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Vast Kitchen Conundrum
One trend which has out stripped all others in the world of home design is that of the vast “live-in” kitchen. With our increasingly hectic work and social lives, it is almost ironic that the less time people have at home, the more inclined they are to have, or aspire to have, a kitchen so large it almost requires roller-skates to get around.
As all estate agents will confirm, a large kitchen-diner now requires a “family room” zone to gain the wow factor. When I think about my home life, and those of my friends, it is a chicken and egg question – as in which came first.
When we were young, free, single and more carefree, I do not think we even gave the kitchen much more than a passing glance when house hunting. Admittedly, we wanted it to look nice and have the basics installed but I swear on any religious tome that my first kitchen could have fit into a VW campervan with room to spare. Nowadays I don’t think I could fit all the kitchen gadgets I have amassed over the years into the aforementioned camper.
When did we need so many gadgets? Of course, fridge/freezer, oven, hob, washer/dryer, microwave and the beloved kettle are all “essential” in my world. Nobody dares upset me till I have had a cup of coffee from my Nespresso coffee maker. I could probably do without the microwave but the rest is non-negotiable. Yes, I have a dishwasher, which I view as pretty important given the swarm of locust that I live with, none of whom seem capable of using the same mug twice. However, like most of my friends, if I open my kitchen cupboards, I honestly feel that I have about the same amount of food storage as I did in my first flat. So what on earth does the rest of it consist of?
My kitchen cupboards have become a breeding ground for abandoned “labour saving” devices and wonderful on-trend accessories. From the George Foreman grill, slow cooker, toastie makers, ice cream machine and that’s not to mention the bread maker, dozens of different mixers/food processor/liquidisers. Add to that the things which do not require a plug – for example, the fondue pot, “Ideal Home Show” julienne making contraptions, bizarre egg poachers and a deep fat frying pan (don’t tell on me, it dates back to the 1990s but is too good to throw out.)
However, the reason behind our kitchens becoming skating rinks sized is not actually due to the mass of kit we have collected, it is more to do with our endeavour to avoid a disconnected home life. Everyone works and has busy social lives too. The kitchen/breakfast/lounge/family space is the central hub of our home life. Segmenting it into the differing functions could mean that the family spirt can be lost. Added to which, it is possibly the only room where adults and teenagers cross paths, so it needs to be as welcoming as possible. Where one child can play on the floor, while another can do their homework and ask for help as one parent cooks and another watches TV. It is a wonderful evolution of modern living and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Naturally, it needs to be a lovely, bright inviting space so installing shutters would be the ideal window treatment.
Now where did I put my roller skates – I’d love a cup of tea!