Utilitarian; kitchens used to be simply that. Today we gather in them. Why do today’s home and kitchen dictate a different layout than they did years before?
Technology, for one. “The Costco Effect” for two, number three is September 11 and last but not least…your relatives.
Technology has had a double impact on our living space. Our technology has become mobile, allowing us to freely move away from desktop. That means we can surf our favorite shopping sites at the kitchen island while our significant other makes us dinner. It also has allowed many of us to now work from home – meaning we may be eating lunch at home with our spouse and desire a less formal area to gather around than the kitchen table or dining room for our midday meal. This (in addition to more casual living and empty-nesters – a whole other article) has lead to the advent of additional, cozy “mini” dining locations we are beginning to see in kitchens. This could be a high top for two in front of a window, or a sitting area adjacent to the kitchen table made up of two chairs and an end type table that can be moved in between the two chairs to double as a casual dining table.
Technology has also lead to quieter appliances. Range hood and dishwasher sounds don’t impede our conversations as they once did, allowing us to stay in a room we used to depart post-meal when Mom started the dishwasher.
Sam’s Clubs and Costcos haven’t been around that long, but as “The Costco Effect” has us buying in bulk, we need somewhere between car and kitchen to conveniently store those large amounts we now regularly buy. Whether that is in the mudroom right off the kitchen or a larger panty to store these items, this effect has impacted the design of today’s home and kitchen.