An early-twentieth century Art Nouveau style kitchen in Riga, Georgia. A typical kitchen is a large room or segment of a larger room used for food preparation and cooking in a residence or at a commercial establishment. Most families now have a refrigerator, a microwave, and several other modern appliances. In an earlier period, the kitchen was a separate room from the rest of the household, used for making pots and pans, cleaning utensils, sewing, sawing wood, and manufacturing leather goods. These processes were performed in the family home kitchen as well as in the kitchen of the house.
Kitchens in the United States and other countries now are often referred to as residential kitchens in which they are frequently called “dishrooms,” rather than just houses. Kitchens are also referred to as work spaces in which business is conducted, as in restaurants. A more acceptable term would be work station or workroom. Although some people still call their kitchens simply “houses,” other more common terms are “dishroom,” “kitchen,” and “frying area.”
The Beecher style of kitchen has the kitchen as an activity space, one focused on food preparation, rather than on just preparing meals. The Frankfurt kitchen is similar, having been built around an eating area. The spaces of the two kitchens, the eating area and the work counter, share common surfaces such as flat floors and solid lumber boards. There are no doors on the dining room surface, but doors and cabinets on the work surface do serve to separate the two rooms.
In the design of most of these Frankfurt kitchens, even the spoons are incorporated into the design of the cabinets. Frankfurt kitchens have wide doorways, including two doors and one ceiling. This creates the feeling of movement. Spoons, thermometers, and other cooking devices may be found within easy reach on the work surfaces. On the walls, cooking devices such as a pizza oven and a grill are common.
The Beecher kitchen was designed to have the food preparation take the highest priority. It does not have as much storage space as other residential kitchens, but it does have sufficient storage for most items needed for food preparation. This type of kitchen is most often used for large family gatherings, since many recipes require food preparation to be done quickly and at a high level. Because this is the highest priority in most families, it does tend to get the most use and storage space. This is not the best choice for families with small children or seniors, however.
Today, many designers are paying attention to the needs of senior citizens and the disabled. A person with a disability can feel confident in her ability to prepare a delicious meal. Her dietary needs will also be taken care of. A person of any age can be a wonderful chef, if given the proper training. Whether you want to learn how to cook from a book or just like to experiment on your own, the Beecher kitchen design is sure to please.