The homes of the majority of the population would have had a cooking fireplace like these. There was no running water, no kitchen cabinets, no microwave. It was hauling water from a well, building fires, churning butter and using tables for preparation.
During colonial days, the family probably lived in a 2 room log cabin with a loft. The main room was living room/dining room/kitchen/work room. They didn't have fine china, stainless flatware, stainless steel cookware, etc. It was iron, pewter, baskets, wooden spoons.
Water pipes were laid towards the end of the 19th century, and then often with only one tap per building or per story in city tenements. Pots and kitchenware were stored on open shelves, and parts of the room could be separated from the rest using simple curtains.
In contrast, there were no dramatic changes for the upper classes. The kitchen, located in the basement or the ground floor or outhouse, continued to be operated by servants. In some houses, water pumps were installed, and some even had kitchen sinks and drains. In this black and white photo she has a wood stove beside her kerosene stove with tiny oven.
As we began to have more expendable income we began to build bigger kitchens and outfit them with builtin cabinetry. Some people used metal kitchen cabinets.
This 1930's design looks a lot like the ultra modern kitchen in the last photo.
This kitchen had a separate metal cabinet with the builtin sink. It was suppose to look like a built in. But you can tell it wasn't original to the house since it sits in front of the door and causes the entrance to the kitchen too narrow.
In the 1950's builtin cabinets became the norm and they experimented with adding built in grills in the dens or built in bars or built in intercoms. They tried different colors in appliances to match the automobile colors that were popular. So you could get turquoise, pink or yellow appliances.
We had a nice window over the sink that I really enjoyed. I loved the glass cabinet doors that showed my Fiestaware. We got the solid surface countertops and I liked it. My cousin does the cabinetry and he did a great job.
In our new house, the kitchen hadn't been used so the cabinets, floor, etc were in great shape. I left the cabinets alone but we did change the countertops from the 1980's beige laminate to a black pearly granite and it looks great!
I wanted to make the kitchen cheery and a place to enjoy so I used a bright blue paint with bright white and primary yellow accessories. The brick floor is indestructable. I love the fish bowl window where we have our breakfast area. I used the tall bistro table and stools so our dogs wouldn't be bothering us while we ate.
These kitchens are beautiful and I really like them.
For a dark, cozy kitchen, thie one is really nice. I love the windows with the arches, the eat-in countertop facing the windows. But there are still plenty of upper cabinets. I love the woodwork. And look at the floor!
Kitchens that are not practical
This beautiful kitchen is nice to look at but lets look at all the ways it wouldn't work for me. There are only 2 upper cabinets and they are so high up it would be difficult to use. That means you are bending over to get everything in the lower cabinets. Bummer! It also has a wooden countertop and I would not ever have a wooden countertop where there is water. I don't care how good you seal the wood, eventually, around the edges of the sink or stove, the finish will begin to flake and the wood is exposed.
Another beautiful kitchen but all that rock would be impossible to keep clean. It will get grimy from normal dust and grease and will not look this clean. And it's especially around the stove so there is no question that it will get grimy. Try to clean that chandelier! And look at the steps from sink to the stove and fridge. The baskets will only get dusty. Unless you use fake potatoes and onions, then there will be dirt and onion skins all in the cabinet open to view.
This is a beautiful kitchen. But try to clean all the cutouts in the cabinetry. It's everywhere. And I don't like tile countertops. The open shelving is a challenge to keep the stuff washed.
There are no upper cabinets in this kitchen so you are bending over all the time in the kitchen. The bricks are great architectural features but not over the stove. You can't clean that brick from the greasy smoke of cooking.
In the future will we go back to the small efficient kitchen? This one is a little too efficient and I hate the cold modern and stainless look. But this would be easy to clean and convenient with no extra steps.