is dark, I’m leaning towards a whitewash.
Just a little more dreaming
OK—now that we’ve got all the technicalities behind us, let’s have some FUN! 🤩
Let me show you a few of my decorating dreams! (I find that dreaming helps me to cope when nothing is happening).
- Scored a set of Vintage Poppytrail Daisy plates, cups/saucers (for cheap). No bowls or small plates. No problem!
- I’ve slowly been collecting theTimeless Beauty
- Pioneer Woman Jadeite bowls, S&P shakers, and soon…salad plates. These will blend with the daisy plates, and they are so cute. I got two tiny bowls that are for dip, but for me they are perfect for a whole bowlful of 🍨 ice cream! Real jadeite would be fun, but they will have to be a thrift store find! The Pioneer Woman dishes are being phased out of Walmart, but you can find some items in some stores. Otherwise, people are marking them up around the web, which is so silly!
- Flooring—We just decided to go with a linoleum wood-look for the flooring. I’ve had hardwood in my kitchen before, and I loved it, but we got a water leak, and the wood bowed. With the amount of canning we do, I determined to never have wood in my kitchen or bath again. I thought about tile, a wood-look, but it’s so cold and unforgiving if you drop something on it. I don’t like the Pergo/laminate strips, because they ding up eventually (OK—we are a rough family!!), so I’m trying the Mohawk oak pattern. I have heard that linoleum has come a long way from what it used to be. So…unless I change my mind again, this pattern will cover our kitchen, entryway, dining area, our bath, and the pantry, which is one solid 1/3 of our main floor. The living room will be the hardwood hickory that matches the loft floor/main floor ceiling.
Vintage Kitchen Dreams
Now you know the direction our cabin kitchen is taking! It gives me something to look forward to, to plan for, and to cheer me up!
What Dreams do you have for your homestead kitchen?
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