The Kitchen Considered: The English Scullery & Cooks Kitchen


 It was sad to see Downton Abbey come to an end wasn't it?
The sets, the costumes and wonderful characters 

It really was a beautifully filmed and written series
and is a seriously fun "binge" if you like to do that sort of thing on a rainy Sunday.
I do!
It is amazing what you see 
when you watch it for a second (or third) time
Notice that each guest has 4 glasses...the poor scullery maid!
Much of the storyline was shared at dinner or at luncheon
Love the candles and the pine cones scattered on the table. 
 I think this was a pheasant hunt scene.

 Just as much of the drama would often unfold in the kitchen or scullery which 
was equally authentic and beautiful as the main house
Scullery kitchens were the rooms primarily for washing dishes and laundry.  While we never saw an actual scullery, the main kitchen at Downton served as both, at least for television.
Most scullery's had large sinks, smelly wet floors and problems with sanitation.  
The spread of illness and contamination from poultry, game, grease and waste in the sinks 
prompted the development of new white porcelain sinks with both hot and cold running water.  

The floors were usually brick, stone or terra-cotta which was less absorbent.  
The scullery maid would stand on slatted wood mats near the sink 
to prevent standing in the slop created from household waste 
and huge quantities of dirty water.
Copper, crockery, plate racks, work tables and storage shelves were all common in the scullery room,

I for one, love the look of a commercial working kitchen.  
They seem both industrial and warm at the same time.  
They are also usually filled with pots and pans 
and tend to have very open sight lines for obvious reasons

So how do we translate the scullery kitchen and the commercial kitchen in design terms, into our modern homes filled with technology and new fixtures and still create 
 a nice place for the dogs to take a nap at your feet?

The Downton kitchen created for television.  
That table!!!!!
They used very moody grey and brown paint colors with natural wood tones 
The kitchen was most likely designed to appear below level as most scullery's were 
to keep the smell away from the main house.
The light pouring through the window is wonderful but in reality 
they were probably pretty dark and dingy. 
Another historic English service area
Audley End House circa 1880
*notice the wood mats

And now a modern English kitchen circa 2016 
Its all there: the copper, wood, stone and the beautiful scullery table. 
 Even a touch of black like the 1880's kitchen above
Amazing the similarities when you compare them side by side!
Another beauty with white and stone and a mix of different metals and the burgundy AGA stove.
(love those chairs....! )
Plain English Kitchen Design
The English center island takes the place of the scullery work table
I love the small sink to the right with the double faucet.
Minimal and modern...Mrs Patmore would like it here!
AGA stove, wood work area, metal, warm grey painted cabinets...pretty!
I think this kitchen is stunning and has all the elements of a scullery cooks kitchen. 
 While the work surface is large the cooking area is relatively small.  
I have read that most professional chefs  prefer a small work space.

 Notice all of the stuff on the bottom island shelf.  
This actually makes me want to buy copper again
note to self:  don't 

Beautiful honed stone used on the counters and for the shelving and bracket.  
A wonderful idea if you have the extra $$$ for the fabrication
love this mix of elements and the two sinks...small for prep and large for dishes

 This kitchen is in a home now owned by Jennifer Lawrence.  
This is a great small kitchen and it  looks like a kitchen for someone who likes to cook.
Really pretty and designed quite a few years ago.
*notice the grey and cream stone floor and the old pine pieces along with wood, 
stainless and a brass faucet
Beautiful and sleek.  
I would love to see a huge pine scullery work table in this space
Minimal and small but very warm feeling.  Again, I could see a big pine kitchen table off to the side with comfy seating and a spot for doing homework or working on the computer.
English kitchen design by Devol

I love this design and it has a bit of a farmhouse feel
Many of these English kitchen have SMEG refrigerators 
which are really small by American standards but I like them.
An interesting mix of black stain and sleek counters 
with free standing storage.  
The Biergartens table takes the place of the English work table.
Plain English Kitchen Design
The big center island or work table is seen in almost every English kitchen
Love the earthy white hand troweled plaster with the white marble
Tyler Florence kitchen of the year for House Beautiful circa 2011
I added this photo because Tyler is a chef and restauranteur and the center island is 14 feet long!
Personally I think there is too much black but its still interesting and the pot rack makes it!
cook, work, eat, love

Conran Shop UK
Somewhere along the way these commercial inspired kitchens start to morph into a more urban loft looking space
like Meg Ryan's kitchen in the Hamptons.
March Pantry, San Francisco
Incredible selection of housewares as well as custom working islands
Studio DB in Tribeca 
~loft meets bling~ 
Snidero Loft
Italian design meets industrial
 A few more peeks at the Downton kitchen.
 The copper lined sink in the back of the photo was to prevent pottery from breaking
because of the soft give to the metal.
 All of the food served including cheese, milk and vegetables as well as game,most like came from the estate farms.  It was the true farm to table, organic life.
Mrs Patmore purchased flour, spices and specialty items but never much more.
 Daisy on her cell phone.
Love the little egg crate and all the pottery
 Ivy was the actual scullery maid at Downton

 She was often seen scrubbing and cleaning
when not canoodling with the male servants
 ~Love blossoming in the scullery~

More kitchen design on the menu

see you soon