18. October 2018
Reading time: 3 minutes
In the commercial the disappointed neighbor shouts in vain, “The spaghetti is ready!” to summon her family to dinner. Fortunately, all commercials that ever were can still be found on the omniscient Internet. They provide revealing insights into the social realities and everyday desires and ideals of the last decades. The realm of the homemaker, where she can blissfully do as she pleases. This role model has changed, and the relationship with the kitchen has also significantly changed.
Life in all its splendor takes place in the kitchen
Until the 1990s the kitchen was little more than a functional workshop containing everything in a small space and within reach. Enter the Frankfurt kitchen, the forerunner of modern fitted kitchens. The only view to the exterior was usually via the pass-through – best regards from Orange is the New Black.
But anyone looking around international furniture fairs in recent years will have quickly noticed that kitchens have taken on a fundamentally different function. They have become the uncontested core of every home, the heart and center of communication, where everyone comes together. Here we live, talk, argue, and give comfort. And yes, also cook.
A mega-trend with far-reaching ripple effects
A long story short: the kitchen as a living space where people like to linger is a mega-trend par excellence. And it begins with the architects’ floor plan. There is hardly a new building project that does not include an open eat-in kitchen, an island, counters, and lots of room for sociable gathering. By now, people of all ages know that the best parties end up here.
And it’s great to have things look nice wherever people come together. But that’s a huge understatement. Personal style and individual preferences are acted out and displayed without restraint. Sinks, cooking and work surfaces are all worthy of bling.
Status symbols with remote control
In the past, hygienic white and wipeable surfaces dominated the kitchen. Nowadays, exciting design is finding its way in. Major kitchen manufacturers offer faces and surfaces of wood, leather, concrete, rusty metal, in industrial or vintage look, in dark or vibrant colors – even custom photo motifs are available as kitchen backdrops. Depending on preference, accessories and tableware are discretely stored behind handleless cabinet doors. Or the designer pieces are elaborately illuminated and proudly displayed in futuristic glass showcases. Everything seems possible. Even international artists, such as Icelander Olafur Eliasson, who was recently in Berlin, will not be denied when it comes to designing a large kitchen in line with their personal taste.
New, previously unknown options are installed, like LEDs with exciting light pulses, or app-controlled ambient lighting. Bright, direct lighting for cooking and wielding sharp knives. Warm and muted when family and guests gather until late into the evening.
White appliances are so yesterday
Last but not least, exciting innovations by manufacturers of technical kitchen equipment contribute to more beautiful – and smarter – kitchens. The exhaust hood? Affects the look over the kitchen island and, thanks to downdraft technology, is simply built in under the work surface. The refrigerator? It is no longer only available in unspectacular white, and emits a color light signal when the time finally comes to prepare the salmon. The cooktop? Integrated directly into the middle of a huge kitchen table, for yet more social lubrication. Or combining, as in the case of CERAN EXCITE®, innovative light solutions for sensuous-aesthetic functions with flexible and safety-boosting features, like variable cooktop sizes and optical warning signals. Thanks to a cleverly designed visual feedback system, cooking becomes significantly easier, more intuitive, faster and safer.
We are convinced that the eat-in kitchen mega-trend is far from reaching its peak, and with the rapid development of new technologies – smart home, artificial intelligence, responsive displays – many more surprises await.
And then something more exciting than a pot of spaghetti can be whipped up.
Cover picture © Kelsey Chance on Unsplash
Other pictures © Kevin Laminto on Unsplash; Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash