The Evolved American Kitchen
- September 12, 2017
- Posted by: Ginger Perales
- Category: History, Home
Today our kitchens boast stainless steel appliances and granite and marble countertops. Some even have engineered countertops, Quartz, which offers the appearance of marble and the durability of granite, like the ones manufactured by VenaStone. American kitchens have evolved into the warm, welcoming, and attractive spaces they are today, leaving behind the isolated, work extensive spaces they were in the past.
It may seem unlikely, if not impossible, but the kitchen wasn’t always the center of family and social activity it is today. Homes with open floor plans and kitchens featuring center islands with quartz or granite countertops and extra seating are much different than the kitchens a hundred years ago. In the early 1900s, the kitchen was utilitarian, existing solely for the storage and preparation of food. They were isolated from other sections of the home and frequently uncomfortable. A century’s worth of
With constant innovation and ever-evolving lifestyles, kitchens over the past one hundred years illuminate the changes in our lifestyles and habits, moving them away from uninviting, isolated workstations to colorful and inviting spaces of the modern, sleek, high-tech rooms they are today. To get a better grasp on how the modern kitchen came into existence, you need to understand its history.
Not only have appliances and kitchen countertops changed over the years, the role the kitchen plays in our lives has evolved too. The room once located at the back of the house has moved front and center and is now more than simply functional; it’s an integral part of the family.
Kitchens still have the same moving parts and components now as they did a century ago, yet today they are the most utilized space in the house and not just for food prep, it’s now a multi-purpose room and an array of functions and users occupy the same space.
The Working Kitchen
Prior to the 1940s, kitchens were add-ons to the homes and often seen as grueling workspaces. They were typically dull, dreary, dark, and forgotten areas of the home. In the 1940s a man named Dr. Fuller changed that by redefining the kitchen as part of the home. His exhibit at the World’s Fair showing a kitchen future started everyone thinking. Can food preparation be better and easier?
The Social Kitchen
Starting in the 1950s, Mom no longer disappeared into the back recesses of the house with food just magically showing up at mealtime. It was the beginning of the social kitchen, with food prep and eating areas integrated, helped along by innovative appliances. This allowed for activities to take place at the same time as meal preparation. White seems to be the primary color of kitchens in this era, from the appliances, the wall color, and the cabinets
The Evolving Kitchen
And then there were the 60s with the ubiquitous harvest gold and lime green appliances. And how about that linoleum? Introduced in the 1960s, it was inexpensive and easy to keep clean, this was especially important as women began leaving home for work and careers outside of the home. Moving into the 1970’s, 80s, and 90s, there was also a renewed awareness of home cooking, (thanks in no small part to the introduction of the celebrity chef), fancy gadgets, and especially entertaining. Homeowners wanted a kitchen they could be proud of, and once they had it, that’s when the kitchen took its place as the center of the home.
Today, the kitchen has established its place as the heart of the home, and a luxurious one at that. Quartz countertops, like as the ones produced by shown above, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood cabinets and floors are just the backdrop for new technology and designs. If there’s one thing you can say about today’s kitchen it’s this, “you’ve come a long way baby!”