The Reno of This 1920s Kitchen Was Inspired by "Downton Abbey" – Yahoo Lifestyle

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From the very start of an extensive renovation project in Indianapolis, designer Whittney Parkinson knew that she wanted to preserve the historical integrity of a Tudor-style home which her clients—a young couple—tapped her to renovate. “The thought of blasting the walls open and specifying trendy design felt sacrilegious in a home that already had good bones that oozed with charm,” Parkinson tells House Beautiful.
Fortunately, the homeowners also shared a passion for maintaining the original makeup of this home. And, because of the historical significance of this dwelling, they would have had to get approval from the local historical society prior to making any changes to the exterior, so there were no major adjustments done to the structure.
In addition to keeping many original design elements, Parkinson also used the era in which the dwelling was built—the roaring ‘20s—as inspiration when decorating the interiors, including an antique clawfoot tub from that very decade. The designer made sure to incorporate modern features as well, as the young couple who now calls this place home wanted to blend old and new.
Explore the modernized 1920s dwelling below.
The 10-foot ceiling in the mudroom is swathed in Farrow & Ball's dramatic Brinjal, a deep shade of eggplant. The inspiration behind this striking shade came from an unlikely source: BBC’s Call The Midwife, which features an East London storefront of the same color, owned by Violet Buckle (played by Annabelle Apsion). Parkison says that when she presented this shade to the homeowners, she was met with some hesitance, but ultimately, the homeowner said she was really hoping to incorporate this color somewhere—and that she did!
Paint: Farrow & Ball. Light Fixtures: Circa Lighting. Hardware: Rejuvenation.


The renovation of the home's original kitchen was by far the most significant undertaking during this extensive project, as this space was nearly doubled in size, thanks to an existing breakfast nook that was used to expand the width of this room. As for the furnishings, the minimalist beige cabinetry was a direct nod to the utilitarian aesthetic of a European kitchen from the 1920s, says Parkinson.
Much like the design process of the bedroom, design inspiration for the kitchen stemmed from notable television series—in this case, Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders. Some design elements that were considered, thanks to these shows, include exposed hinges, corbels, inset cabinetry, subway tiles, and an oversized bead board.
Lights: Circa Lighting. Range: Lacanche. Hardware: Rejuvenation. Barstools: Vintage. Backsplash: Fireclay Tile. Cabinetry Paint Color: Farrow & Ball.
Prior to being transformed into a butler's pantry, this now-smoky gray space—painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe—was originally an entry hall. Parkinson opted to close the area off with stained-glass panels that were original to the house, which were ever-so-slightly reinvented by a cabinet maker, whose job was to make these pieces the focal point of the space. “The idea was to be ok with leaving the door open to a pantry,” quips Parkinson.
Cabinetry Paint Color: Farrow & Ball. Ceiling Light Fixture: Rejuvenation.
In order to create a rustic glam enclave for the primary bathroom, double French doors were installed, which open up to a rooftop balcony that boasts scenic views. And, given that this abode was built over 100 years ago, it should come as no surprise that some of its interior furnishings are century-old gems as well, many of which can be found in this very space, including a clawfoot tub from the 1920s and a fireplace that’s original to the house, situated on the opposite wall.
Shower Wall Tiles: Clé Tile. Light Fixtures: House of Rohl. Marble Floor Tiles: The Tile Shop. Vanity Wall Sconces: Circa Lighting. Center Mosaic Floor Tiles: The Tile Shop. Vanity Mirrors: Anthropologie. Artwork, Chair, Other Sconces: Vintage.
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