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In A Canadian KitchenAuthor: Gennie Beardsley
( Article orginally published November 1962 )
ANTIQUES are a way of life with Mrs. Faith Grant of Victoria, British Columbia. The 20-room house which she rescued from certain demolition a few years ago is today filled with the treasures-chiefly eighteenth century-of a lifetime as a collector and dealer.
The house, solidly founded on bedrock, studded with British Columbia Douglas fir, with siding, sashwork and ornamental fretwork of California redwood, celebrates its centennial this year along with Victoria.
As any collector will understand, Mrs. Grant had been but a few years in her rescued home when even the twenty rooms were filled and additional living space was required. Her solution to the problem was ingenious and harmonious-she converted a good solid woodshed into an attached single story cottage and olde towne kitchen.
The woodshed's original structure, with its roof supported by a single massive oak beam, set the pattern for the extension. A second beam, adroitly copying the adzing of the first by means of a scrub plane used with crisscross strokes, supports the addition.
The kitchen is largely furnished with eighteenth century English oak. A cottage oak drop-leaf table serves both for family lunches and the school homework demands of Mrs. Grant's grandchildren. Spindle-back chairs are used. Leaded windows are chintz-curtained to match the flower tiles by famed Victoria artist Emily Sartain and the Dobbs bird tiles which top the sinkboard and camouflage the top of the unavoidably modern refrigerator.
Spacious storage for food staples is provided by a standing corner cupboard; for linens, by a Yorkshire blanket chest. Matches, string, shopping lists-all the minor miscellany of kitchen convenience-are stored in small oak containers called "treen," in common use in England before pottery and metal replaced them. A twin of the Old Oaken Bucket is a wastebasket.
Possibly the most ingenious adaptation is that of a grandfather's clock case to an ironing board cupboard. This particular long clock case had a handsome face, but no works, and it was a simple matter to fit it with a collapsible ironing board. However, it can be made a double duty piece simply by supplying clockworks and using a short pendulum.