Is your kitchen one of those compact, efficient spaces where you can stand in one place and reach everything?
Or does it sprawl and attract guests and family for long hang-out sessions?
While writing the Avenue of Dreams series, I spent a lot of time imagining what the kitchen in the Banning household had to look like. In the course of my research, I came across a description by Maria Parloa, popular cookbook author. Here are some features she considered essential.
• A good size is 15 x 17. (I imagine kitchens on Chicago’s Prairie Avenue were larger than this)
• Good ventilation keeps people who work in the kitchen from becoming exhausted and irritable. (I agree! And I think Charlotte Farrow, kitchenmaid in the Banning house, would too.)
• Nothing is better for flooring than hard wood. (Wonder what she would think about laminate?)
• Use tile on the walls around the sink, tables and range. (I love this note about tiles: “The time will come when few people will think of finishing a kitchen without them.”)
• The sink should be iron, with a sloping and grooved shelf at one end for draining dishes. (Wow. Sounds heavy!)
• Cover a wall with hooks for hanging saucepans and other utensils. A shelf about one foot off the floor can hold heavy pots and kettles. (Sounds a lot more convenient than closed cupboards.)
So 120 years later, how does your kitchen measure up?