Everything About Kitchens
Originally, a kitchen consisted of nothing more than a large rock sitting next to an open fire. As time marched on the kitchen became more sophisticated. So much so that kitchen design actually became a business. First, the kitchen surrounded a large wooden table that you could work at and eat at as well. Soon, everyone became tired of kitchen tables and designers moved them into a separate room and called it a dining room. Later, the dining room became too formal for every-day use and someone came up the idea of a breakfast room.
The dining room stayed and a second breakfast room table was added in close proximity to the kitchen. After the kitchen had been expanded into three rooms, homemakers again began to get bored with their cooking spaces. One day someone said, “I remember when kitchens had tables right in the middle. Why don’t we take the wall down between the kitchen and the breakfast room? Cooking and serving will be far more convenient.” So it passed that the dining room was renamed the formal dining room and the breakfast room table became the “new kitchen table”.
Within only a few decades, folks got tired of their little kitchens. The kitchen just wasn’t as big as the one that grandpa and grandma had. So, kitchens got bigger and bigger until finally someone said, “This kitchen is too big and there is so much wasted space in the middle.” Shortly thereafter a wise kitchen designer said. “Let’s build a cabinet into the center of this “large” kitchen and we can eliminate some of the wasted space.” The island was small to begin with, but folks in the know knew that bigger was better, so island cabinets got bigger and soon kitchens had to be enlarged to make room for additional island area.
Soon the same folks that wanted the island in the middle of the kitchen decided to make it more versatile. Cabinets were added beneath the island counter and eventually appliances worked their way to the island as well. As appliances and additional features were added the size of the island cabinet got bigger and bigger. Yep, you got it, and the kitchens got bigger as well.
Apparently, our great-grandparents had it right to begin with. A table in the middle of the kitchen – a great place to work and sit for dinner. So, where are we now? Today’s modern kitchen surrounds an enormous built-in table (we call it an island) filled with so many appliances and features that one might refer to it as “a kitchen within a kitchen.”
Are kitchens boring? Have we seen all that we’re going to see inasmuch as design is concerned? Not hardly. For as long as there are people using the kitchen it will continue to change —- and transform?
Countertops have had a similar metamorphosis. It all started with a large flat stone sitting next to an open fire. Then someone invented cabinets and ceramic tile came to pass. It was expensive, but available in so many patterns and colors that everyone could find a favorite. Then came plastics — no grout, easy maintenance and wow – very low cost. Tastes then began to waver between tile and plastic laminates (Formica) until new man made solid surface materials came along (Corian). They became the rage until someone discovered granite. Like all new materials we remember when only the very rich and privileged could have granite could be used to create a new breed of countertops. Suddenly the price went down and now granite is priced so that almost everyone can afford it. As soon as this happened designers immediately began searching for a new look that they could sell to the very affluent. They found it – poured in place concrete. Almost the very same stuff used in your driveway. Plain concrete was too simple so someone came up with an acid stain that would make the concrete look more unique than ever. Now the rage in countertops has turned to acid washed concrete and concrete countertops containing decorations. A form is built right on top of the counter – sort of like a large wooden tray. Decorative items are laid on the bottom of the form tray with their face down (keys, name tags, photographs, sea shells – you name it). The concrete is poured and when it’s dry the whole enchilada is turned over and removed from the 3 to 4 inch thick form. We think that a large flat stone next to an open fire isn’t very far away from where we’re at today. What do you think?
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