BEHIND THE NAME – KITCHEN

Some are obvious such as bedrooms and dining rooms but then we have “drawing rooms, sculleries and porches”.

We know the term drawing room is the posh (Portside Out and Starboard Home-the term giving to those who could afford the sun facing cabins whilst crossing the Atlantic) word for a sitting room derived from the “withdrawing room” to where the Victorian Ladies would retire after dinner.

When we look up the term porch it appears to have come from the Latin Porto – a gate so we can see it’s the gateway to a house. The term scullery has derived from the old French word “escuelerie” – the keeper of dishes.

This leads me onto the room, which is of particular interest to me “ the Kitchen” apparently this comes from the Vulgar Latin “cocina or coquinus” which means of cooking.

So there we have it – a kitchen is a place where you cook. But is it? When I am asked to design a kitchen one of the first question I ask is

“What do you want to do in it”? Maybe not quite so bluntly, but today we use what we call a kitchen for much more than just cooking.

I think today’s kitchen should be renamed the living space as for many it’s a place where you spend most of your time. The communication centre of the home.

With modern heating and insulation houses can be much more open planned so it makes sense to cook and eat in the same area and in my opinion this should occupy a prime location. Why have a separate dining room, which has the best view and light when you would only use it occasionally for entertaining guests usually in the evening or the odd Sunday lunch.

You would be surprised how many houses I visit have this arrangement. This may well have suited the Victorians as they would have had servants so spent little time in the kitchen but this is seldom the case today.

So I urge you to look at the space in your house and be bold. There is little point in spending a lot of money on your kitchen if it’s in the wrong place.

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