Kitchens out of the past

I know, I haven't updated here in some time. Why, you may ask, am I updating Just Bento but not Just Hungry? Well, I had actually stockpiled up some bento posts before the Big Move and Nomadic Period commenced, and also arranged for some guest posts. My plan was for Just Bento to go on semi-autopilot (which it has), and for Just Hungry to be updated with food-related things about my travels. But it hasn't quite worked out the way I wanted to on that front, due to getting really sick the first week on the road, then just being very busy.

But anyway, here I am. As I wrote before, I have now moved out of the house in the suburbs of Zürich where I had lived off and on for some years, and I'm now roaming around looking for the new place to call home. At this point we are about 60-70% leaning towards 'somewhere in France' (to be determined where). So last week, we started looking at some houses for real.

Now, we are mainly looking at houses that need some work done to them, since we figure that we'll get more for our money that way. Besides, we never totally like someone else's taste in decor anyway, so we might as well start off with an empty shell or something.

Of the houses we've seen so far, the kitchens in two of them were particulary memorable. (Actually, most of the other houses didn't even have kitchens.) First up is this one, in a 1920s house in a town in the Vaucluse (a region in the northern part of Provence).

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I'm sure the range is not from the 1920s - I'm guessing it's circa 1970s. It's tiny, and fitted into the beautiful, huge fireplace. My first thought was, wow what a waste to stick a cooker in that fireplace! But I guess it makes sense, for ventilation purposes? (No, I don't get the birdcage either. It was sure pretty though.)

Here's a closeup look. The chocolate brown cabinet thing is the tiny refrigerator - the other appliances (not shown, in a wall closet) matched. That fireplace...so gorgeous.

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The other side of the fireplace. I am not sure if those cabinets were used as worktops. Maybe the occupant used a kitchen table for working. In any case, it's a kitchen that is so different from our modern concept of what a kitchen should have. But despite the lack of 'worktop space', I am sure that the meals produced there were delicious regardless.

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Now here is another kitchen that left a deep impression on me. It's circa 1970s, un-renovated I think, and in perfect condition. It's a symphony of browns!

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Another view. The stainless steel handles, the mustardly-yellow tiles...the teak! Nothing says '70s like teak. And mustard-yellow.

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I'm pretty sure the appliances are not circa 1970s, but the plastic coffee pot does fit very well in here. 1970skitchen3.jpg

Their vacuum cleaner seems to be from the same era as the kitchen. I wonder if it works?

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And the pantry down the hallway. It too was spotless. I do love the concept of a separate pantry.

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It's really fascinating to see for real how fashions in kitchens really do change so much over the years. Nowadays I guess we want lots and lots of working space, tons of cabinets, granite worktops, neutral colors, chrome and sleekness. I'm not sure we'd buy either of these houses, since it almost seems a shame to rip out the period kitchens (and other reasons). But it was so interesting, even educational, to have seen them in any case. We're going to see more houses in the upcoming weeks, and more kitchens. I can't wait.

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