The time of year is upon us when even if you’re not really into entertaining, you might have a few family members dropping by. Families may not ever get easier, but cooking just got easier, and the kitchen more stylish.
So if you’re afraid of the kitchen, don’t be. The technical advances in appliances are reducing the fear factor to cooking. With some new ovens, you can either enter or select the type of finished meal you would like, and it will guide you through the process. For example, you can tell your oven that you have a 5 pound prime rib roast, and it will cook the roast to perfection. This makes actual cooking much easier and more comfortable for those not wanting to jump into actually….cooking. You just have to be able to identify what you want to make, type it into the oven and voila! You have dinner.
For me, grocery shopping is the problem. I hate it. But if you’re organized, you can avoid grocery shopping altogether. Just build your list as you see what you need, and then use an online shopping and delivery service – as long as you’re willing to give up control over things like picking your own fruit and vegetables. (This level of organization has not yet happened to me!)
The materials used in kitchens have also really improved. Engineered quartz for countertops has a natural look and feel. And I love the many new looks and sizes of porcelain flooring, especially those that look like wood and the large 24 x 24 inch squares. These new products add texture and warmth without nearly as much maintenance.
Great lighting is also important. Layering the lighting – using under-cabinet, overhead lights, and table lamps – can create atmosphere in a kitchen so that you can enjoy spending time there doing things besides cooking.
The essence of the kitchen is not changing. It’s ultimately about the fun and pleasure that comes from sharing food and cooking with family and friends. So when I’m designing a kitchen, I try to keep the space as open and flowing as possible. Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the place where everyone gathers. Hopefully, that won’t change even when they eventually invent robots that can cook for us. I wouldn’t mind a clean-up robot right now!
No matter what happens in the future, I know that the kitchen will always be the center of the home. So take the time this holiday season to enjoy your home, especially your kitchen.