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The trend to kitchen eating seems to be leading to the demise of the dining room

nice kitchenA report from Lloyds Bank Home Insurance has revealed that more and more of us entertain in the kitchen rather than the traditional dining room, which most homes still have.  Depressingly, many families buy sectional sofas, which are really comfortable, true, and eat in the living room in front of television.  Six out of ten of us apparently have friends to “kitchen suppers.”  Even the Prime Minister does this in Downing Street, according to Francis Maude.  Presumably his £100 Panasonic bread-maker features among the £4,909 worth of gadgets the average kitchen is equipped with.

I don’t actually have a dining room, but an area separated by Japanese screens from the cooking part of the kitchen.  It’s where I entertain friends.  Another feature of the report is its revelation that almost a third of houses these days have a separate office or study.  Again, my ‘office’ is a well-lit area off the living room, one floor up from the kitchen/dining area.  It is what happens when you have a fairly long thin house.

In a speech to Mensa in 1984 I made predictions for the year 2020, and one of them was that most families would eat in the kitchen.  Kitchens have changed from being small functional areas where you cooked into large and pleasant spaces where you can relax.  If they are nice places, it’s easy to suppose that people will spend more time in them.

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2 Responses

  1. You’re right, and if the trend continues this way we will end up living in an open barn-like structure – along with the domestic animals, a cooking fire in the middle, and sleeping space on a raised platform at one end. Just like our ancestors. 🙂

    • I agree with your prediction. The historical Edwardian home with it’s elegant dining room, lovely curtains and polished table, chairs, sideboard, bookcase and ornaments. The soft tick of a mantel clock, the tea trolley, beautiful oil lamps and impressive fireplace is light years away from todays utility living. If central heating had been freely available in those far off times it would make todays minimalistic living look like an austerity stricken furnishing famine.

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