When the homeowners were restoring their 1910 apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, they wanted a modern kitchen and every convenience—but with an early- 20th-century ambiance, as if it were the original. Inspired by the butler’s pantry at The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, they had custom cabinets made in quarter-sawn oak. Panels hide the modern appliances underneath: a SubZero refrigerator and freezer drawers, a microwave oven, and a toaster.
1. THE CABINETS
For the cabinet fronts, life-size mockups were made out of foam-core to ensure the correct size and profile. Then the panels were cut from quarter-sawn oak and glued on top of solid-oak doors. Interior mounted Blum cabinet hinges invisibly support the doors.
2. BOLD HARDWARE
The kitchen hardware is a critical detail. On a visit to Liz’s Antique Hardware in Los Angeles, the owners spotted vintage icebox hinges hanging from a rafter. Made of solid brass, the hinges were cleaned and professionally plated in nickel to match reproduction hardware on the cabinets. The icebox hinges were surface mounted, using polished nickel screws with oval slotted heads.
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My mother-in-law is an active 83-year-old who still lives in her own home of many years. When we last visited, we were horrified to discover that she has hung a collection of disused and out-of season clothing on Romex electrical cable, which runs through the joists under the basement ceiling. Now we’re worried about other safety issues down there, too. —Anthony (and Julia) Wisniewski
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ASK OLD HOUSE JOURNAL
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