Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Best Old House (4 of 4)

Like everything else at Sunny Rock, the original kitchen was still all there. Thinking back on this is cause for some pain, since along with the laundry room (see below) the kitchen was completely demolished after we left. What you see in the photos was replaced with a 1970s kitchen that was far more functional...and totally soulless. Did I care if that old stove was packed full of unwanted mail? In a word: no. Just living with it every day was a wonderful experience.

The glass-doored kitchen cabinets were all intact, as were the floor-to-ceiling tiled walls, the hanging ceiling lights, even the curtains on the windows, a frilly accommodation no doubt to some long dead cook.

Everything I loved in a big old kitchen was in this room: the steel-topped table for either prep or meals; matching wooden kitchen chairs; small painted occasional table; big oak prep table with the obligatory oilcloth cover; the antique linoleum; and that homage to modern times, the rolling dishwasher.

The laundry room had also survived virtually intact. I rather like the new(ish) washing machine shoe-horned into the line of vintage wash tubs.

Those metal oblong shapes on the left side of the frame are roll-out drying racks. Clean laundry fresh from the tubs and the wringer would be draped over bars inside each rolling hanger, then pushed back into a heated chamber. A labor intensive process, granted, but a wonderful vintage mechanism. The modern washing machine is out of sight to the right. What else do I like about this room, besides the surviving mechanical artifacts? The floor to ceiling tile walls; the varnished wood door with pebble glass lights; the ceramic tub legs; the antique faucets.


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