Dream kitchens

victoria —  March 19, 2004 — Leave a comment

I read four or five cooking magazines a month and they always have kitchenporn in them: kitchens that look like movie sets or stadiums with acres of counter space, islands of rare tropical woods, granite or marble countertops, appliances that cost as much as a luxury car and every surface is decorated to within an inch of its life, also known as kitchens in which no one ever cooks. People who can afford these kitchens either have no time to ever cook in them because they are out robbing banks to pay for them or can afford people to come in to do all the cooking.

They are lovely to look at, but they truly are porn because they are completely unrealistic and I think they encourage the average person to look at their own kitchen and find it somehow lacking and inadequate (the plethora of DIY shows contributes quite a bit too, I think). You really don’t need 1500 square feet of Mexican tile and a Subzero to make good food.

So, to honor the everyday kitchen, the one that feeds millions the world over, here are my dream kitchens:

First is my French country kitchen. It’s a large airy room at the back of the house with a door that leads out to a neatly ordered but slightly wild kitchen garden. The floor is large terracotta pavers. The cabinetry is unfitted. There is a deep apron front, ceramic sink for washing vegetables and a butcherblock cutting board for prep. In place of an island there is a long table that can be carried outside for dining al fresco. The pots and pans hang from exposed beams. The window is unadorned except for small pots of herbs and aloes and light pours in on everything. The appliances are somewhat disguised with cabinetry inserts. And I would have saved up to have two of those amazing refrigerated drawers. The dishes are everyday pottery and stacked neatly in open cabinets. The whole scene is perfumed with the scent of baking bread wafting from the wall oven. (Okay, this is midly pornographic, but these exist, I’ve been in them.)

My practical apartment kitchen is laid out well with a tight but not constrictive work triangle. It has a deep, stainless steel sink that is easy to keep clean and no formica countertops. The floor doesn’t show dirt too badly. The refrigerator works well and doesn’t take up more room than necessary. The oven is accurate and is self-cleaning and has a window in the door (dammit! how much more can that really cost?). There is ample cabinet space with a few open shelves to display appliances and more unusual gadgetry. Most importantly there is an abundance of natural light and properly aimed and bright artificial light.

My I-hate-to-clean kitchen has appliances and cabinets with watertight seals. The countertops are stainless steel and no appliances or anything else has to be stored on them because everything has a place in the aforementioned cabinets. Also the floor is the small square tile used in bathrooms and there is a central drain so I can hose the whole room down at the end of the day and be done with it. Boring? Yes. Pratical? Hell, yes.

Your dream kitchen, pornographic or otherwise?



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