The kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether your house is large or small, the kitchen is where meals are created, the space where bodies are fuelled and, in the modern home, it is so much more: a meeting place, and an area for sharing experiences.
Why the kitchen is the most important room of the house
The history of the kitchen
In older houses and in previous generations, the kitchen area was smaller, separate and cut off from the rest of the dwelling, a space that was contained, where the cooking was done. When it came to meals, family and friends gathered in dining or living rooms to eat.
Kitchens were utilitarian areas. Many of us have memories of our parents slaving over a hot stove, preparing meals for the family to enjoy. Often children were told to stay away from the kitchen, but sometimes they were invited in to join with the meal preparation and learn the art and the pleasure of cooking. Older kitchens were not quiet, peaceful places. They were areas of noise, energy and smells, where memories were created.
In larger homes, there was the possibility of dining in the kitchen. Sometimes, kitchens were large enough to accommodate a family-sized table, although this was often only for breakfast or light meals, while more formal meals were served in the dining room. Over the years, the importance of the family meal has declined, and as our family lives have altered to reflect our busier social and work environment, the role of the kitchen has also changed.
The kitchen is the new living room
During the last two decades or thereabouts, the kitchen has gradually evolved from being a place devoted to cooking to a living space. New homes were planned with this function in mind, and so the kitchen became a larger area that could accommodate friends and family.
These larger kitchens, which were sometimes part of open-plan areas, were able to accommodate tables and islands, producing a natural flow of coming and going within the home. Many people with smaller kitchens followed the trend and took the step of enlarging their kitchen, both to enhance their living environment and increase their property’s value.
The importance of the modern kitchen
Today the kitchen has become the most significant room in many houses, not least in the eyes of estate agents and home buyers. The size, location and functionality of the kitchen can have a major impact on property value, and for this reason, homeowners with smaller kitchens are increasingly renovating this area of their home, with new accessories, tier on tier shutters or refurbished kitchen units.
The kitchen has come a long way since the days when it was a utilitarian room focused on one aspect. The modern kitchen is a place for meeting, talking, cooking and eating, and whether you are aiming to renovate your home or improve its resale value, don’t underestimate the importance of this particular part of your house.