Civil war kitchens were more than just the place where food was cooked. People did their laundry, made candles and soap, polished silver, and sometimes bathed or had a medical procedures in the kitchen but the kitchens were utilitarian, not beautiful. Naturally, wealthy people had fancier kitchens than the poor, and generally living in the city gave you a nicer space than living in the country. In hot weather, food might be cooked in a building outside the main house in case of fire.
Most walls were white or cream, and floors were made of cheaper wood like pine, but sometimes they painted them.
Ceilings were white and mostly they didn't use curtains.
Candles, oil lamps, firelight, and light coming windows were sources of illumination.
There were no cabinets when you moved in. You just got an empty room, so people had to buy cupboards, tables, and shelves to hold their things. They had dry sinks.
I think I like today's kitchens better. I don't believe I'd like living this way.
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