Kitchens in the past and today

Different needs, different kitchens

Oh no… time to empty the dishwasher again… Some of the jobs we groan about today would have been an absolute delight for the housewife from a bygone era, who had to wash every single piece of tableware by hand. Nowadays there are lots of helpful kitchen aids that make our day-to-day work easier: The dishwasher takes care of the washing up, the oven bakes without having to be stoked or fed with wood, and the refrigerator chills fresh food conveniently in the kitchen instead of in a far-way store or cellar. Not to mention the many small, practical kitchen aids like a hand-held mixer, a bread slicer, a coffee maker, an apple slicer, a hand-held blender etc., etc.

These changed conditions in relation to kitchen tasks have also changed the way our kitchens are designed, because all of the kitchen appliances that make our day-to-day work so much easier also require space. While dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers and the like are virtually essential, they also take up room in the kitchen that cannot be used for any other purpose. At the same time there are more and more different cooking utensils, one good example being a wok. Just a few decades ago, hardly anyone outside of Asia had a wok at home, but now almost every kitchen has one. So kitchens should actually be larger than they used to be, but in fact the opposite is true.

This is because living space has been becoming more and more scarce for many years now. Having your own house with lots of space is no longer the norm. Instead, there is a trend toward more and more small and affordable yet functional and tastefully decorated city apartments, in urban areas in particular. And it goes without saying that these apartments have less room in the kitchen than in the ‘good old days’. This creates a conflict between the need for more space on the one hand and less actual space available on the other.

Small spaces call for clever solutions

As impossible as this conflict seems at first glance, refined design can offer solutions. Clever design concepts ensure that everything has its place even in the tiniest of spaces. Firstly, this can relate to the design of the kitchen itself: for example by designing a fold-away dining space in the kitchen or by fitting floor units for additional storage. There are no limits to the creativity needed to put the space to the best possible use.

Secondly, it can relate to the kitchen appliances themselves: Stackable shapes help to save space, as demonstrated by the example of the Nest series kitchen set from Joseph&Joseph. Other design products excel through their small dimensions: For example the Stretch trivet can be folded down from a rather large 55 cm to a tiny 5 cm when not in use, making it perfect for even the smallest of kitchens!

But the most exciting possibility of creating space in the kitchen is to allow for versatile use. For example, a cleverly designed kitchen appliance can be developed to have several different uses. As a result, one good design product can replace two or more others. One example is the Rinse&Chop foldable chopping board. Its special design means that it can be folded after chopping. For one thing, the chopped ingredients can be removed from the board cleanly without dropping anything. In addition, an integrated colander that slips into place when the board is folded allows the items to be washed directly on the board without having to use an additional colander for this step. Not only is this hugely practical, it also saves on additional household items that take up valuable space in kitchen drawers and units.

Refined design products on Red Dot 21

If we have inspired you to find more refined and functional design solutions for your kitchen and your household, you should definitely take a look on Red Dot 21. In the Household, Kitchen accessories & tableware category, you will find numerous sophisticated design products, some of which have won the Red Dot, that simply make kitchen work more fun.

We wish you lots of fun in the kitchen!


Posted on 14.04.2016

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