The Kitchen: From Smokey to Sumptuous

As you sit on a bar stool at the island of your open concept kitchen with its gleaming stainless steel appliances and granite counter top, it might be hard to believe that the kitchen hasn’t always been the focal point of the home.kitchen

It’s actually kind of funny – the kitchen has come full circle. In the more primitive days, the “kitchen” was actually just a hearth: a large flat rock that a fire was built on top of. It truly was the center of the home… but I can’t imagine the smoke!

Once the chimney was invented, the open fire simply moved to the side of the room. Kitchens used to be dark, miserable, badly ventilated places relegated to basements and annexes and often staffed by servants. Dining was a formal affair, not meant to be experienced where the food itself was cooked.

But as technology progressed, the kitchen began to change. Although the upper class still kept their kitchens separate, those living in smaller apartments began to use the kitchen as the main room – without the smoke and dirt, the kitchen was much more hospitable.

kitchen 2That being said, it wasn’t until the 1930s, with the dawn of small consumer appliances that the kitchen started to look like the kitchens we know and love.

Industrialization and electricity changed the way kitchens were organized. Kitchens became a sort of domestic conveyor belt: a long, narrow corridor with sinks, ovens and cabinets for ultra-efficient cooking and cleaning. The layout was meant to empower women; the faster they could finish their domestic duties, the more time they’d have for factory work and leisure.

As more items started to accumulate, people spent more time in the kitchen enjoying all their gadgets, and started to pay more attention to the appearance of the room. The invention of the extractor hood in the 1980s sealed the deal: now the kitchen was not only smoke free and clean, it didn’t smell of last night’s dinner for days on end!

From dark and dirty to bright and beautiful, kitchens have come a long way. Dining rooms are still popular, but rarely used. When was the last time you ate dinner in your dining room? Aside from big holiday meals or dinner parties, I am going to guess it’s been a while!

Ask any realtor to tell you what sells a house these days, and they won’t miss a beat: the kitchen.custom kitchen tile

Kitchen trends will come and go, but some things never go out of style. Today, kitchens and kitchen accessories oscillate between being functional and decorative; occasionally, they’re even marketed as high art.

Now that the kitchen is the center of the home, materials used in counters and back splashes are becoming more luxurious. If you want a kitchen that will stand the test of time and still look as beautiful twenty years from now as it does today, consider incorporating marble in your kitchen. It is both stunningly luxurious, and highly practical.

custom kitchen tile workAfter being pushed out in favor of stainless and brushed nickel for many, many years, gold is making a big comeback in the kitchen. Who says the kitchen can’t be beautiful AND useful?

There are many other ways to embrace the look — one of them is to add just a little bit of shine to your kitchen - gold accent with my gold leafed kitchen back splash design on marble.

Tiles aren’t just practical and timeless, they are beautiful focal pieces. Each piece is different, just like each kitchen should be.

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