How kitchens have changed over the decades

Posted 29 April 2016

The kitchen. It's the hub of the home, the engine room where stomachs are filled and the family top up on energy for the day. It’s where many choose to slave over intricate recipes and where the cool people can be found at parties. But it wasn’t always so.

Let’s take a look at how kitchens have evolved.


Look at a traditional home from the early 20th century and the kitchen was more often than not located at the back of a house, left out of sight and out of mind. A hangover from the days when servants and waiting staff prepared food away from prying eyes, the kitchen had always been a workroom; a space for preparation rather than presentation. As such, houses were often built with a separate kitchen and dining room space.

Step into a modern kitchen, however, and it is easy to see how times have changed. In 21st century kitchens like those found in Trivselhus by Esh homes, a more open plan layout has become popular as the kitchen has evolved into the focal point of the house.

Friends and family members are now encouraged to gather round and socialise or watch TV as food is prepared in front of their eyes. Show-cooking may have begun as theatre within restaurants but as a nation we have embraced the concept at home, too.

It was in the post-war era of the 1950s and 1960s when kitchens first began to receive a little more tender loving care. As their form and function started to change, these previously drab spaces were given a lick of paint and a brighter set of curtains or blinds.

As more women left the domestic setting to go to work, time-saving appliances such as dishwashers, food processors and refrigerators became common fixtures and started giving house-proud homeowners something to show off to guests. As men and women began to share the cooking duties more frequently through the 1970s and 80s, the kitchen became the room for couples and families to discuss the events of the day whilst preparing their evening meals.

It was through the 1980s that property developers caught on to the idea of the kitchen as a social space, giving them more generous proportions in new builds and even combining the kitchen and dining areas into one larger room. It was also becoming popular to install a television into kitchens so that food preparation could be combined with the evening’s entertainment.

By the 1990s the emphasis was on making kitchens more comfortable and versatile. Breakfast bars and islands started to appear in the home, while snugs and sofa areas were added to make conversing or watching TV a more relaxing affair.

Since the turn of the millennium, the style and layout of kitchens has continued to evolve with different materials, lighting styles and appliances making their way into the cooking space. Linoleum, wood, stainless steel, granite, marble, exposed brick, wooden beams – all are now used in making the kitchen an eye-catching and tactile environment.

The choice of appliances now available for the modern kitchen is staggering, too. Essentials such as cookers, hobs and microwaves have become more reliable, powerful, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing, while new worktop gadgets such as blenders, juicers and coffee machines offer an electrical solution to every chore. It doesn't matter if you cook little and often, make your own snacks or cook three square meals a day, there's never been a better era to be creative in the kitchen.

At Trivselhus by Esh, we understand how important it is to have a kitchen with wow factor. Our designs offer space and flexibility combined with the latest low-energy appliances. Emphasis has been placed on natural light and softening the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.

If you would like to experience our 21st century kitchens for yourself, why not take a tour of our Brampton showhome. Book an appointment today by calling 07816 642796.