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The Kitchen

Because it is the centre of all the most vital household activities, your kitchen should be as efficient and pleasant as possible; this rule applies whether you are planning a new kitchen or modernising an old one.  In either case the first thing to do is to make up your mind what type of kitchen you want – weather it is to be a purely working kitchen or whether you like to use it for informal meals as well.  In the latter case a recess or corner should be planned accordingly.

You must also decide whether the kitchen is to be used only for cooking or whether you prefer (if possible) a separate scullery or “utility room”for the dirtier domestic jobs.  The latter is, of course, ideal if meals are taken in the kitchen, when it is very  desirable that work which creates dust or steam such as washing, shoe cleaning and metal cleaning should be carried out in a separate room.

Whatever type you favour, a good kitchen will always be a simple kitchen, the result of co-ordinated planning rather than a mere accumulation of gadgets.

A good kitchen:

  1. Has well planned work centres, so placed in relation to each other that unnecessary walking is obviated.  In every good kitchen the sink, the stove and the main working surface are relatively close together.
  2. Has fittings and equipment of convenient height and adapted if necessary to the hight of the individual housewife.
  3. Has ample and convenient storage facilities.
  4. Is easily cleaned by virtue of its well-chosen finishes, absence of mouldings and corners.
  5. Is provided with carefully selected equipment suited to the size and type of household.
  6. Is bright and cheerful as a result of wise use of colour and good lighting.
  7. Is well ventilated without being draughty.
  8. If used for washing as well as for cooking has ready access to the garden.
It may not be possible to incorporate all of these features in every kitchen, and a degree of compromise may be inevitable.  Each housewife must decide what features she thinks are essential even though it may mean discarding others.  Never forget, however, that time taken in planning and arranging a kitchen will repay itself over and over again.  Planning will save work, reduce the amount of running sbout, and even the lifting and carrying of heavy articles to an unbelievable extent.  Careful investigations show that even a very simple change, such as moving a store cupboard, can reduce running to and fro by as much as one-half.
Taken from “The Book of Good Housekeeping” Pub. 1946.