In the traditional interior design world, the kitchen has always been seen as the heart of the home.
With open-planned living becoming more and more prevalent, however, traditional room boundaries hold less relevance and more and more people are gravitating towards the lounge room.
As lounge rooms take over as a home’s central living space, it would stand to reason that the kitchen would lose its appeal – or at least its traditional role. According to a study by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), however, reveals the kitchen still takes the cake when it comes to a household’s central space.
The study found that instead of being stunted by open-planned interior layouts, the amount of space dedicated for kitchens is growing and the traditional kitchen is morphing from a room dedicated solely to cooking and eating to a multi-functional central living hub.
The reason for this increase in kitchen-focused design, particularly in the United States, is due to simple economics. In maximising kitchen space by including elements of other traditional living spaces – for instance, moving the office computer into the kitchen – houses are made more efficient in terms of space, energy and money.
“During the lowest points of the housing downturn, kitchen design fell as a priority,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “However, this space is once again the real heartbeat of a home, with open design and integration with other living space.”
“The last few years have seen kitchens take on new functions with dedicated computer areas and recharging stations.”
The study shows that ‘adaptability or universal design’ was becoming a greater interior design priority in US kitchens. In the same vein, more and more kitchens are becoming ‘integrated with family space.’
It is clear that in a resource-short modern world, multi-funcitonalism is affecting the way people design and live in their homes. In order to truly be efficient with money and space in a world that is becoming increasingly densely populated and short on natural resources, living efficiently is becoming the new standard – or perhaps even the new dream home.
Modern first world society has become accustomed to added comforts and a certain standard of living. However, due to the aforementioned reasons, these things are not always easily attainable and often difficult to include in our homes. By giving extra space to the kitchen, sentimental values identifying the kitchen as the heart of the home are upheld. By transforming those larger kitchens into multi-purpose rooms, a high standard of living can be achieved in the most efficient way possible.