Ever since Poggenpohl presented the world’s first unit kitchen, at the Cologne furniture fair in 1950 the kitchen has, bit by bit, become the most important room in a home.
A trend began in the 1940s to equip the kitchen with electric kitchen appliances and later Microwave ovens. Parallel to this development, kitchens became somewhat larger expanding their use as a dining area.
Starting in the 1980s, the perfection of the extractor hood allowed an open kitchen, integrated more or less with the living room, without causing the whole apartment or house to smell.
The re-integration of the kitchen and the living area went hand in hand with a change in the perception of cooking: increasingly cooking was seen as a creative and sometimes social act instead of work.
The kitchen has now become the heart of the modern home, the meeting place where families carry out a great deal of their day-to-day living. We want the ability to keep an eye on the children while cooking, we want to be together casually as a family and so to encourage this way of life there has been further influences inspiring us to bring the kitchen and the living room closer.
With the explosion of American TV sitcoms, the kitchen and the living room and increasingly the integration of both in one was where it all took place, for example, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, The Brady Bunch, Friends etc.
A study conducted by Electrolux Group found that the typical family of five spends 175 hours in the kitchen each month, but only 31 hours in the living room. So now we are either wanting to open the kitchen into the living room or have a sofa and TV in the kitchen.
“Open-plan-living” is making the kitchen the centre of attention.“A good book has no ending” ~ R.D. Cumming
A home without books is missing an essential element that is as important as a sofa or a rug to a room. Books definitely have the power of holding the décor together.
A small room with generously filled bookshelves hugging its walls becomes more important and its size becomes less so.
A grand room with books stacked on a table next to a table lamp, photos and memorabilia, feels more intimate. However, there are so many more ways we can use books in our interiors than by putting them on a bookshelf or on the table.
Opening the front door and seeing books stacked on or under a hallway bench or next to wellington boots and umbrellas, echoes a casual attitude, comfort and warmth.
Frame the entrance to the dining room, inspiring conversation at the door. Transform an awkward space such as under a staircase or a narrow and high wall by filling it up with books, which can also achieve respect and character.
Why not give some fun academic identity to a closet door or a corridor wall by covering it in book-wallpaper, sheets of poetry or from a story like Gulliver’s travels.
Books can educate. Books can be collected. Books can inspire and books can give warmth and personality to any room.