A recent survey found that 71% of homeowners spend 3 hours or more in their kitchen every day. The only room that beats that is your bedroom – but most of the hours spent in your bedroom are unconscious!
How the kitchen has evolved…
How we use our kitchen is constantly changing and evolving. Two decades ago the kitchen was much smaller – a functional room to cook in only. People had dining rooms, sitting rooms, sculleries and the kitchen was less important.
Nowadays the kitchen is being opened up and expanded. People use the kitchen for eating and dining, for entertaining, to do work in, to do homework in. The kitchen has extended and expanded and become larger and more multi-functional. It’s now a room where people can meet in an informal setting. Friends can catch up and indulge in gossip over the island! It’s a space that the female of the species dominates (and it’s okay for me to say this – because I know it to be true and I am one of them!)
The kitchen is the room for nurturing and nourishing. Feeding takes place – be that a grabbed morsel rushing out the door, or a purée in a baby seat fed by a loving mum, or an adventurous spread by a talented cook.
How the kitchen was, once upon a time…
Feeding and the art of cooking has changed so much over the years. When I was a child my mother stayed at home and my dad was the bread-winner. We were the typical Irish family. I recall our small kitchen. I recall many other things too – like the hearty slow-cooked stews, casseroles and joints cooked on the range. The smell of cooking and baking filled the house. Much of our vegetables were grown in a small garden out the back – so I’d be sent out with a basin to bring in the vegetables of the day. Bread was baked every day by my grandmother until she left us. Her baking supplies were replaced by a delivery by the local baker – Crottys. We were not farmers – so we didn’t kill our own animals – but we kept hens for eggs, grew fruit and much of the meat we ate came from the local butchers – on a daily basis – or the local fish market on Fridays. All this home-grown produce, local supplies and dishes that lasted for more than one dinner meant that storage was not as necessary. Gadgets were not needed – the trusty liquidizer and mixer were the only gadgets used.
The kitchen today…
Roll forward by 30 years and things are different. Time is in short supply in our home. I work part-time and my expectations are greater. Unfortunately, I no longer grow any vegetables or keep hens! They’d be long dead! The trip to the shops happens once a week – for a bumper trolley of fruit, veg, meats, fish and the entire grocery supply has to be stored in the kitchen to fuel the family for a whole week at least! The cuisine of the average week could include traditional Irish dinners, an Italian pasta dish or two, an Indian dish, a mexican dish – we’re very adventurous! Every day brings a new dinner. It is rare to have the same offering for more than one day. My mother used Parsley & Thyme – nowadays I have fresh herbs in my garden – at last count 6 different ones – and a massive collection of dried herbs. Add to that collection a plethora of spices, condiments, tinned supplies – and all must be held in place somewhere near the cooking zone.
What about gadgets & gear?
The steamer, microwave, mixer, spiraliser, juicer, coffee machine, toastie maker and processors and blenders. Most of the gadgets are electrical – but then we have an enormous selection of bowls, presentation trays, sets, dip bowls, slates. Add to this a mountain of pots, pans, roasters, cake tins, muffin trays. Then we have the hand tools – crushers, whisks, zesters, graters, spatulas etc etc…
All of these considerations mean that we have to have bigger kitchens just to cope with what the modern domestic goddess churns out every day!!
The Kitchen – the soul zone…
Leave aside the food lovingly prepared – the kitchen is now the place in your home that many of lifes soul nurturing moments occur.
- How many of us do homework with the children everyday?
- How many of us sit down with cuppas to read something – be it a magazine or to catch up on social media?
- How many of us catch up with friends over a kitchen worktop?
The last time your child came in crying from a fall I’ll bet you both went to the kitchen sink? You popped him/her on the worktop, washed the skinned knee and kissed away tears.
- Did your husband put his arms around your waist as you cooked?
- Did you have a glass of wine and a chat?
- How often have you discussed the great events and trials of life in your kitchen?
We are all now emotionally invested in our kitchens – its our very essence and our heart.
How important is your kitchen in your home?
So many kitchens being built in new homes today are open plan – and either include a table for eating or a living space or both. The net result is that the kitchen must be very attractive and practical for the lifestyle choices of today.
Let us give you a few facts to consider about the most important room of your home.
- Contemporary Designs account for 53% of kitchens sold in Ireland.
- 7-10 people pay up to €25,000 on their kitchen.
- 51% of people want an island.
- 49% want a pantry cupboard
- 75% of people want better use of space in their new kitchen versus an old one already in the home.
- 50% of people report leading a better lifestyle in their new kitchen – eating more at home and more fruit and vegetables.
There is no dispute that the kitchen is the ONE room that deserves your considerable attention and the advice and help of an informed, experienced and creative kitchen expert.
All images contained in this post is of our work.
You wouldn’t trust this important decision with a chancer, would you?
We are kitchen specialists – experts within our field of fitted, unique and high quality kitchens. Call us to book your appointment to discuss the heart of your home: 059 9176873.
We design, make and appoint kitchens in Carlow, Kilkenny, Kildare, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow, Dublin.
Source of Survey: Houzz