Planning a new kitchen in an old house

If you are like me, heaven forbid, the charm and character of an old house is always going to appeal more than the modular look of a freshly built home. Old is seasoned and mature, with lots of secrets to share, whereas new is squeaky clean with nothing to offer from the past. When I am ready to move in, the first thing I consider is planning a new kitchen.

Planning is the key word, because you have many things to consider before commencing the remodeling.

It is quite common to find that nothing in an old home seems perfectly straight. Both walls and floors seem to follow anything but straight edges, but somehow they seem to meet even if it is at an odd angle. Although this adds to the rustic charm in some rooms of the house, it is quite important to have level surfaces in your new kitchen for it to function properly.

Dealing with Uneven Floors and Walls


You have two options open to you when it comes to uneven floors:

Have the floor levelled before fitting the kitchen. Floor leveling compounds are liquid bases that flow to the low areas and fill them in. Allow 24 to 48 hours to dry before laying tiles – use tile cement to ensure even laying of the floor tiles. The downside is that this will raise the level of the finished floor compared to other rooms.

If this is not for you, it may be possible to use plastic shims or packers to level the units out. Some kitchen furniture comes with adjustable feet, or you could buy some to fit to the underside of base units.


Uneven walls will lead to unacceptable finishes with tiling in mind, so replastering the walls may prove the best option. Even new plaster may leave some bowed sections of wall, in which case a combination of tiling and painting could be the solution. Try to make it look like a design theme.

Contemporary vs Traditional Styling

While the temptation may be to remain with the overall style of the house, old homes are not restricted to period-style kitchens. Designing a contemporary kitchen in an older property makes an interesting contrast and even highlights the period charm.

The key to success is to avoid clashing by making the two concepts gel together. You can achieve this by incorporating classic details, such as timber or marble worktops, or using a feature antique-style light fitting. Retain any period features – windows and moldings for example – and go with colors that will stand the test of time.

It’s Oh So Cute!

The quirky nature of old houses is what attracts most buyers to them, but it does present the new owners with a few challenges in terms of installations. We have explored some of the design dilemmas often faced by renovators when it comes to planning a new kitchen in an old house. Enjoy the experience and the vibe your older home gives off!

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Quality Kitchen Cabinets of San Francisco is a family owned company working with you to produce the perfect solution to fit your space and budget. Visit our showroom to see fully appointed displays and experience the Quality difference.

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