A century ago, these spaces were purely utilitarian, existing solely for food preparation and nothing else. This was the case up until the 1960s, which marked the beginning of a colourful era: residences and kitchens looked bolder and brighter, emerging as the perfect canvas for expressing one’s personal style.
Fast-forward to today, where kitchens have fully evolved into social, multipurpose hubs that are the backdrop to harmonious domestic life. Now a space for living and preparing meals, the contemporary kitchen facilitates more than just cooking and eating; it’s now a space where kids can do their homework, friends can gather over a meal, and families can enjoy the cooking process together.
Relocating the Cook
Kitchens are no longer isolated at the back of the house away from all social interaction and activity. Four walls no longer define it, and more importantly, everybody gets to experience the action and spectacle of cooking. As communal living areas become increasingly prevalent, kitchens have truly transformed into the heart of the home.
As Frances Lynch, Marketing Manager at Sub-Zero and Wolf, explains: “Kitchens are not just a functional space for cooking. Now the kitchen is a place for socialising, it’s a place for the family… it’s a space for living in and enjoying.”
A Kitchen for Each and Everyone
As living spaces continue to shrink and housing arrangements become increasingly diverse, it is imperative that appliance manufacturers offer solutions that suit a range of lifestyles and spatial situations. People like to live in different ways, and kitchens need to accommodate this by offering both style and functionality. Particularly as the integrated, open-plan living model retains its popularity, the ideal kitchen is one that transitions seamlessly into living spaces, allowing families to socialise, interact, and enjoy each other’s company. Because, at the end of the day, a happy family cooks and eats together.
With this in mind, the ideal kitchen is one that delivers a family space while improving the overall experience of everyday life. For example, where space is tight and there may not be enough room for a full-height refrigerator, select appliance manufacturers offer solutions that allow integration of refrigeration units into kitchen drawers for maximum space efficiency. Components are starting to resemble furniture, emphasising that they are designed to be enjoyed, rather than used.
For the Love of Cooking
Attitudes towards cooking have also changed in line with the evolution of the kitchen. With easier access to recipes and the ongoing popularity of cooking shows, cooking is now seen less as something that has to be done and more as a pastime to be enjoyed. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in 2016 over 1.4 million people tuned into Masterchef, reflecting that we are well and truly in the Era of the Foodie.
“Today’s users want flexibility,” says Frances, “People have different needs within the kitchen in terms of what they like to cook: some people are huge entertainers, and they need dual fuel cookers that are 1500mm wide.”
Sub-Zero and Wolf
In 1945 Wisconsin, Westye Bakke started Sub-Zero and Wolf as a result of looking for a solution to store his diabetic son’s insulin. Existing freezers did not do a reliable job of preserving food, medication or other necessities, so the company embarked on a journey to rectify this while making durable products with distinct aesthetics and strong product engineering.
Today, the company remains a third generation family-owned business that is committed to function and design, and prides itself on attention to detail and design flexibility. With over 48 different models in the range, each piece can be as unique as it’s owners. “We don’t just have one design style,” explains Frances, “Our product suits any design aesthetic, and that’s something we focus a lot on.”
Good design is all about collaboration, and at Habitus Living, we care about good design. For our inaugural Habitus House of The Year program we are thrilled to partner with Sub-Zero and Wolf design collaborators who share this genuine passion for design.