Kitchen and bath designs are changing and the rate of change has accelerated over the past 50 years. How do you make wise choices today while keeping an eye to the future? Our goal is to help you to sharpen your “design IQ” through our 4 part blog “Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design”.
An Interesting Beginning: Kitchen and Bath Design History
Today, the kitchen and bathrooms are well known to be the rooms that when remodeled, are a major investment in the value of your home. However, these highly functional rooms were not always a part of what was even considered to be the living space of the home. At the turn of the 20th century, as electric and gas utilities were becoming standards in the home, the kitchen and bath first came into its own. This was especially true for the kitchen, where work processes were examined and optimized in recognition of the professionalization of household work.
In response to this more formalized view of the kitchen, a German company, ‘Poggenpohl’, was established in 1892 and is credited with the introduction of ergonomic work-top heights for cabinets and counters. Later in 1928, ‘Poggenpohl’ led worldwide innovation with their concept of increment sized, modular, interconnecting cabinets and functional interiors. This is now recognized as the forerunner to the unit kitchen and fitted kitchen which created the need for a kitchen specifier, known today as a kitchen designer.
Who was the first US president to have a kitchen stove in the White House?
(The answer is at the end of this blog.)
While the kitchen gained stature as more of a social gathering place, design became even more prominent. During the 1970’s, cabinets were made of dark oak and birch woods with V groove and applied molding doors. Green and gold leather laminate countertops were commonplace along with the unforgettable harvest gold and avocado colored appliances.
The 1980’s ushered in medium to dark oak square arched raised panel doors. During the mid-1980’s, this look transitioned to oak pickled color. Bisque and black appliances became popular. Corian countertops provided an elegant new feel for the kitchen and brought with it a new dimension in design.
During the 1990’s, the white craze begins with raised panel doors. The white look moved to a high gloss white and later to a white matte color. White appliances become more prominent while Corian countertops become less prominent and granite countertops begin to be fashionable.
During the 00’s, we saw the introduction of light to light medium stained maples and cherry woods on cabinetry with very little paint being used. Overall design styles became more traditional with a leaning towards English Country, French Country and French Country Manor. The beauty and wide array of granite styles and colors continue to make this material popular for use as countertops. The 00’s is most known as the era of great, sophisticated design embellishment. These design ornaments include corbels, on lays, carvings, pilaster treatments, carved feet, heavy moldings and staggered cabinets heights and depths. A variety of furniture finishes are used to enhance the design of the cabinetry including glazes, distressing and sand-through. Stainless steel appliances balance the look with the strength and shimmer of their unique beauty.
In 2008, the financial crisis and recession dealt serious blows to the U.S. economy and especially the housing market. In our next blog post, we will share how these changes to our economy affected kitchen and bath design trends.
Trivia Question Answer:
President Millard Fillmore is reported to have had the first cook stove installed in the White House. Supposedly President Fillmore had to teach the White House cook, who had never seen a cook stove, how to use one. When President John Tyler was in office, a furnace, which might be considered to be a kind of stove, was put in approximately ten years before the cook stove. Source: answers.com