View From My Island The Grand Outing Of The Kitchen

View From My Island The Grand Outing Of The Kitchen

When I was growing up as​ a​ child in​ the sixties, kitchens were always a​ hidden affair. if​ it​ was not separated by a​ wall from the other rooms in​ the house, then a​ divider had to​ be installed to​ hide it​ from the rest of​ the world. Inviting friends over to​ the kitchen to​ show off your new kitchen island or​ cooktop was not the thing to​ be done.

But not anymore. The kitchen of​ my adult years has now become the focal point of​ the house and the people who live in​ it. There is​ still the obligatory lounge room to​ receive guests but it​ is​ now just a​ little room on the way to​ the grand, open space of​ kitchen, family and rumpus rooms combined.

This is​ where most families now gather after a​ long days work - the parents preparing the family meal while the children (if they are in​ their schoolyears) do their homework in​ the family dining table or​ (if they are already young adults), sit and chatter around the breakfast nook or​ family room couch. Kitchens now exude warmth and welcome helped by the oak or​ teak oil-finished kitchen cabinets that usually line the kitchen walls, as​ well as​ mahogany or​ red cedar curio cabinets housing revered family treasures such as​ photos and bowling trophies.

I have long used my kitchen as​ my lounge - one of​ the rooms in​ the house that I consider most comfortable, functional, tribal and welcoming . My husband and I and anyone of​ my kids who occasionally fancy themselves as​ the new Jamie Oliver can showcase our gourmet talents as​ we gracefully move around the red and brown speckled granite kitchen island or​ benchtop to​ the glistening stainless steel sink to​ the brown flattened glow of​ the ceramic cooktop. All these in​ view of​ the rest of​ the family, and often times friends and guests who we show in​ straight to​ the kitchen/family/dining room area to​ sit in​ our beloved dark aubergine brown no-nonsense, yet sumptuous and very practical "Virginia" sofa.

Gone are the days when you felt you needed to​ detain your guests in​ the comfort of​ the Italian velvet sofa in​ the lounge while you excuse yourself and slave away in​ the dark, hot and steamy recesses of​ the kitchen preparing their food. Now there is​ no shame or​ cringe to​ invite friends over to​ the kitchen because kitchens have become the hub of​ family life and social entertaining. Architects, home builders and appliance manufacturers have all taken heed of​ the new trend and have made kitchens not only functional and efficient but also overwhelmingly stylish. Even whitegoods now come in​ different colors of​ stainless steel, earthy brown, luminous orange or​ buttercup yellow to​ suit everyone's desire and taste.

Friends are invited to​ hover around stylish marble-topped kitchen islands as​ they continue with their socialising, talking about nothing and maybe even lending a​ hand in​ washing the vegetables and peeling the potatoes. Even wine bars are now in​ the domain of​ the kitchen (not the basement or​ the lounge) as​ friends sit down and relax in​ the midst of​ kitchens sipping their favorite red or​ white.

Even when alone, my kitchen has always been a​ delight and a​ quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of​ the outside world. When I wake up in​ the morning, I find no greater joy than seeing the sun streaming through the beige voile curtains of​ the northeast facing kitchen window into the deep purple flowered african violets and tall and lanky chinese fortune plants that brighten up the farthest end of​ my granite kitchen benchtop. And when I come home from work in​ the evening, I open the very same northeast facing kitchen window to​ be greeted with the sweet scent of​ the orange jasmines that line the backyard fence.

My kitchen has certainly come a​ long way from its hiding place in​ the sixties and I intend to​ enjoy it​ and keep it​ that way for a​ long, long time more to​ come.

View From My Island The Grand Outing Of The Kitchen

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