When I am touring luxury homes it strikes me that here in Florida sometimes the largest and best equipped kitchens are owned by people who use them the least. That got me looking into what the trends are in kitchen design and I would to share the “survey says” results for you.
My mother was an excellent cook and thank goodness her three kids, including yours truly, have carried on that love of cooking from her. But to Mom it was not about the tools. My fondest memories of growing up as a child were sitting at the kitchen table in the kitchen, and the smells, the discussions, and food being prepared right next to my school homework.
“Sorry, Mrs. Teetsle, yes that’s applesauce on my math paper.”
Food processor? Yup, she had three: a small, medium, and large knife, all kept sharp for her by my father on a stone he kept in the junk drawer. (Ahh.. the junk drawer, another entire story there).
In our family we enjoyed talking about eating almost as much as eating. My favorite story involved Mom and Dad visiting the Czech Republic. They were hosted by cousins outside of Prague. During the first full day they spent with their new found relatives, they discussed many things, including food.
“What, for example do you eat for breakfast?” My father was asked at one point during the discussion.
“Well, sometimes we have eggs with bacon, rye toast with jam and orange juice and coffee. Sometimes pancakes with maple syrup and sausage. Other times yeast cakes or donuts, or maybe just cereal or oatmeal. We also like omelets, coffee cakes, and pastries when we have company, “my father offered.
Mom and Dad were put up in a small cottage for that first night on the family farm. When they woke up the next morning, every very single item Dad had mentioned that they had one time or another for breakfast was served to them, all at once. And to my Mom’s amazement all this was prepared in a cooking part of the cabin that, according to Dad, had a counter the size of a small bookshelf and a refrigerator no bigger than a bread box. Well, that was 35 years ago. (In 2005 Gail and I also visited the Czech Republic (Read my Story Here).
Well, snap back to South Florida and let us look at what the trends are for kitchens here in the US:
1. Kitchens are the new Family Room – Makes me laugh a bit that we are coming full circle. To me they were always the family room when I was a kid.
2. White Cabinetry – I enjoy this trend – white seems to brighten things up and goes with many decors.
3. Stainless Steel Appliances – It seems stainless is here to stay.
4. Work Zones – think baking centers, wine tasting areas, and coffee nooks.
5. Walk In Pantries – This one I love, my house in Ohio that was built in 1907 had one as well, it was called a cold pantry. Our house now has a walk in pantry as well. (Goes well with the Costco mentality of buying!)
6. Save and Splurge Strategy – This refers to putting a few key expensive items like a farmers sink or a six burner stove and those items will “boost” the rest of the kitchen
7. Technology in the kitchen – TV’s or computers mounted, internet connected appliances, and hands free faucets.
8. Eco Friendly products – composite counter tops, Energy Star ® appliances…
9. Integrated Appliances – the new built-ins are sometimes invisible, under the counter refrigerator drawers and dishwashers…
10. Layered Lighting – working and cooking one light level , entertaining and eating another- with lots of hidden light fixtures