Recently I’ve begun switching my work/career focus on the whole HOME to include my personal
obsession passion – the Kitchen. Which is leading me to contemplate – what makes the KITCHEN, usually, the most important room in your Home?
When designing and planning a home, there are typically (and very generally) two zones – the private zone (bedrooms, bathroom, associated private hallways) sequestered off to be personal, quiet, secluded; and the public zones (everything else!), areas to be largely open and shared with family and guests. Within not just the public spaces but of all the rooms, the Kitchen is widely held to be the HEART of the Home. Far from the walled-off ‘dirty’ spaces to be hidden out of view from a generation or two ago, the Kitchen has become open, welcoming, warm and often celebrated decor-wise to be the “jewel” – a show-off piece. The very essence of LIFE and living happens in the Kitchen.
By far the biggest parts of my own day are spent in the Kitchen. It’s where I start with my coffee, and end with my tea. It’s a place of sustenance where I spend HOURS providing (mostly cooking, but sometimes unwrapping delivery LOL) and eating meals for myself and my family. I have meetings around the Island. I share wine with a girlfriend at the countertops. I entertain – a LOT – and people gather by the few to the dozens around the Kitchen. My Dining area is directly open and adjacent to the Kitchen, making it essentially one space.
When designing Kitchens for Clients, the most-heard phrase is that they experience their Kitchen as ‘a gathering place’. A bustling hub – the ‘big, busy City’ to the nearby calmer Dining or Living room suburbs. For most, it’s the heartbeat of the Home – the space where all the life-sustaining action takes place.
More recently, the Kitchen has become the ‘center of wellness’. Besides sleep and exercise, what we eat and drink is a consuming conversation in current society. From providing our own at-home healthier-than-eating-out options to ensuring a constant flow of drinkable water for our multiple glasses-per-day to growing fresh herbs and storing locally-grown fruits and vegetables, the Kitchen is the epicenter of health.
For me, though, it’s also a blank canvas full of creative potential. The colors, textures, smells and feels of all the foods – ahhhhhh! I’m NOT a fantastic cook, but I surely appreciate the taking of parts and making a whole something my family and/or friends can enjoy. Add in my (growing!) collection of dishwares, linens and greeneries the options are endless!
I even consider my garden to be an extension of the Kitchen. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as grabbing food a few feet away that I grew! Ok, well the dirt/sun/rain grew it, but I planted the seeds haha. Even throughout the mild winters here in Vancouver I can pull a few sprigs of parsley or thyme from just outside my door. Bliss!
Dinner parties are my favorite way to gather friends, and sometimes I even serve an entire dinner party at the Kitchen counter so I can be close to the guests. Lingering conversations over wine and delicious courses of food are a loved pasttime and a great tool for getting to know new humans, or knowing the humans already in my life that much better. The Kitchen in my Home has absolutely become our gathering place.
What’s your favorite thing about your Kitchen? I’d love to hear!