Cooking and Living 

Of all the rooms in the canal house, the kitchen has seen the most change throughout the centuries.   A major change came in the 20th century, when gas mains, water mains and electricity were installed.  Even though it may not be the latest in kitchen design, the early 20th century kitchen is still beautiful and will not be replaced by a more modern one.  

The kitchen is located in the basement of the canal house, facing the garden.   By taking out the back wall I created room for a large window with doors opening onto the garden.  The windows and doors still heve to be installed, but the photo gives you a good idea of what it will look like eventually.

 The vase on the table was made by Cocky Wildschut, the tulips were made by me.          



In the wall next to the hall I made a window and a niche in the same shape as the window.  In the future the window will look out onto a small courtyard situated behind the stairs. To make the courtyard I will have to cut and adjust the side wall of the dollshouse, but I won't start that untill the kitchen is at least nearly finished. 

'Opa' has come to check whether the cooker is working yet.  The cooker is a copy of the beautiful AGA cooker, invented in 1922 by the Swedish Nobel prize-winner Dr Gustaf Dalen.   The cast iron cooker works through heat retention.  The cooking is done on the two hotplates under the chrome lids on top of the cooker , and in the ovens.  The cooker is always warm and also serves as a heater, making the kitchen a favourite place in the house!  


I based the look of the kitchen on a photograph of the kitchen of castle Twickel in the Netherlands from the book 'Country Houses of Holland' by Barbara and René Stoeltie (ISBN 3-8228-6248-7).   It was the combination of the solid wood sink and the copper pots and pans which particularly appealed  to me. 



The walls of the kitchen are tiled with the typically Dutch tiles called'  witjes'  (little whites).  Although the name suggests differently, these tiles aren't actually white, but are slightly coloured with green, yellow, blue, pink or gray.  These differences in colour originally occurred  when the tiles were baked together with highly coloured (and far more expensive) earthenware. Nowadays the glazes are mixed in the colours of the original 'witjes'.  In the 17th century these tiles were extremely popular and often used to tile the entire kitchen.   For today's kitchen the modern version of the 'witjes' is still a popular choice.

I have made my 'witjes' from cardstock.  First coloured some card with acrylics, then cut out lots of squares and glued them to the wall.  When dry I put several coats of spray varnish on them to give them that glazed look.   I grouted the tiles using DIY filler.


I made the kitchen cabinets using 3 mm plywood, for the drawers and doors I used 2 mm plywood.  The paint is the same one I used in the drawing-room and dining-room,  a matt paint in the colour 'sandstone'.    I used a mix of acrylic hobby paints to age the cabinets a little. 



Still life by the kichen window.  On the window sill a vase with a hydrangea.  I made the hydrangea after a real one I had flowering in my garden.  The colours were so beautiful and vivid.
















Of course I couldn't resist and had to put some of the miniatures I collected in the kitchen. 

On display in the niche is part of the collection of porcelain which I painted during Cocky Wildschut's classes.  On the work surface I have put something I really like (no, it's not the wine!) : Dutch crispbread and real chocolate sprinkles....yum yum! 


The original kitchen countertop and sink at castle Twickel  are made of solid wood and have worn beautifully after many years of use.   For the countertop in my canal house I have used some cherry wood.  I recreated the grooves and wear of the countertop with files, sandpaper and a sharp knife.  The water stained but deep, warm colour was achieved with some acrylic paints and furniture wax. 

The lamp above the sink is from Heidi Ott, a steel at the Arnhem show (October 2008).  The colour wasn't quite to my liking, so I painted the lamp with copper and creme coloured Humbrol paints (special paint for metal and plastics).  Now it matches my copper pans perfectly. 

At the Arnhem fair I bought six beautiful wineglasses from Gerd Felka.   The wine glasses seem like simple, ordinary wine glasses, but are really quite special.  The glasses have been made with pulled stems, which means the stems are not glued onto the bowl but the whole glass is made in one piece.  Great mastership!

The beautiful wine bottles and the oil and vinegar bottles on the countertop are by  Hanneke (Minimini).                                                                                                                                        


I had planned to put the cupboard I made in 2007 during the Guild School in Castine in the kitchen.  But then I realized it would never hold all the kitchen accessories I had acquired over the years.  After some deliberation I decided instead to build a large work table along the wall next to the AGA.  The style of the work table matches the kitchen cabinets.
Copper kettle by Philippe Bordelet.

For the work surface again I used cherry wood.  Below the work surface I have plenty of room for some of the bigger kitchenware.




Some kitchenware I collected over the years:  stoneware bottles and jug by Elisabeth Bettler,  copper fish pan by Philippe Bordelet, bundt cake mold by Anita Degen (Keukengerei van rond 1900). 

The three nested bowls were hand coloured by me during a porcelain painting class. I tried to make the colour of the bowls so that they look like French mixing bowls. 

On the right something I like very much: mini-Brosjes (chocolates)   here they are in mini, which makes them mini-mini-Brosjes.                                                                                                        



The basket with the large wine bottle is by Waldermar Backert from Germany(bought in 2007? in Arnhem).  The aubergine (eggplant) en courgette (zucchini) along with some other vegetables were given to me as a gift with an order from Comptoir de Rouvray in 2006.  The large tray was made by me, the cook book by Tine Krijnen.











In 2010 St. Nicholas gave me a lovely set of four Le Creuset cooking pots.  The green one looks great with my majolica tureens.    The hanging cabinet is one that Mark Murphy made as part of our class instruction in Castine 2007.  The legs were a little short I believe so he was going to throw it away.  Fortunately Mark allowed me to retrieve it from the waste basket, and here it is now in my kitchen.







The red sign on the wall says: 'The coffee is ready'.  It was a little advertising gimmick sent out to many households in the Netherlands by a leading Dutch coffee brand.  It looks perfect on the wall of my little kitchen.





September 2013:

When I started buiding this kitchen I planned on making the back wall all glass with large glass doors opening into the garden.  But as things go, my plans changed over time.   

The back wall now has three windows and a kitchen door.  Underneath the windows there now is space for more counter tops.   A butcher's block and a small fridge I made years ago for another project fitted the space well.  The refrigerator has a little light inside but that still needs to be connected to the dollshouse wiring system.  


I made the kitchen table from cherry wood which matches the countertops.  The yellow colour can be found throughout the kitchen, for instance in the kitchen gloves by the sink.


Ah yes, the kitchen gloves.  Those beautiful yellow kitchen gloves, made exactly like the real ones of thin, supple rubber, unlike those stiff ones you sometimes see in miniature.   They are so wonderful.

Or I should say: were, because recently a couple of mice gained access to the kitchen and nibbled on my beautiful kitchen gloves!













The copper watering can was made by Philippe Bordelet. The auricula's were made by Gill Rawling of Petite Fleur.  She doesn't use paper to make the flowers, but metal!  The metal makes flowers and plants much sturdier and has the added advantage that they don't fade as easy as the paper ones tend to do.    

















The kitchen chairs were made for me by Kim Selwood.  They are the 'Clisset' chairs, originally designed by Ernest Gimson.  The Arts & Crafts chairs are very similar to the typically Dutch kitchen chairs which have been used in Dutch kitchens for centuries.  The chairs look quite at home in my kitchen.  







The lamps above the table are by Ray Storey.  Apart from the fact that they are beautifl lamps, they are also of good quality.  And very durable.

After I had hung and connected the lamps to the dollshouse wiring system, I accidently hit the lamps with my hand dozens of times while arraging things in the kitchen.  Despite the violence done to them, both lamps thankfully are still working perfectly. 


Through the window a glimpse of the garden can be seen.  A good place to sit and eat when the weather is good.  Against the side wall grows a small espaliered apple tree, some vegetables and herbes and of course some pretty flowers. 




















Enlighten yourself in the Study and Library!






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