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May 23, 2012

Kitchen Stories

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Everyone's forgot to make the ceiling high enough to make the room proportionate to its length and width,
allow the windows to be tall and stately, and let in extra air and light. Your present kitchen is almost undoubtedly larger than this, and I ask you, could you fit those four children into yours while you worked at the sink? (Count the shoes, there's four, trust me) The designer knew enough to put windows on two walls in the room, and not just one. -- Sippican Cottage:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 23, 2012 11:34 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Oh my, no granite counter jobs!?! The horror.

Posted by: tim at May 23, 2012 11:41 AM

Don't forget that the appliances were much smaller, and the dishwasher was also the head cook. All of that stuff takes up room.

But yes, decent ceiling height is important to keep people from feeling crushed, and make them think the place is bigger than it is. That and natural light.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at May 23, 2012 12:22 PM

Fewer kitch cabinets -- way fewer, than people "need" for all their sh-t, today. Tiny kitchen table compared to what folks have now. And get a load of the size of that fridge, compared to the big double door units people have now.

Whole lot more going on here than just windows and high ceiling vs. the alternative.

It does indeed look a lot like the kitchen we had when I was a small child.....

Posted by: southernjames at May 23, 2012 1:57 PM

The linked article takes care of that sort of stuff. That's why we link to begin with.

Posted by: vanderleun at May 23, 2012 2:21 PM

Read links---there was homework involved?

I did not know that. *ahem*

NB: Last weekend dad was talking about the milk deliveries in Saginaw in the 30's and 40's, how the horse would go on to the next stop while the milkman was in the wagon getting the next delivery together. Of course there was daily milk-butter-egg delivery; when the fridge space was so small (and so many using vertical coolers called iceboxes) there was no room to store all but a few perishable items.

Thank God for the modern world.*

*Beyond indoor plumbing, of course.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at May 23, 2012 6:55 PM

A refrigerator eliminated emptying overflowing drip-pans which required a bit of skill and some luck. And usually a mop was needed when the job was done.
Life was good with a modern kitchen.

Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2012 7:08 PM

BTW - I once owned a house - 900 sq ft - and the bathroom I painted semi-gloss, the other walls in the other rooms satin.

Why? To reflect light, and because those surfaces could be cleaned with a sponge. With flat paint, if there is a stain, you have to repaint. Too much work.

In my rental townhouse I have a drop-leaf table, because it takes up less space and Hey! Presto! when I want it I get a big table.

Of course, the benefit of having a small house with kids is that they would go outside to play - as in get the heck out of my hair and run around out there already.

The benefit of having a small lot is that they don't have to go far to find other kids; and they can go bother that other parent. Not that I ever did anything like that, mind.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at May 23, 2012 7:08 PM

My favorite kitchen has always been my grandma's. It seemed spacious back in the day, but when I went there last, it was a much tighter fit. All us kids, the five of us, could fit on two beds and a crib, and now we couldn't even fit round the table in the breakfast nook.

Posted by: Jewel at May 24, 2012 4:54 AM

There's a reason people don't make kitchens like that anymore. Several, actually.

Go ahead and specify a custom high cieling in your specs and see how much it will cost. Cheap real wooden cabinets won't be so bad if you put a coat of ugly paint on them, but I prefer the Kraftmaid kind with the imprint because it lasts longer than veneer and is cheaper than the actual wood work that it mimics.

A corner spot for a kitchen is nice, but I'd prefer that for my dining room or living room. And all those accessories that take up space now save time that kept women at home back in those days. Small refrigerators meant daily trips to the market, no dishwasher meant handwashing after dinner, and that kid had to read on a hard bench because natural light leaves the scene when he gets home from school in the winter.

There's a reason classic cars are classic, and a reason why they don't make things the way they did in the olden days, and that's progress. Personally, I'm all for it.

Posted by: Daniel at May 24, 2012 5:13 AM

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