Today, the kitchen island, especially in modern kitchens, is the heart of the home for many families. It’s where you gather in the morning for a cup of coffee and lunch preparation before rushing off to work, where your kids do their homework while you chop the vegetables in your kitchen for dinner, or where you gather your friends for appetizers at the beginning of an evening. But it hasn’t always been like this and the kitchen island has gone through an interesting evolution in line with the shift in our lives over the 20th century.
History Of Kitchen Islands
Back in the 1800s, the kitchen was located at the back of the house, far away from the parlor and dining room. Kitchens weren’t built for entertaining but for function and guest would never get to this area of the house. Instead, people had servants doing all the unglamorous prep work and the kitchen island was a big, sturdy table used to get the plates ready to be served. In contrast to today’s modern kitchen island, it hence had a more functional purpose back in the days, allowing for additional prep as well as storage space.
Transition Of Kitchen Islands
After the Great Depression in the 1930’s, most people couldn’t afford a live-in help anymore and the first open plan living spaces including kitchens were designed, letting the living and dining areas spill into one another. The split between the serving section and the rest of the house was removed and the kitchen was moved to the forefront of the floor plan, giving the kitchen island new value. It hence transitioned into an integral part of a kitchen’s design, with not only functional, but also aesthetic purposes.
The Island As The Social Center
With the increase in high-tech possibilities, the kitchen was no longer synonymous with back-aching work and coffee makers, dish washers and microwaves were added to the kitchen. There was more to be done at the kitchen island than just chores, and that invited the rest of the family inside. By the 1950s, the island was a place to grab tea with the neighbor or build a sandwich while chatting about your plans for the weekend. It hence evolved into the center point for social interaction and gatherings.
The Kitchen Island Today
Nowadays, homeowners want to show off their trendy kitchen to their guests and the kitchen island is now the hub where it all happens. Everyone is welcome to pull up a chair and mingle about. Where the kitchen island once was a table filled with dirty bowls and sauce spills, it has now become a modern-day parlor and very important design element. Whether the modern kitchen island is a freestanding piece, or attached to a wall, there are multiple design options with endless creativity potential.
How To Design A Kitchen Island
If you would like to learn more about today’s modern kitchen designs including the best layout and design for your individual kitchen island and space, contact Cesar NYC Kitchens for a complimentary kitchen consultation at our Cesar kitchen flagship store in Flatiron District, Manhattan.