Changes in kitchen design over the centuries have mirrored changes in society in general. In the beginning we simply needed somewhere inside to cook our food - and that need is still valid thousands of years later. While some people prefer the look of the simpler times for their kitchen, many now prefer the latest modular kitchens with sleek lines, integrated appliances and wireless connectivity. The kitchen of today serves as the hub for nearly every aspect of home life!
Cooking and storage in a neat early low-level island design even including an integrated spit roast. The invention of the chimney centuries later probably helped a great deal with all the smoke and soot.
Only human dishwashers available in the late 1800s. Neat racking unit on the wall though. Kitchens were usually sited as far away from the living areas as possible in this era. Photo: Shutterstock
The industrial revolution spurred new inventions, cheaper prices, and new ways of thinking on economic and ergonomic efficiency. The turn of the 20th century saw a greater interest in efficient manufacturing, and this flowed into kitchen design as well.
The highly influential style of the 1920’s - 30s German Bauhaus Design School on kitchen efficiency, ergonomics and simplified design is still very much with us today.
In the 1950s the influences came from the modern functionality of the US and the beginnings of stylish modular units influenced by Italian styling.
By the 1960s and 70’s everyone wanted a fitted kitchen with the latest gadgets. It accessorised so well with the Ford Cortina sitting on the drive.