11 Victorian Kitchens Fit for Modern Life

Light blue kitchen

Mercury Mosaics

Whether you are drawn to historic architecture styles or you simply want to design a kitchen to fit your antique home's aesthetic, there are a lot of features of Victorian kitchens that are worth considering today.

The Victorian era (roughly 1837-1901) was a period of invention and advancement. New technologies such as the stove and the icebox transformed the idea of the kitchen and helped redefine its style and layout. While you may think a kitchen from over 100 years ago isn't relevant today, you'll actually find that many of the elements of Victorian kitchens are useful for modern life.

Read on for a few examples of kitchens that embrace elements of the Victorian era.

  • 01 of 11

    The Freestanding Kitchen

    Light blue kitchen with wood countertops

    Instagram / theolivebranchkitchens

    One of the main features of a Victorian kitchen is that, unlike our modern kitchens where everything is built-in, the focus is on freestanding cabinetry and furniture. While you may not opt for a fully freestanding kitchen, we love this little sink unit from theolivebranchkitchens. It's a great additional workspace that can be placed wherever you have room and lends a vintage vibe to your kitchen.

  • 02 of 11

    A Blue Victorian-Style Kitchen

    Blue kitchen

    Aaron Usher Photography

    This lovely kitchen from blakelyinteriordesign feels very modern, but incorporates some Victorian-era elements, such as the elaborate molding and the oversized range cooker. Victorian kitchens didn't skimp on the flourishes, and the design was often grand and elegant.

  • 03 of 11

    Kitchens Facing Inward

    Blue and white traditional kitchen

    Instagram / citrineliving

    Whereas modern kitchens focus on the perimeter of the room, with open space in the center of the kitchen, Victorian-era kitchens faced inward, with the primary workspace centered in the middle of the room. This stunning traditional kitchen from citrineliving proves that this is a Victorian-era design we should definitely bring back.

  • 04 of 11

    Furniture in the Kitchen

    Large brown kitchen with dining table

    Instagram / jacksondesignandremodeling

    Victorian kitchens were often larger, with more space to entertain and host groups for dinner. This beautiful example from jacksondesignandremodeling features a dining table in the center of the space, perfect for hosting family and friends right where the action is happening.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Range Cooker

    Green range cooker

    Instagram / agaaustralia

    While you would have expected to see a clothing pulley system above the range cooker in the Victorian era, an antique range cooker is a great way to bring in a Victorian feel to any modern kitchen. Whether you opt for a cool green version, like this one from agaaustralia, or something a little more rustic, range cookers are usually oversized and perfect for cooking for large families.

  • 06 of 11

    A Butler's Pantry

    White butlers pantry area

    Instagram / kitchenandbeyond.se

    Here's a Victorian-era element we can definitely get behind. Most Victorian kitchens included a freestanding butler's pantry for food prep away from guests. While this stunning version from itchenandbeyond.se is built-in, it's a beautiful reminder that what's old is always new again.

  • 07 of 11

    An Antique Sink

    Antique gold faucet

    Instagram / tap.warehouse

    The Victorian era brought with it the introduction of indoor plumbing, a modern amenity we can all agree was one of the best inventions of the past 200 years. Most Victorian sinks were porcelain, like this one from tap.warehouse, and featured brass or iron faucets.

  • 08 of 11

    Open Kitchen Shelving

    White traditional kitchen

    Instagram / projectforeverhome

    Due to the fact that kitchens were freestanding and homeowners in the Victorian era had less to store in the kitchen, you often saw a lot of open shelving. While this kitchen from projectforeverhome is a bit more modern, it embraces the open kitchen shelving look you often see in Victorian kitchens.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    A Grand Victorian-Style Kitchen

    Large kitchen with a leaning ladder

    Instagram / historicalconcepts

    This stunning kitchen from historicalconcepts features the inward design and the grandeur of Victorian kitchens. Between the leaning antique ladder and the oversized elegant kitchen island, we can't decide what we love most about this vintage-inspired space.

  • 10 of 11

    Semi-Freestanding Cabinetry

    Grey old fashion style kitchen

    Instagram / showtime_essential_kitchens

    This vintage kitchen from showtime_essential_kitchens features built-in cabinetry that lends the same look and feel of Victorian-era freestanding furniture. Because of the fact that the cabinets do not sit flush with the ground, the kitchen gives off that freestanding vibe that feels rustic and antique.

  • 11 of 11

    Add Small Furniture

    Antique kitchen with a table in it

    Instagram / doesnttalktostrangers_

    While Victorian kitchens were often large enough to hold a full-sized dining room table in the center of the space, modern kitchens can be on the more compact side. But that doesn't mean you can't bring a vintage table, like this one from doesnttalktostrangers, into your kitchen. Focus on smaller pieces like two or four-seater tables or standalone pantries to get that Victorian vibe.

While the Victorian era may be in the rearview mirror, many aspects of the period's kitchens are still relevant today. With a few modern updates, a Victorian-style kitchen can combine the best of form and function.