The kitchen is the one room most cited in Real Estate, organizing, renovation and clutter-related Blogs and websites. There are more staging tips for the kitchen than for any other room in your house, more de-cluttering tips, more decorating tips and more selections of fabrics, surfaces, colors, windows and fixtures than for any other part of the house.
“The kitchen is the most shared utilitarian space in the home, where everyone eats, cooks, cleans, and gathers multiple times in a day,” says Lorie Marrero, certified organizer, author of The Clutter Diet Blog and creator of ClutterDiet.com.
Jamestown, Virginia, founded in 1607, was the first permanent English settlement in the United States. Early homes were truly a means to provide shelter from the elements. They were a practical structure, designed with the materials at hand and with functionality as the main criteria. Often, they consisted of only one room, where all living, sleeping and cooking took place. In fact, it made sense to gather and live around the stove or hearth.
The concept of separate rooms for separate purposes already existed of course in, shall we say, well to do circles. As settlements developed and people who shared a community found a need to socialize, so did the design of homes evolve. Interestingly, at first it evolved mainly around basic living realities. The kitchen, for eating and washing; the parlor, for entertaining and wakes; the bedroom, for sleeping. The bathroom was a much later invention.
Yet in spite of the natural evolution of our living spaces, more than 400 years later, the kitchen remains the most important room in a house, one we regard as a determining factor of resale value and of the overall enjoyment of one’s living space. Moreover, it is probably no longer true that Realtors appeal to women by showing them the kitchen and appeal to men by taking them on a tour of the garage or workshop. The kitchen seems to matter equally to both. After all, many of the greatest chefs in the world are men!
Nevertheless, is this trend about to change? – The kitchen trend, that is! With more and more people who are able to telecommute and the fact that America, perhaps especially Vermont, is an environment that is ripe for the entrepreneurial mind, more home buyers hope to find a house with a great little nook for their home office, a den, a library, a workshop or an artist’s studio.
As we become individuals on very creative personal paths, our homes evolve to reflect who we are. Likewise, as we reconnect with nature in new ways, so do we perceive our living space in broader terms. More and more listings specify, “open-floor plan”. The kitchen is still important, but it is a vintage point, one that must at once be functional, elegant and in harmony with the horizon.