By ggfp. Kitchen. At Friday, March 09th 2018, 06:18:00 AM.
Why has this happened? There are too many reasons to list here, but they all seem to relate to time. With the development of the 2 career families and single head-of-household families, there isn't enough time in the day to dedicate a lot of it to cooking. Again, innovations (i.e., microwaves, pre-prepared and frozen foods) have allowed us to spend less time cooking during the workweek. And when we are cooking, we don't want to miss anything that is going on around us. On weekends, we may relax in the kitchen/family room by watching TV or even entertaining friends by cooking elaborate meals.
Electricity brought many timesaving devices into the kitchen, as well as many inventions that pulled us away from the kitchen. Due to the innovations in the kitchen, fewer people were needed to prepare meals, so the kitchen lost a lot of its social importance and became a smaller, super-efficient working room. Built-in cabinetry, previously delegating only to Butler's pantries in larger homes, now became the best way to shrink the kitchen into an efficient workspace. With more leisure time, socializing was delegated to the living areas of the house, because the kitchen was too small.
But typically, the kitchen portion of the great room still looks like and is organized like the super efficient, work-only kitchen mentioned above. It is lined with horizontal bands of cabinetry and countertops that are interrupted only by exposed hi-tech appliances. Designers promote this 'laboratory' look because it is easy to design and it truly is the only kitchen design concept that most people understand. Most kitchen layouts are created by drawing a line 2 feet out from every wall (to indicate cabinetry) and then if there is room, an island (the bigger, the better) is drawn to act as a buffer between the kitchen and family room. The room's personality is determined by the design of the backsplash, and it depends on the color uniformity of the cabinetry and appliances to hold the design theme of the room intact.