Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Guide to the Modern Kitchen

By Jane Davies

Modern kitchens are more than a place in which to cook and work. Today's busy homeowners require that the contemporary kitchen be a place to work efficiently and at the same time be comfortable and welcoming when the family gets together or when entertaining guests. More emphasis is being placed on the use of energy-efficient appliances, easy to use work spaces and quickly cleaned surfaces.

Modern kitchens have evolved into convenient, more spacious areas with space-saving, energy-efficient appliances, larger counter areas and unparalleled storage spaces. More functional than before, modern kitchens combine form and style. Modern kitchens have become more than just cooking areas. In many homes, the kitchen is the central place where the family meets to eat and catch up with each other's lives. Kitchens used to be kept out of sight, but today's kitchen is often a showplace and the location chosen when entertaining guests.

There is a kitchen style to meet any taste and budget. Turning a drab kitchen into a tastefully decorated one is easy with all of the styling alternatives available today. With an array of choices in cabinets and shelving finish options for every taste and budget, as well as a wide assortment of window treatment style options, wall coverings, wall hangings and matching kitchen linens, all manufactured with beauty, functionality and durability in mind, any kitchen can be turned into a showplace.

As technologies grew, so did the development of familiar appliances. Contemporary appliances are more energy efficient, compact and easier to clean than their forerunners. A wood-burning cook stove was used during pioneer times. Wood-burning stoves were massive. Later, cook stoves were developed that ran on coal or kerosene.

A modern kitchen is no longer just a place to cook. Decorating the kitchen so that it is a pleasure to work, eat and entertain in is nearly as important as functionality. Contemporary appliances are being manufactured that blend in with the surrounding cabinets and counters. Dishwashers and refrigerators can be hidden behind decorative fronts. There is a multitude of kitchen decorating options available including window treatments, wall coverings, kitchen linens and wall hangings.

Modern kitchen appliances no longer resemble their predecessors. Early stoves were heavy, large and fueled by wood. Coal and kerosene cook stoves were next developed and, as the nation's infrastructures grew, the first electric and gas stoves were advanced. Today's ovens and stoves are more compact and use less energy than earlier versions. There are also more recent technologies such as convection and microwave ovens that decrease cooking times, thereby using less power.

Busy lifestyles demand that modern kitchens contain newer technological advancements, easier to maintain elements and more functionality than traditional kitchens were able to offer. By taking advantage of state-of-the-art appliances, modern kitchen design, up-to-date cabinetry and storage options, a modern kitchen can become a haven - perfect for cooking, working together and socializing. Today's kitchen allows homeowners to do more and use less energy while lowering power bills. Modern kitchens have become the most popular room in many homes.

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