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People often talk about the kitchen as the heart of the home, a place to gather friends and family. This is a philosophy that has contributed to the modern way of building homes with an open layout, but this has not always been the case. Learn more about the kitchen during the turn of the century and be inspired by the choice of materials as well as interior design!
The function of the kitchen
Life in the kitchen during the late 19th and early 20th centuries is quite different from our kitchens today, both in how we use them, but more so from a technical point of view. In the workers' housing, the kitchen is a gathering place for both cooking and socializing but also serves as a place to sleep. It is common for the whole family to live in the room. In fancy apartments and villas it was very different. In those houses the kitchen is strictly a workplace with it´s own exit so that the kitchen attendants, the servants and sometimes even the household children do not have to use the main entrance. The house owner does not set foot in the kitchen and in order not to be disturbed by all the clutter and food, the kitchen is always placed towards the yard, or facing north, as far away from the finer rooms as possible. From the kitchen there is often a serving corridor towards the dining room. The corridor contains of tall, built in cabinets with base cabinets for bigger utensils, drawers for cutlery and top cabinets with tableware, glass and terrines.
Interior of the kitchen
Inside the kitchen, on the other hand, there are pots and utensils everywhere on open shelves or hanging on hooks. In the kitchen, or in a nearby room, there is also an ice cabinet where the ice man delivers ice blocks regularly. The food is prepared on a low counter with base cabinet and a counter top of Carrara marble. The marble is an excellent surface for preparing the food and after dinner the utensils and pots are washed in a tub placed on the bench, which can explain it´s low height. The heart of the kitchen is the stove and around the stove there are metro tiles with bevelled edges without joints. As the kitchen has a lower status than most other rooms, it was made sure that it was practical and easy to wipe and keep clean. The walls can be plastered, but wood panels were the most common at the time!