In years gone by the kitchen was solely the domain of the mother or female of the house. Over the years that has changed dramatically what with more single males having to cook for themselves, the rise in popularity of cookery programs with celebrity male chefs and it generally being more accepted for a man to do the cooking.
This is wonderful (especially if you're a mother or the female of the house) as it has brought about a complete re-think in the way the modern house is built.
The kitchen used to be the room where the cooking was done the small room at the back of the house with no other real purpose than to prepare meals and maybe to keep the washing machine. Today the kitchen is a focal point of the house. Homes are designed with this in mind, big open plan dining room kitchens that can house grand dining tables, breakfast bars and any amount of seats for guests. It's no surprise that most house parties end up in the kitchen!
Most modern built kitchens are basically built around the user with counter tops, appliances and sink surrounding the user and as open as possible so the whole family are included in the cooking rather than the chef being excluded from the family.
As well as being as open as possible the kitchen is now a very personal work of design, your kitchen makes a statement about you. The materials that you build your kitchen out of reflect your personality, materials such as, stainless steel, glass, solid wood, MDF or even stone area all commonly used in modern day kitchen design.
It isn't always about being modern either. Many people chose to go retro and build in an open fire or AGA type stove to add that country cottage feel to their kitchen.
The kitchen market is massive. In 2004 the kitchen furniture market alone was worth in excess of £500m in Great Britain and Eire, this includes worktops and sinks but not appliances!
With more and more kitchen appliances appliances coming on to the market each year you can begin to understand exactly how big the whole business of kitchens has got over the past five - ten years. Virtually every home now has a fridge and a dish-washer, many have a waste disposal sink and on top of this virtually every home in the land will have a cooker, a toaster, a kettle, a coffee maker and a food processor.
And when you think of all the makes and models that are available of each individual appliance it really can get quite daunting.
All the variation that is available to the kitchen buyer of today can only make it that bit more important to make sure that your kitchen reflects you and your life style and when you start adding up the cost of those decisions it's even more important to get it right first time.
So just remember that whatever your lifestyle, bachelor, family, singleton or young couple, if you only have the money to make one room in your house stand out from the rest make sure it's the kitchen. You won't regret it.
I try to pass on my musings on life and experiences in a way that people may find interesting to read.
You may not always agree with my writings but I hope to inform.
Harwood E Woodpecker.