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Ergonomic Kitchen: A Blessing In Disguise

Ergonomic Kitchen: A Blessing In Disguise

ergonomic kitchen

An ergonomic kitchen begins from planning, like any other aspect of what we call “Home”. It is convenient to have commonly-used items within arm’s reach. It also makes cooking more fun and life happier. Having all the things you’ll need for that banger dish is a blessing every cook secretly appreciates. But how did modern kitchens come to be? How did the kitchens in our home become what they are today? Curious? Read On!

1. As you probably suspected, the domestic kitchen is a relatively new discipline. Catherine Beecher’s “A Treatise on Domestic Economy” (1843) is regarded as the work which first mentioned the ideas of optimising work in the kitchen.

ergonomic kitchen

2. If her name sounds familiar, then you’ll be pleased to know that she’s the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the American Lady who wrote the critically acclaimed Uncle Tom’s Cabin.


3. In her book, Catherine Beecher propagated the idea of a “model kitchen”, which had a systematic design based on early ergonomics.

model kitchen

4. The “model kitchen” included regular shelves on the walls, a dedicated and ample working space, and several shelves. This is one of those things which we take for granted.

walls shelves

5. Beecher’s ideas opened a whole new field of study. In 1913, Christine Frederick published several articles on “New Household Management”, which focused on efficiency.

ergonomic kitchen

6. Frederick’s ideas spread like wildfire among household designers from Germany and Austria, such as Bruno Taut and Erna Meyer. They are the people who designed the world’s first fitted kitchen, which was completed in 1923.

black shades kitchen design

7. Frederick’s ideas were also adopted by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, the woman who designed the Frankfurt Kitchen, a milestone in domestic architecture, the design of which shaped kitchens as we know them today.

White design cookhouse

8. Subsequent refinements to the ideas allowed the kitchens to become smaller in size. This turned it into an ergonomic kitchen. With the integration of eating areas in kitchens, sophisticated dining rooms became redundant. This led to the development of compact housing systems, or apartments as we call them today.

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9. With further refinements, kitchens also became more affordable than ever. Earlier, people required specialised craftsmen, but now kitchens were available as DIY renovation for those on a budget.

ergonomic kitchen

All in all, Beecher and Frederick’s ideas gave birth to the modern or ergonomic kitchen. Had it not been for them, an ergonomic kitchen would have never been invented! As a result, the idea of apartments would still remain a distant dream. Today, 90% of the urban population lives in them. One can only imagine how life would’ve been without them.

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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