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Kitchens and Bathrooms, Part 1: Kitchens

Major Remodels: Kitchens and Bathrooms, Part 1

A discussion on why these rooms are so popular to remodel.

If you really sit back and think about what rooms in a home/condo/apartment are most used, it tends to be one or two, maybe three. Kitchens and Bathrooms are in those top three areas because you always need a glass of water, or a snack, or nature is calling you, when you are at home. If you eat out more often than in, your kitchen will see less use, until you start cleaning the leftovers out of the fridge. For most homeowners or families, they like to entertain, or they have kids that eat at least two meals at home. Those same kids get messy more often than they are clean, and that is why the Bathroom is often a major project. 

Kitchens As Main Living Areas

A 19th Century Kitchen
The kitchen became a part of the home in the early 1900s here in America, and some families didn't use the kitchens themselves, this room went from being an accessory building (like a garage or stable) to being part of the home. (Just imagine carrying Christmas Dinner over one dish at a time in frigid winter months!) Not only did food arrive at the table faster, it was warmer and much more edible. This space in the home was still thought of as a function-only room up until the late 1950s, when the returning military began having families. Then things started to change.

The Kitchen became a status-symbol over the course of two or three decades. Today it as much about function as it is about status and entertaining. How many house parties, holiday gatherings, etc, have you gone to and most people are hanging out in the kitchen, or near by? It is the one room in the home where the homeowners can say everything about themselves in one complete package- without uttering a single word. Sure the decor styles have names, but beyond that, a kitchen can look like it belongs in a farmhouse, but it can have culinary-grade appliances, top-of-the-line refrigerators and freezers, a dishwasher that can blend right into the lower cabinets, and still maintain that farmhouse-feel. You can't judge that kind of kitchen just on appearance alone- that kitchen screams humble beginnings and passion, and still whisper of status.

New York apartments are known for being shoe-boxes, and those kitchens are highly efficient. But when someone's NY apartment has a large kitchen and a shoe-box sized everything else, they entertain in that kitchen, so it becomes the living space. Of course, some NY residents will just eat at any one of millions of restaurants in the Five Burroughs, and keep the shoe-box apartment as their crash paid, and leftovers-storage space. 

Great Room - Kitchen and Living Room
From September through February, most of the continental United States is covered in snow. Everyone will be inside watching football, hockey, basketball, eating game-time favorites, or eating holiday meals of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie. Between the sporting events and the holidays, a fair bit of the colder months will be in the kitchen - hearkening back to when it was the warmest room in a home (cook fires, etc). Today, however, most kitchens are combined with the dining and living spaces to form Great Rooms, making the entertaining aspect so much easier to handle - everyone can be a part of the fun this way. If your kitchen is cut off from the living room and dining room, you may want to hire someone to change that, before this epic season of gatherings is in full swing. That way you can make all of those game-time snacks and not miss a play.

Needless to say, even with all of the technology vying for your families' time, you all still gather in the kitchen.