Imperatives for modern kitchens
After a year of confinement, many of the underutilized kitchens in homes and apartments have undergone an unexpected revitalization at the time they were conceived. It is clear that the pandemic has opened a new scenario. And we believe it is convenient to reflect on the imperatives for the kitchens of the new times.
Some elements already present have been updated with new uses and functionalities. And, likewise, others have had to adapt to a more intensive use than expected. Although the pandemic is set to slowly mitigate, many of the practices derived from the more intensive use of the kitchen will endure.
In this post, we address some aspects that confinement has brought to today’s kitchens.
We have always been defenders of the open kitchen due to the social possibilities it entails and the intersection of spaces it generates. Open kitchens broaden the overall perception of space.
Likewise, fully open kitchens have some drawbacks in the face of intensive use such as that which they have had in a confinement situation. Smells, fumes and noises have multiplied and surely some have missed the possibility of closing, even momentarily, the kitchen compared to the rest of the house.
Although there are extraction systems perfectly adapted to the conditions of an open kitchen, in intensive use conditions we usually propose the inclusion of sliding doors that disappear in the furniture under normal conditions and offer the possibility of closing the space if necessary.
On the other hand, confinement has highlighted the increasingly social character of the kitchen. The inclusion of islands or work benches has made it easier to cook in company or with the help of children.
Basic elements for a kitchen with intensive use
If we have been aware of something, it is the need to optimize our storage. Our purchases have been spaced in time and have become more voluminous. The greater frequency of use of the kitchen has meant that our supply has also increased, making it necessary to expand the space to store or optimize the existing one. Apart from food, the purchase of gadgets and small appliances has also increased requiring that space.
Sitting in the kitchen every day is more common. The current distributions of our homes allow us to integrate the dining room between the living room and the kitchen as an intermediate space that belongs to both worlds according to its particular use. That is why it is not unusual to cook while someone is reading a book next to you, commenting on how it went while dinner was just being prepared. All these uses have overflowed as we have had to reinvent spaces in our homes. We have had to recreate the terrace of a bar, a restaurant, the warmth of our favorite cafeteria or an office of circumstances.
Materials for a modern kitchen
In keeping with this social use and its integration with the dining and living areas, the kitchen has moved away from the aseptic and functional perfection of the laboratory towards a warmer and more welcoming space. In large part, thanks to the inclusion of common materials a few decades ago such as natural wood and iron. Users and interior designers had removed these materials from the kitchen with a general obsession for the neatness of the synthetic.
Today’s kitchens should be meant to be used, not to look perfect and be contemplated.
Natural materials, contrary to what is generally accepted, are highly resistant. We often confuse their delicacy with the fact that they transform their original appearance into one that is more aged or used, but usually of greater beauty. It is a matter of choosing what type of materials and finishes are the most suitable so that imbalances are not a constant with the change in temperatures and their aging is not perceived as deterioration but as a sum of beauty and authenticity of nature.