Are British kitchens getting smaller?
Monday, 31st March 2014, Jane Gibson
Homeowners are always conjuring up ways of creating space in their property and sometimes this has to come at the expense of the dimensions in another room. Around 50 years ago the emphasis would have been placed on creating space for a bigger kitchen, but recent evidence suggests the cooking hub is actually the room that's suffering the most.
Research from estate agency Marsh & Parsons shows that British kitchens are "shrinking dramatically in size and prominence", with the former 'heart of the home' losing a third of its capacity since the 1960s.
This was a time when families would gather round the table three times a day for a home-cooked meal, but the modern household can only dream of this luxury.
It may sound baffling but the hectic lifestyles of workers in the 21st century mean that eating at home isn't always an option. Working extra hours is part and parcel of most jobs and sometimes it's just more convenient for someone to fill their stomach with a late night bite on the way home.
Whoever's at the abode will only receive this message late into the evening and be forced to resort to a takeaway or similar. There's always the weekend for chopping, roasting and baking until the wrists give in, but the weekdays allow little free time for such luxuries. As a result, the kitchen has seen a slight decline in importance.
Still, it's not just kitchens that are getting smaller - it's houses in general.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) believes 21st century new-builds are much more compact than the properties of yesteryear, with this possibly due to the government's ambitious targets for house building.
Developers are seeing an opportunity to build hundreds of homes on small plots of land and councillors are all too happy to announce '200 new homes' for their local area.
Fortunately for new homeowners, having a small kitchen isn't the end of the world and there's plenty they can do with a small unit.
For instance, many interior designers are urging homeowners to move their dinner tables out of the kitchen and into their traditional home: the dining room. This may require a little more effort when it comes to laying the table and putting out the food, but the space savings could be huge.
Some of the smaller alterations include replacing bigger appliances with pint-sized versions, or simply doing away with luxuries like dishwashers and breakfast bars. Either way there's plenty of ways for Brits to save space in their kitchens - they just need to cook up a few ideas.