Kitchen

We Need To Talk About This Kitchen

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) - Home of a woman, doing her best

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) - Home of a woman, doing her best

This is a kitchen in a large suburban home that has been lived in by a family with two kids for roughly eight years.  Notice anything strange?

WHERE IS THE STUFF?!!

There are no appliances, no pitchers, no knife block (which I personally hate because there is always a knife block), etc.  You can see from this other angle that the cabinets are barely full, with some of the shelves completely empty.  

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) is a dark and intimate film.  The filmmaker was clearly detail oriented, which makes me think that this barren kitchen was a choice, but I can't figure out why?  Totally distracting in an otherwise exceptional(ly terrifying) film. 

FLOTUS in the kitchen

House of Cards: Season 4, Episode 5

House of Cards: Season 4, Episode 5

Building on the theme from last week (House of Cards sets that I didn't care about last year when the show was boring), I have always been curious about this White House kitchen.  When I think "White House kitchen", a large industrial work space comes to mind.  

White House kitchen, 1890, with Dolly Johnson (recruited by President Harrison because her plain dishes were superior to those made by the fancy French chef)

White House kitchen, 1890, with Dolly Johnson (recruited by President Harrison because her plain dishes were superior to those made by the fancy French chef)

White House kitchen, current, located on the ground floor

White House kitchen, current, located on the ground floor

So what is this other kitchen that Claire Underwood is puttering around in (because we know she doesn't eat)?  

It turns out that when Jackie Kennedy moved into the White House in 1961, she thought the downstairs kitchen and dinning room were too impersonal for family life.  She had a bedroom and dressing room on the second floor converted into a family kitchen and dinning room (even though a chef was the person doing the cooking). 

Lady Bird Johnson in the family kitchen, 1966

Lady Bird Johnson in the family kitchen, 1966

Somewhere between the Kennedy and the Ford administration, someone decided to give the kitchen a touch of the 70's...

Gerald Ford making an english muffin, 1974

Gerald Ford making an english muffin, 1974

...and sometime post Ford, someone thought, let's keep the room dated by adding wallpaper that matches the drapes!  

White House Kitchen, 1992

White House Kitchen, 1992

White House Kitchen, 1992

White House Kitchen, 1992

Clinton erra, 1998

Clinton erra, 1998

In 1993, Bill Clinton and family moved in, and the kitchen was renovated, but from this picture, it looks like they just swapped out the wallpaper to something equally horrendous.  NOT AN UPGRADE! 

I'm not sure what it looks like now, but it must have been updated since the 90's.  I can't picture Michelle cracking eggs in a room this ugly.   

Subway Tile + Dark Grout

Victorian style  kitchen by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Victorian style kitchen by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

As soon as I get a chance to redo a bathroom or kitchen, I am going to work in subway tile and dark grout.  

This style is called "subway tile" because it was used in the New York City subway stations in the early twentieth century.  It is simple, classic, and inexpensive.  It does not have to be paired with dark grout, but I like the added geometry of it.  And I think it would be great for a bathroom because dark grout can hide a lot of scum.  

Note:  DIY sites say dark grout can highlight sloppy work, so don't phone it in.

Stoker (2013) - Surprisingly, the least creepy room in this house.

Anna Spiro

Anna Spiro

Steven Gambrel

Steven Gambrel

clip_image0094.jpg

Jeffrey Alan Marks used this look on the show Million Dollar Decorators when he redesigned the bathroom of his Crossfit gym.  He said he likes the look because it reminds him of a 50's locker room in a boys prep school.  

JAM  on Million Dollar Decorators

JAM on Million Dollar Decorators

Tile-o-Rama

I was reading Remodelista, when I stumbled on an article all about patchwork tile.  First of all, it's AWESOME!

Handmade  Purpura   tiles

Handmade Purpura  tiles

Made a Mano tiles made from their  Novecento  line 

Made a Mano tiles made from their Novecento line 

These kitchens immediately made me think of the kitchen set from The New Normal, which was going for a classic California Spanish Colonial feel.

la-lh-the-new-normal-house-spanish-colonial-co-002.jpg

And just because they are so pretty, here are more pictures of tile:

Umbrian home designed by Paola Navone, a mix of Moroccan tiles of her own design, from Carocim .

Umbrian home designed by Paola Navone, a mix of Moroccan tiles of her own design, fromCarocim.

Stella McCartney Soho store staircase

Stella McCartney Soho store staircase

Frankfurt Kitchen

A few weeks ago I visited the MAK design museum in Vienna, and tucked away in a back corner was a Frankfurt Kitchen.  I had never heard of a Frankfurt Kitchen before, but it quickly became clear that it was a massively influential piece of design. 

The Frankfurt Kitchen was designed in 1926 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky to be used in a new housing development in Frankfurt, Germany.  Housing was in short supply after WWI, so the kitchen was designed to be highly efficient and space saving.  The design was so successful that 10,000 of these kitchens were built in the late 1920s.  

The kitchen incorporated modern technology so the user would find everything they need within arms reach.  For example, the over head light is on a track so it can be repositioned depending on need.     

Frankfurt Kitchen Cuboard - $1250 on Etsy

Frankfurt Kitchen Cuboard - $1250 on Etsy

A 1989-90 replica of the Frankfurt Kitchen at the  MAK

A 1989-90 replica of the Frankfurt Kitchen at the MAK

The Fallout: 

The kitchen went from being a multi-use room where people cooked, congregated, and even slept to a focused work space.  

It was optimal for one person, and cramped for two, so chores because the sole responsibility of the housewife.  Even though the kitchen was designed to help the housewife, it ended up isolating her.   

The Demise:  

Most of the kitchens were replaced in the 1960s and 1970s by "modern" kitchens.  There are very few originals that still exist.   

In 2005 a kitchen sold for 22,680 €, and another for 34,200€.  Even the aluminum drawers fetch a pretty penny.  My brief Etsy/Ebay search demonstrated that I can't afford them.