Kitchens, Redesigns, and Feminism


History tells us that women belong in the kitchen. Feminism told us that no, women belong anywhere they damn well choose to belong. Well, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are women who, despite embracing gender equality, find themselves comfortable in the kitchen.


There are practical reasons for this.


First, if you live alone and there aren’t a lot of restaurants in your area, you have to learn how to cook. It’s true for women and men. This isn’t a problem in a city like Tokyo, which has more ramen restaurants than there are restaurants in the entirety of New York.


Another practical reason is that home-cooking is more intimate.


If you want to impress your friends or just bond with them, a dinner party is an excellent way to get that done. Of course, you’ll need to have food. The fact that a good meal can serve as an icebreaker, helping ease people into a conversation, is a bonus.


With that in mind, what should a modern kitchen look like? If you’re looking at a rundown, beaten-up old space, what do you ask the crew from this website to do?


Well, the principles of making a kitchen better tend to be close to universal. You want good lighting, so you can see what you’re doing. You want the room to move around and the ability to flow from one task to another. You want storage that is both accessible but out of the way unless needed.


Good lighting helps make sure you can see what you do and gives a clear picture of what you’re cooking. There’s something quite satisfying about making something with your own hands.


Lighting also makes the kitchen feel more welcoming. Kitchens these days are places where you entertain guests, and light helps set the mood.


Kitchens need to make good use of space, but not necessarily a lot of it.


There are all sorts of homes and apartments with small kitchens. The key isn’t about the quantity, but how the design uses what’s present. Tasks should flow smoothly from one to another, without having to reach too far or break off from the flow.


A small kitchen isn’t going to be good for entertaining people, and that’s fine. You want the room to do its primary function of being food preparation. If you have to choose between entertaining and food prep, you focus on food prep.


Finally, storage should be accessible but not in the way. How you do that will vary based on the existing layout.