Hutch History: 5 Interesting Facts about Cabinets

You might think automatically of your kitchen cabinets. But the earliest cabinets were smaller pieces designed for locking away important pieces of paper and valuables, and might also serve as “desks” for officials. Later, cabinets were developed as larger but stand-alone pieces for certain professions, such as an apothecary or printer. Here are five interesting facts about cabinets.

Aristocratic

The modern word “cabinet” is French in origin, and originally meant “room.” This referred to rooms where certain collections were kept, such as books or artwork, so a cabinet was actually a small “room” for such items. Until around 1650, cabinets weren’t common in most homes. The majority of people just didn’t have many possessions. For poor and working class people, there just wasn’t enough storage need to justify the expense of a hand-made cabinet. The wealthy, in the social contrast typical of the age, might have many cabinets, some of fine woods like mahogany and lavish, baroque designs.

Industrial Revolution

As the Industrial Revolution took shape in the 1700s and into the 1800s, all manner of objects became more common and more affordable, including cabinets themselves. Many forms of cabinet, such as cupboards for kitchenware, and wardrobes and armoires for the bedchambers, became mainstays in many homes once they became mass-produced items. By the mid-1700s, the average home had at least a cupboard for dishes and a wardrobe for clothes, though they were quite basic in design and materials. One advantage of the new era was the printing press. Famous craftsmen like Thomas Sheraton and Thomas Chippendale were able to publish and print books and designs on furniture concepts.


Cabinet Making

After World War II, cabinet making became a popular pursuit, as both a hobby and a respectable career, for returning soldiers on both sides of the Atlantic. A love of wood-working combined with some inspiring furniture styles they’d seen in their campaigns across Europe. Until the era of the modern factory, skilled cabinet makers who could produce fine furniture at reasonable rates were in high demand in most communities. They were gradually phased out by modern factories with electric power tools. Many of their pieces were one-of-a-kind collectibles that still fetch high prices as vintage furniture. Today, however, “cabinet maker” more aptly applies to a business than to an individual vocation.

Most Expensive

Remarkably, the most expensive cabinet ever sold went for $36 million at auction in 2004. This same piece broke its own record, set in an earlier sale in 1990. It was made in 1726 in Florence, Italy, and took six years to complete. Known as the Badminton Cabinet for the ancestral seat of the British duke who commissioned it, it’s made from ebony hardwood and lavishly decorated with semi-precious stones and gold leaf. It consisted of three highly ornate tiers resting on eight pilaster legs and topped by an exquisite clock flanked by carved stallions. Purchased by the Prince of Lichtenstein, the Badminton Cabinet now sits in a museum in Vienna.

Asian Kitchens

A growing trend in home design is Asian-inspired kitchens. Asian styling utilizes geometric patterns, heavy proportions, and gentle curves. The most popular colors include red, black, white, gold, and silver. Materials tend to be metallic or bamboo, although maple is a common cross-over. Bamboo plants, screens, and baskets help round out the Asian-style décor, however. You might like Shaker-style cabinets with Oriental motifs and hardware. When you plan on custom kitchen cabinets, don’t neglect overseas influences for that special ambiance.

While not everyone has the budget for extravagance, put together some creative ideas for your next remodel. You can still have a custom kitchen to be proud of.

Grandma’s Cleaning Tips: Every Kitchen’s Beautiful in its Own Way- OR Not?!

tammyskitchen2

 

I love a nice, clean kitchen! Well, it’s not always clean or (clutter-free), for the most part. 😉

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m a gal (Grandma) who likes to see change and updates every once in awhile. That definitely includes the kitchen! 🙂 A kitchen needs to be clean, sanitary and of course, full of warmth, charm and hospitality. If you don’t think your kitchen fits well in that category, do something about it! You’ve got your own imagination, use it! However, it does help if you are crafty by nature, and you have an eye for design.

kitchen

Let’s say your kitchen hasn’t been updated since the 90’s or even the 80’s. Yeah, you have your work cut out for you!

 

So let’s get this “virtual, kitchen-spruce-up” party started!

 

Walls

 

Say, you just bought or moved into an old house and the kitchen hasn’t been updated since the (early) 80’s, it most certainly requires lots of fun and colorful updating. Most likely, your kitchen has been generously graced with that awful yellow and green wallpaper! You KNOW the kind I’m referring to. 😉

 

paint

 

Time to get out the scrapers and get to work. I know, bummer! Although your hard work will be well worth it with a couple splashes of warm-colored paint. For me, I tend to like darker colors for (both) a dining room and kitchen!

Borders

 

Now borders are somewhat of a controversial nature; you either love them or hate them! For me, it all depends on the size of the room and colors involved. Sometimes a simple border makes a perfect statement and also encompasses the final touch. They also sometimes make a room look larger. You decide!

Cabinets

 

I remember some funky looking, white, metal cabinets WAY-BACK when I was a little girl. Thank goodness kitchen decor, appliances and styles have come a long way, seriously! Now you have various kinds of wood and colors to choose from. You can even get by with a couple coats of paint if you currently have some old, wooden cabinets. However, it will depend on just how old they are. Cabinets are a tad more expensive than paint and borders…choose wisely, depending on the look and style you are looking for. Most cabinets today, are good for fix ups.

You will find tips for cleaning kitchen cabinets Here

 

I would love to do this in my kitchen someday!
You could also remove a couple of the cabinet doors and just have shelves. Or, you could install glass in place of the doors. That in itself would spruce up a kitchen considerably.

 

Foliage, Flowers and Plants

tulips

 

If you haven’t experimented with flowers or foliage before, you’d be pleasantly surprised at how much they can brighten up a room. Although for a kitchen, just some simple greenery will do the job nicely for on top of cabinets, (if there’s room). Small, colorful plants will always brighten up any window sill.

Flooring

 

Most people (today), have some kind of ceramic tile or wood flooring in their kitchens. Carpet and linoleum was more in style for a kitchen back in the days. However, a lot of old houses of course, had the wooden floors. You can dress up wooden flooring by polishing and with some stylish throw rugs.

 

Going way back in time, people had dirt floors

 

Also, if you have a large dining room or kitchen with a bay window, a nice chair or bench with some throw pillows (to match the rugs) would nicely compliment the rooms.

 

There is always room for improvement when updating decor and furnishings in your home. Most of the time, just the smallest things can make the most difference. 🙂

 

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