Friday, December 3, 2010

The Kitchen of the Brain-Watkins House

Well the tour is almost over and here is the final room, the kitchen found at the back of the house.

The chaise lounge covered in green velvet was a favourite piece of furniture in the Victorian era, perfect for an afternoon nap, and yet elegant.

The walls are lined with solid kauri board, but like the doors in the house, they have been painted with a wood grain effect to give the look of English Oak.

One of the things I love about the house are the eclectic personal items from the 20th century, mixed in with the 19th century items. This little door stop with its bright yellow knitted poodle cover is one of those pieces and it brightens the room.

The house had a live in caretaker for over 30 years, after Elva died. The kitchen was adapted for this purpose, and has more modern appliances than any other room in the house.

The large teapot on the bench is made from a kerosene tin, and shows that wonderful kiwi ingenuity that adapts old items to new uses when times are tough. So my historical darlings I hope you enjoyed a glimpse inside the Brain-Watkins House, as once more we pull down the blinds and say bye for now.


  1. It's cool that the brain watkins house is all imagified up on the net now. People can see what is being kept just by searching it on google :) This is what makes the net so cool that you are now a part of that system, giving back some information.

    Very cool

  2. Thanks for that my darling, I hadn't thought of it like that.

  3. I can't believe they took beautiful kauri walls and made them look like ugly old oak by painting them. Shame, shame!

    And the kerosene kettle leaves me aghast. I admire the ingenuity, but am not sure I would ever feel comfortable drinking tea made in an old kerosene tin, no matter how many times it was washed.

    It is a beautiful kitchen though - so warm and homey compared to the modern ones.

  4. It is hard to relate to today, we treasure our beautiful kauri timber, and it is so rare. This is what the Brain Watkins House is about in many ways though, looking back to the old country. Even though the Brain sisters were born here in New Zealand and I do not think Elva or Bessie ever travelled back to Europe, they still wanted their home to feel very European.