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European Kitchen History
Kitchen Trends and Recent Developments
European Kitchen History
The history of kitchens is captivating. The kitchens in the contemporary world are an indispensable component. Today’s kitchen is a place where we gather friends or conduct business. The need for homeowners in terms of kitchens is changing and they are demanding large kitchen plans with ample space for baking, cooking, and hosting. Now, the kitchen is open to the family and dining rooms.
Kitchens were one of the unwanted rooms in the home. In ancient times, kitchens weren’t luxurious, and they were not a place where people wanted to spend time in. They were dark and messy filled with noises and smells. Earlier kitchens were prone to catching fire and very hot and uncomfortable. This was the main reason kitchens used to be far away from the social or private rooms in a home. The upper class situated their dining rooms far away from the kitchen and the lower class placed the kitchen to the back of the house, next to outdoor work areas.
Kitchens have certainly experienced many technological and social advancements over the decade. So, let’s have a close look at what events transpired to allow us the luxury of the kitchen we know today.
What to Anticipate in the Next 60 Minutes?
Kitchen Development in Europe: From the Stone-Age to a Contemporary Kitchen
New Stone Age
• First evident structures of a kitchen date back to 8350 B.C.
• They were situated in inner courtyards for joint use.
• These kitchens included: simple clay furnaces, fireplaces, and grinding mills.
• Common People: Public large kitchens
• Affluent Romans: well-furnished kitchen incorporated into the main building
• Cooking surface: a raised shelf
• Different kitchen utensils
• There was no chimney
• Built-in clay ovens
• Pot racks for pot and pans
Early Middle Ages
• Rich people had more than one kitchen
• There was no chimney
• There used to be one hole in the roof through which some of the smoke could escape
• The fire was the main prime factor for heat and light
• Kitchens were dark and smoky
• Kitchens weren’t affected by architectural advances throughout the Middle Ages. Open Fire was the only manner of heating food.
Late Middle Ages
• Chimneys came into existence
• Stove shifted from the center of the room to one wall
• Kitchens were shifted to a separate room
• No home-heating
• Wealthy People: Cooking and Kitchen were the areas for servants
• Lower Class: No separate Kitchen
Renaissance, Barock, & Rokoko
Wealthier Homes’ Kitchens- Change of Lifestyle
• Separate space for ovens
• Exclusively manufactured kitchen furniture
• 1735- Wood-burning kitchen stove developed
• Kitchen = Focal Point of Civic Life
• Cooking became more complex and scientific- innovative and different materials and separate cooking utensils
• Big Kitchens- separated allocated areas for different activities in the room
• Most significant interior- Fire stove
1ST Half of the 20th Century
• Unavailability of proper storage spaces and lack of built-in cabinetry in kitchens
• Difficulty in managing and storing things. Hoosier Manufacturing Co. solved that problem
• Launch of Hoosier Cabinets
• Distinctive accessories of Hoosier Cabinets:
• Various Racks
• Supporting hardware to hold and organize spices and different staples
• Combination flour-bin/sifter
1st Half of the 20th Century
Urbanization & Industrialization
Urbanization transformed the kitchens completely.
There was a construction of built water and gas distribution pipes into homes in cities. Electricity was started using in the kitchens and it became an alternative to gas and slowly started substituting the latter.
The idea of a separate and an open kitchen, with appliances designed to show off, came into existence.
Rationalization & Frankfurt Kitchen
Kitchen work process optimization was the main priority in this phase. With Taylorism and scientific management, ideas spilled over into domestic kitchen architecture. Frankfurt Kitchen was a milestone in the kitchen architecture. It was constructed to fulfill important purposes:
• Reducing costs by applying one design for a large number of apartments
• Upgrading kitchen work to reduce cooking time
• Cut down the cost of building decently equipped kitchens.
Munich Kitchen first came into existence in 1st half of the 20th century. It was first realized by Hanna Löv in Munich. Workplace efficiency and functional design factors were taken into consideration with its development.
• Correlative to Frankfurt Kitchen. Perfect integration of traditional living space and Frankfurt kitchen.
• Munich Kitchen was not evaded from the living area. Children were to be monitored for their activities near and inside the kitchen.
• The kitchen was not as successful as the Frankfurt kitchen.
2nd Half of 19th Century
There was a complete focus on kitchen planning after 1945.
This played a pivotal role in cost reduction through unit construction and mass production. For cheap brands, uniform colour of the cabinet -white was used and interchangeable particle boards.
For expensive brands, the cabinet’s matched door’s colors & finishing. It was a customized look.
Standardized measures were followed by appliance producers.