My gleaming, stainless steel little room of joy
Bee Wilson stood transfixed in the fridge aisle; so many choices, so little time.
Did she want the ice and water combo or the stainless steel double door? And would either one go better with the splashback they’d chosen?
If that scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. The British food blogger who fell in love with her fridge, is just a product of a new generation.
The Greeks dragged their oxen to roast in communal outdoor areas; the medieval Europeans strung clay pots of stew over a roaring flame. But there’s never been a people more obsessed with their kitchens than us.
Why? Because a good kitchen is worth fighting for, dammit.
The world’s most influential kitchen design was thanks to a woman. After centuries of awkward, badly designed rooms usually banished to the back of the house, in 1926 Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, gave us the “Frankfurt kitchen”. That’s a type of design, by the way.
An Austrian architect who came highly recommended by artist Gustav Klimt, Schütte-Lihotzky was an amazing woman and political activist in her own right.
Her Frankfurt kitchen, inspired by a ship’s galley was an efficient space designed to prevent spills and waste and most importantly, reduce the amount of time you spent in them. Now, you’d have trouble getting us out.
Some say it’s the MasterChef effect. Can you hear the television networks cheering? All those fancy Alessi lemon squeezers and stainless steel bench tops have inspired a new kind of a social status – “the well-equipped foodie”.
Nothing says I’m serious about food like a seriously well-equipped kitchen. And hey you don’t even actually have to cook there!
Builders interviewed for this Courier Mail article about the benefits of kitchen renovations said the past ten years have seen clients become much more vocal about how they want their kitchen to look. Especially brands that have been promoted by celebrities cooking on television.
We’re also spending a heap of money doing it. The average kitchen renovation costs between $25, 000 and $100, 000.
Others say we’re investing more in our existing houses because we can’t afford new ones, with house prices being what they are.
Freestanding houses in Sydney’s inner Eastern suburbs don’t go for anything less than $2 million. So it’s no wonder so many people spend their weekend doing their best impression of Tara Dennis from Better Homes and Gardens. Kitchens are one of the cheapest ways to add value to an existing property.
Blogger Bee Wilson says our obsession with the modern kitchen and all its accoutrements is just like the comfort our ancestors drew from the “household” hearth.
It’s hard to disagree. In these uncertain times what’s not to like about getting home and cutting up stuff on the bench top of your dreams?
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