It is a mistake to suppose that any room, however small and unpleasantly situated, is “good enough” for a kitchen. This is the room where members of the family pass a great portion of their time, and it should be one of the brightest and most convenient rooms in the house; Not only a pleasure to spend time in but the cleanest room in the house to ensure food doesn’t become contaminated.
Every kitchen should have windows on two sides of the room, and the sun should have access through them; the windows should open from the top to allow a flow of air, for light and fresh air are essential to kitchen décor and ambience. Good drainage should also be provided, and the ventilation of the kitchen ought to be even more carefully thought out than that of a bedroom. The ventilation of the kitchen should be good enough to thoroughly remove all gases and odours, which, together with steam from boiling and other cooking processes, easily invades and causes sometimes stale ‘miasmas’ in every other portion of the house. (Although we all know how pleasant the smell of coffee is.)
There should be plenty of space for a table, chairs, stove, sink, and cupboards, yet the room should not be so large as to necessitate too many steps. If you find cooking boring then a dull, badly designed kitchen will make it worse. If the kitchen is light, airy, and tidy, and the utensils bright and clean, the work of assembling food will be a pleasant task.
It is best, from a sanitary standpoint, that the kitchen floor be waterproof; hence, concrete, or tiled floors are better than wooden floors. Cleanliness is the great decider, and this can be best attained by having all woodwork in and about the kitchen coated with polish or varnish, then substances which cause staining or grease spots will not penetrate the wood, and can be easily removed with a damp cloth.
Elements of beauty should not be lacking in the kitchen but pictures and fancy articles are inappropriate. Rather add a few pots of easily cultivated flowers on the window ledge or arranged upon brackets about the window in winter, and a window box arranged as a jardiniere, with vines, herbs, and flowers in summer. These will greatly brighten the room and entice you into the kitchen.
The kitchen furniture.
The furniture for a kitchen shouldn’t be cumbersome and should be easy to clean. There should be plenty of cupboards, and each, for the sake of order, could be devoted to a special purpose. Cupboards with sliding doors are better than doors that open out.
Cupboards used for the storage of food should be well ventilated, otherwise they may harbour mold and germs. Cupboards may be ventilated by means of openings at the top, and doors covered with very fine wire gauze may be a décor statement as well as admit the air but still keep out flies and dust.
For ordinary kitchen use, small tables of suitable height on easy-rolling casters, and with zinc or tiled tops, are the most convenient and most easily kept clean. Drawers though, can become receptacles for a mass of rubbish. Better to keep the much-used cooking tools in stainless steel containers close to where they will be needed.
Of course, we need a sink; however, a sink must be properly constructed and well cared for, or it may become a hotbed of bugs and germs that threaten household health. The sink should, if possible stand out from the wall, so as to allow free access to all sides of it for the sake of cleanliness, although this is not a common practice in aesthetically pleasing kitchen design. To combat this, the pipes and fixtures should be selected and placed by a competent plumber so that the traps are accessible.
Great pains should be taken to keep the pipes clean and well disinfected. Refuse of all kinds should be kept out. Thoughtless housekeepers and careless domestics often allow greasy water and bits of table waste to find their way into the pipes. (Wipe grease first with paper towel and then throw it away. If the grease is already solid, warm the plate or bowl in the microwave and then wipe).
Drainpipes usually have a bend, or trap, through which water containing no sediment flows freely but the melted grease which often passes into the pipes mixed with hot water, becomes cooled and solid as it descends, adhering to the pipes and gradually accumulating until the drain is blocked, or the water passes through very slowly. A grease-lined pipe is a magnet for disease germs.
A quick tip on cleaning pipes without chemicals
If you have 2 sinks, fill up both the sinks with really hot, soapy water and then let the water out on both at the same time. The cyclonic action of the water will continue all the way through your pipes and keep you from having a clog.
And while we are talking about cleaning pipes, take a can of salt every month and flush it down your toilet. This weird habit keeps tree roots from growing toward your pipes if you have a garden.
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