The Kitchen – a Very Short History
The modern kitchen is the centerpiece of any home, a hub of activity with indispensible conveniences, shiny stainless steel sinks and faucets, and often designed in an open plan alongside and incorporating living areas. It’s a place to gather and even entertain; for many homeowners, their kitchen is the showpiece, like a trophy of the home to be shown off and to inspire envy.
It wasn’t always this way. Historically, kitchens were functional only; they were not spaces to spend time or congregate. They were certainly not to be shown off to guests! Visitors were never hosted in the kitchen. Unlike the light and airy spaces favored today, kitchens were dark, often small, busy spaces that were hot and filled with conflicting aromas. Kitchens were situated in a home as far away from the private and entertaining rooms as possible. Luxury was never a word applied to a kitchen…
Hundreds of years ago, in the middle ages, homes of all but the wealthy tended to comprise a single room and cooking took place over a central open fire. Larger homes had a Great Hall, and the cooking area was in the centre of this. The open fire for cooking also provided heat and light.
With the invention of the chimney, kitchen spaces changed and larger areas were sub-divided. Smoke and soot were not so much of a problem after the 1500’s thanks to these changes, and the kitchen became a separate space from the living area.
The need for dedicated kitchens arose in the 1700’s and 1800’s as French trends spread throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Complex meal menus and strict etiquette became more common and dining was a major experience for the wealthy.
Kitchens in the 1800’s were usually at the back of the house, on the bottom floor, or even in a basement space. Stoves from the 1850’s were made of cast iron and only the women of the house ever worked in or even entered the kitchen. Storage space in a kitchen was extremely limited, though this improved a little by the turn of the last century.
By WWII, kitchens were still at the back of the home, yet were larger, having contemporary appliances including freestanding stove, oven, and sink. These appliances were to be fitted in many cases by the 1950’s, and women wanted the best for their home work spaces.
By the 1960’s, kitchens were better designed, quieter, more appealing, and had much more space for work and storage. The space was slowly becoming a source of domestic pride. By the 1980’s the concept of the “trophy kitchen” had taken hold.
Today we take enormous pride in a beautiful state of the art kitchen. Get the very best in stainless steel sinks from Anaheim, online and deliverable worldwide from Wholesale-Sinks.