Key Ways in Which the Kitchen Has Changed Over the Years

Contrary to its current functionality, the kitchen was not always the center of household activities that it is today. The kitchen was simply used for the preparation and cooking of food, that’s it. It wasn’t until recently, within the last 100 years, that the kitchen became the hub of activity and social gathering within the home. This is in large part due to the advent of new-age technology kitchen appliances and modernized kitchen layouts. With this Copper Chef review, we take a look at how the kitchen has changed over time.

It was during the 20s that the kitchen space was really carved out. The foundation for the kitchen as we know it was laid during this time frame. Homes started to stray away from cooking over fires and fireplaces and instead incorporated the cooking stove. The cooking stove, a bulky yet useful tool, was equipped with multiple burners to allow you to cook multiple foods at once. Additionally, the beginning phase of the dishwasher or “cleaning machine” was rolled out. It’s hard to imagine that piece of time saving technology didn’t catch on right away, but it’s true. Toasters, coffee makers and other time saving appliances also made their appearance.

During the late 20s and into the 30s, the idea of a clean-lined and organized kitchen was really taking off. Built-in kitchen units, such as cabinets and countertops, were becoming a mainstay in the 1930s kitchen. The kitchen design was all about keeping it compact, concise, and clean. Whether you were a movie star or an everyday working class American, big kitchens were not something you would come by often.  Small kitchens were more typical, so it was about maximizing the space that you had.

It was here, in the 1940s that the idea of the kitchen as a communal space really came to light. According to our Copper Chef review, the eat-in kitchen, originally launched in the 1920s, was revamped to become more stylish, functional, and comfortable. The concept of the eat-in kitchen revamped the way the family dined together. The eat-in kitchen steered the kitchen from a purely utilitarian purpose to a more family-centered space. The dining room was now used for more formal meals and the kitchen became the casual dining space. This also meant kitchens became more spacious in design.

Labor Savers were the name of the game in the 1950s. One could say things became a little lazier in the kitchen in the 1950s. One trend in particular was the kitchen perch. This was a chair that was placed in front of the sink. It made doing the dishes a more comfortable experience and was advertised a means to prevent back injury, aches, and pains from standing so long. Additionally, in the vein of becoming more efficient for time, easy-to-clean- glass shelves were not customary for refrigerators. This was a major revolution in the refrigerator game. Refrigerators and home freezers were a commodity in the 1950s themselves. Their usage eliminated the need for daily grocery shopping. However, the electric stove takes the cake for this time period.


By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the kitchen was now a communal space. Open kitchen layouts were a major trend and popping up in homes everywhere. Kitchens were no longer just a place for cooking and eating, but were now considered a major status symbol. What appliances do you have? What color is your kitchen? The list goes on. It was during the 1960s that a major emphasis on structure was played, thus ushering in earth tones and the U-shaped kitchen design. In fact, the time period between the 60s and 90s was primarily about ushering in new designs, colors, layouts, and how to make the kitchen work smarter, not harder. Avant Garde, kitchen islands, eat-in offices, and granite made their appearances during this time.


If we could sum up kitchens in one word during this time, it would be “beige”. Beige was the go-to color for many people in the early 2000s. It was a nice departure from the disco greens and pastel colors that were once rampant in the kitchen during previous years. The 2000s were also when the kitchen as the social space really fleshed out to what it is today. Barstools, gourmet designs, and smart appliances took over.

Thanks to the foundation laid in previous years, we can enjoy the kitchen as we know it today. As technology continues to advance and take off, we can only hope with excitement what the future of the kitchen will look like.


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