Kitchens Not Just for Cooking and Eating Anymore
A recent study by Electrolux confirms that kitchens are fast morphing from the room in which Americans cook and eat into the room where we live and socialize.
Kitchens are morphing into rooms where home owners live and socialize, according to a recent study.
Electrolux sold more than $16.5 billion worth of kitchen products in more than 150 countries last year, and it is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Supplier 100 of NAHB.
Based on a phone survey of 1,024 American households, the “Electrolux State of the Kitchen Report” found that nine out of 10 respondents are involved in some sort of activity in their kitchen besides cooking — from paying bills and doing homework to practicing musical instruments and working on the computer.
In addition, more than two-thirds of adults said they use their kitchen, rather than their living or family rooms, to socialize and entertain guests.
Among other survey results:
- One-third of adults spend three to four hours in their kitchen during a typical day, while nearly 20% said they spend five hours or more a day.
- More than half of the survey participants (58%) said that the kitchen is one of their favorite rooms.
- 69% agreed that they really enjoy spending time in their kitchen.
- 68% said they would rather have a kitchen where they can socialize and spend more quality time than a kitchen that is just used for cooking meals.
- Nearly half of adults agreed that the kitchen is the center of activity in the household.
- When those surveyed were read a list of phrases and asked which described what they would like their kitchen to be, nearly nine in 10 said “comfortable” (88%) and “practical” (88%), and one in two (47%) said they wanted a state-of-the-art kitchen.
- Nearly nine in 10 (88%) agreed that they want the kitchen to be a comfortable place that reflects their household’s lifestyle.
- More than half (57%) agreed that their kitchen should be a reflection of their personal styles and tastes.
Features that the manufacturer suggests can enhance the feeling of the kitchen as a “live-in” room include:
- Comfortable, upholstered pieces, such as a couch, club chairs or even a chaise lounge and floor pillows
- Space separated into several distinct yet overlapping zones: one for relaxation and entertainment; another for dining, working or crafting; and a third for meal preparation, cooking and clean-up
- Counters of varying heights to break up the space between the food prep and living areas and reduce the appearance of counter clutter
- Multiple sinks — in the island, in the entertainment area and in the butler’s pantry
- A mix of overhead and task lighting to meet a multitude of needs
- A mix of materials, including different floor coverings, to delineate various zones
- Multiple dishwashers (such as one with special cycles for delicate china and stemware)
- Suites of appliances from one brand — so the look is sleek, stylish and uniform
- Wireless speakers, surround sound audio systems and flat-screen HDTVs that fold up under cabinets
- A zone devoted to bill paying, crafting and homework
- Elaborate moldings, architectural details, specialty lighting and custom-built floors and ceilings indicating that the room is finally getting the attention it deserves
- Appliances that go beyond the work zone to be conveniently located, such as a dishwasher drawer in the entertainment zone
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