The Revenge of the Kitchen

Long relegated to the back of the house, the kitchen as utility space is being replaced by the modern show kitchen. Located squarely front-of-house, newer kitchens often reinstate the "great room" idea.

1 minute read

March 31, 2017, 2:00 PM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

Modern Kitchen

Susan Serra, CKD / Flickr

Over the past few decades, kitchens have been coming out of the shadows. Hallie Busta writes about why spaces for food preparation, traditionally considered unsightly and utilitarian, have become one of the showpieces of the modern house. 

One factor is that residential design now prioritizes "showing in" as much as showing off. According to U.S. Commission of Fine Arts secretary Thomas Luebke, "'It was the inversion of a historic relationship, which was that the most important thing was the face on the street, and that was the social face [...] It changes the focus from one of the public ream to an extended private realm.'"

The open kitchen bucks a previous trend toward compartmentalizing the middle class household into many rooms, each with a separate function. "Since then, however, the trend has cycled and homeowners seek open plans that seamlessly connect dedicated food prep spaces at the back of the house with living and dining areas that span indoors and outdoors."

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