12 July 2012

 State of the Art Kitchens look wonderful but how useful are they?

Does anyone actually buy these kitchens with the intention of cooking in them? ...  a kitchen is meant to be cooked in, and when the function of a kitchen is superseded and replaced by design fetish, it fails.   
The kitchen is not an art exhibit - it is intended for cooking and eating. It’s that simple.  A well-designed kitchen should be able to visually and functionally accommodate a stack of cookbooks left out on the counter, a bowl of fruit waiting to ripen, the remnants from last night’s cocktails, and son's half-eaten biscuit.  
I'm not suggesting that this allows the inhabitants to simply leave everything out wherever they like. A well-designed kitchen should have a place for everything to be put at the end of the day, but it should also accept the evidence of life.  Now I am not certain that these kitchens wouldn't look just fine with the right cookbook or bowl of fruit, and I am not sure any kitchen looks good with someone's half eaten biscuit. I do imagine that someone could cook in these kitchens perfectly happily.

Embrace weathering.  A kitchen should look different after a decade of being lived in. The handles will patina from repeated use. Certain end-panels may fade a bit from direct sunlight. Wine rings may stain the countertop and remind you of that fantastic dinner party. A weathered kitchen is the sign of a life well-lived.

I am not so sure; I look at the rings on our 15 year old counter and wonder what idiot put a hot pot down there. I look at the finish on the doors and wonder why anyone would put a wood cabinet face under a sink.  
If one was going to build the perfect kitchen you might want it to be made of a material that is easily cleaned, like glass. You would expect it to arrived flat-packed to reduce transport costs. You might make it so that there are no glues, just mechanical connections so that it could be easily taken apart and reassembled in a different form.


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