The Evolution of the Modern Day Kitchen

This article is provided exclusively to SmartGirlStyle by Ryan Hirst, who is the online marketing and media assistant for Eurofit Direct - a kitchen and office furniture fittings company with a hand in the DIY and Home Improvement niche.

The Evolution of the Modern Day Kitchen
  
How Kitchens Have Changed

The modern day home's kitchen has undergone major fundamental changes. Once upon a time, it was simply a place for the traditional housewife to prepare meals for her family. Today's futuristic kitchen design allows us to use the kitchen not just as a space for cooking, but also for entertaining and dining.

If you look back ten years, you'll likely notice considerable changes made to home designs, and especially to kitchens. Mindsets about this space have evolved as well. Gone are the days of the housewife-only kitchen; it's now a room in which the whole family can (and wants to!) be together. How times have changed!

The Traditional Kitchen
There are many differences between a traditional kitchen and a kitchen of the modern era, including in the room's layout, colours, and materials used. Traditional kitchens, focusing on efficiency and simplicity, embraced straight edges and pragmatic resources. Of course, fewer resources were available overall. Plus, as a rule, homeowners didn’t see the need to spend hard-earned money on one of the most rejected rooms in their homes.

In terms of colour and design in an old-fashioned or traditional kitchen, these are the sort of things you could expect:
- Natural coloured cabinets and cupboards
- Wooden cupboards, cabinets, and worktops
- Simple lighting fixtures
- Antique pewter/traditional cabinet and cupboard handles
- Small fridge
- Stove-like oven
 
These are just a few of the characteristics of a traditional kitchen, and we don’t have to look back very far to identify these traits. But what happened over the last decade to bring out today's modern kitchen? What does it look like? Below is a detailed guide to a modern kitchen and a comparison of the outstanding differences in layout, size, design, technology, and fittings used.


Kitchens nowadays are (in Eurofit Direct's own words, as well as the words of many other interior designers, home improvement experts, and bloggers) ‘the heart of the home’. It has become the place within the home for time with loved ones, a place we can relax and enjoy time socialising.

Traditionally, the kitchen was a fairly small room (compared to the dining and living rooms) in the back corner of the home, separated from the rest of the house. This is simply not the case anymore. Instead, open plan living has meant that more and more kitchens have taken the main stage and are actually a dining room and living room...as well as a kitchen.

With open plan living, we've seen not only dining tables and chairs incorporated into kitchen spaces, but also sofa sets, televisions, and islands or breakfast bars. All with the intention of entertaining while allowing a practical place for homeowners to wine, dine, and entertain.

Colour and themes within the kitchen have changed dramatically in the last ten years or so as well. The days of natural, earthy colours and wood-only material finishes have simply disappeared. Instead, many of today's homeowners go for bold and bright colours along with finishes such as high gloss and marble worktops.

Some other main characteristics of the modern day kitchen are:
- Tiled and laminate or natural wood flooring
- Extensive lighting options
- Curved corners for a stylish look
- American style fridges
- Clever hidden storage options
- Soft closing drawer dampers
- Stools instead of chairs

Another thing that has changed considerably from era to era within the kitchen (and within nearly all aspects of everyday life, for that matter) is technology.

Technology in the Modern Day Kitchen
Nowadays, the kitchen is a place that incorporates stylish appliances and crazy gadgets and technology, some that we maybe don’t need but simply cannot resist. In the modern era, we're using so many different pieces of technology within the kitchen all for the simple purpose of making our lives easier.

Remember the days of gas stoves and pots requiring scrubbing? I think most people will; these days are approaching distant history with things such as self-cleaning ovens and sensor-equipped dishwashers.

Sometimes this may reflect negatively on society as a whole - many people are becoming lazier and alarmingly technology-dependent. Some even believe there's no need to do certain jobs at all because, hey, there's an app or a gadget for that. While this may be true for some things, the mindset does come at a cost. We have to be careful not to trade in our basic skills and capabilities for complete trust in technology.

Keeping that warning in mind, there are so many handy pieces of technology that have entered and integrated into home designs, specifically kitchens. Here are a few favourite kitchen-focused technologies:
    - Induction Hobs: Allow for the heating of pots and pans without a flame; come with a child lock option (a sensible selection).
    - Televisions: Can make food prep and entertaining overall easier and more enjoyable.
    - Touch Taps: Allow for a simple touch on part of the tap to switch it on or off. Perfect for when hands are full.
    - Water Dispensers: Allow for ice and water to be kept at-the-ready and dispensed with the touch of a button.
    - The Panasonic Toaster: With a dual grill function, allows for toasting different shaped breads. Also looks sleek with its gently curved edges. (This has the potential to become a huge hit within homes in the UK, where Eurofit Direct is located.) 

All of the things I have mentioned here show how much the kitchen has changed over the last few years. It's now a room we simply cannot ignore, and we should be doing everything we can to improve our kitchen's style as well as purpose.

***

This article was provided by Ryan Hirst. Ryan is the marketing assistant at Eurofit Direct, a kitchen fittings and office furniture fittings supplier to the UK, with a hand in DIY and home improvement.
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