The Evolution Of The Kitchen

I have a love-hate relationship with my kitchen. I love it, and it could be worse. It was my Grandma’s. But then I hate that it isn’t bigger, and that it doesn’t have more light. And, I really wish it had more cabinet space. To that end, I did a little work in the kitchen yesterday. There has been a big hole in the space where the oven used to be. A space big enough to fit an oven, basically. I wanted to put some shelves and drawers into it. We don’t have the skills to do those things. A few people had said they were willing to help do it but did not keep their word. I just got plain sick of looking at it so decided to do something myself. I put a small wire shelf unit in there. Then I took some of my small electric appliances from their different spots (kitchen counter, kitchen shelf, dining room shelf) and put them onto the wire shelf. I’m going to pick up a small curtain rod and hand a curtain in the opening to hide all of the appliances. It ain’t fancy but it’ll work. I had to laugh as I found some things I hadn’t seen in a long while. An electric griddle that makes pancakes in the shapes of small animals was my find of the day. I don’t even recall when I got it. Here’s an article on the evolution of kitchens that I found interesting. Links to third party sites have been included for the audiences reference.

What do you love or hate about your kitchen? I’d really like to know, please leave a comment!

Busy Kitchen Photo

Over the years the kitchen has become the heart of many households. Before, it was kept out of sight, but now modern design and innovation, as well as an explosion in TV cookery shows, have transformed the kitchen into a more sociable center where people can gather to cook, snack and chat and relax. Through all this it remains practical in terms of food preparation and storage. With technological revolutions like the dishwasher and the food mixer, kitchen users have more time to build upon and enjoy their environment than ever before.

How times have changed! Before we invented the cooking range, we cooked food over an open fire. This meant that we cooked most dishes in bulk and had less choice as to what we prepared. When gas was made largely available as a household commodity, the gas stove brought with it greater options for home cooking. The “working triangle” has become a mantra amongst kitchen planners, indicative of the ideal spacing between the cooker, the fridge and the sink. However, as our lives change and the kitchen takes on more meaning than ever before, designers have had to create new (and novel) ways to work with kitchen spaces. These days it’s not unusual to find a hob set into the breakfast bar, or the fridge hiding behind a cabinet door.

Nowadays we stock our kitchens with vast arrays of weird and wonderful cooking implements to create dishes that surpass them in weirdness and wonder! The trend for electrification in the mid-1900s opened up a whole new world of advancement for amateur and professional chefs alike. Toasters, electric whisks, kettles and dishwashers are now commonplace in most kitchens, saving the chef or cook massive amounts of time and letting them get on with what they do best. Advances in food preparation have progressed alongside the modern world to accommodate our busy, multifaceted lifestyles.

Since the kitchen is such a vital part of any home, it must be functional and safe for all members of the family. Designers have worked hard to achieve this, allowing for children, the elderly and disabled users to ensure 100% safety and satisfaction. Following the creation of the Frankfurt kitchen in 1926, the fitted kitchen has become a fiercely competitive area of interior manufacture. Soft closing cabinets, ice dispensing fridge-freezers and electronically opening drawers are just a few of the amazing additions we can now make to our humble homes.

We might not have reached the stage where food materializes out of thin air or robots cook our meals for us (who knows, maybe they’re someone working on it, though!), but we’ve come a long way since sitting around a fire and holding a pan over the top. It’s exciting to consider the next steps in the evolution of the kitchen.

Macy Jefferson is a Chicago-based chef. Outside of the kitchen, she is passionate about home design and especially enjoys experimenting with color schemes.

Image by toolmantim, used under Creative Commons license.

About the Author

I’m a Jersey girl, I was born and raised here and have lived here for almost my entire life. I’m a mom of 2 boys – TJ, a 21 year old, and CJ, an 18 year old with Down Syndrome. I am the oldest of four children. I am also a social media enthusiast, cat person, and Down syndrome advocate. I love coffee and milkshakes. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. I love rock music, tech, travel and food. And cheesecake. I HATE the misuse of the word retarded. I take it personally and find it very offensive. Did I mention that I love cheesecake?

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  1. Well, where do I start??? First off, I’m not the cook in the family, my husband is. But I do love my bay window and my coffee maker!! I would love a new refrigerator and oh, love my juicer….don’t even like that think that washes our dishes either!!!

  2. I have a pretty small kitchen as well but as long as I can cook comfortably, I am happy! It is for sure the hub of our house and I enjoy cooking, so spending time in it is ok with me!

  3. I remember living in my grandparents’ house with a black cast iron stove that was the source of hot water, heat, and cooking. I remember Uncle Weatherbee on TV promoting electric appliances. The kitchen was always the family gathering place for my family. Open concept may be nice but not as close and intimate on a daily basis.

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