The Experience of the Kitchen Space
The drama of home life is played out in the kitchen. We commune, hang out, watch TV, telephone friends and relations, read the paper, do homework and hobbies, lounge on the sofa, cook and entertain, play music, argue and make up – all in one space.
The kitchen becomes the active zone of the house, with an emphasis on sociability. Individual needs can be built into alcoves or accommodated within screens, thereby defining activity areas such as children’s play areas, home work places and places in which to relax in comfort.
What is so key about kitchen design? It is the word ‘kitchen’ itself that leaves us short. There is general agreement that the kitchen is the essence of home, a substitute for the hearth. The kitchen has become the new hallway. A cup of coffee or tea, which we consider more of a greeting than hospitality, means you go to the kitchen first, whether you ate a service engineer or a dear friend whose has travelled miles. The highest proportion of time spent in a room at home goes to the kitchen; the concept should allow us to realise how to re-orientate our homes to a lifestyle that suits us better.
‘Leisure together’ Families want to spend the precious home-time together after being at work or school that takes such a large chunk of our day. Expanded leisure activity and holiday takes us out-of-home, too. If work has expanded in hours, out of home leisure has also grown. With many households having two working partners the pressure on family time together is even greater. We believe this is one of the greatest pressures for working towards “one space for active living, with kitchen included”. We want to spend what time there is in visual contact and not be isolated in a separate rooms two corridors away.
Appliances as icons…
Ergonomics may form the basics of comfort but without the back up of wider psychological aspects, such as feelings of warmth or the pleasing of the eye, then why linger in a kitchen space? The tactile qualities of natural materials, the enchantment of natural light on colour and the use of pattern assist.
Appliances as tools or as status symbols? They are both. Larder, fridges, Agas, ranges, dishwasher drawers, wok burners, massive air extractors – there is increasingly more demand for the top-end manufacturers to make status symbols for those who desire for something different and well made.
Identifiable icons are the unchanging products of a kitchen – the appliances. Fifty years ago, appliances dominated the kitchen industry, today the opposite applies. Apart from the prestigious large appliances of those mentioned above, appliances are formulated to submerge into the sizing of the kitchen units. Now that is a higher demand for bespoke cabinetry to tailor to those integrated appliances.
Click here to take a look at our integrated appliances; http://thefreestandingkitchen.com/products/fitted-appliances/