There is no more attractive room than a well-fitted kitchen, shining with cleanliness; and the kitchen furnishings should have their fair share of the money spent in buying furniture for the house.
A spotless cleanliness is the standard for the kitchen, and all the equipment should be selected with the thought of making cleanliness easily possible. Next in order is forethought in securing the comfort and convenience of the worker.
Fig. 2. - Plan of a small kitchen.
Here the motto should be "Save -steps." How many weary miles do women walk within their kitchen walls because the sink, the stove, the refrigerator and the closets for food and dishes are put in to fit the spaces allowed by the windows and doors, with no thought of the rapid and easy dispatch of work.
Figure 2 shows the plan of a kitchen, of the "buffet" type, suitable for a small home or apartment. As this plan is drawn it would be necessary to use either electric apparatus, or a small gas stove upon one of the tables. A large gas stove could stand in place of the table at (1), or against the wall at (2), pushing the table at (3) nearer the door. The cupboards at (4) and (5) should be raised, leaving table space at both the right and left of the sink. Notice that the ice box is in the entry, and also that there is a cupboard that could be used for food. The china cupboard is conveniently near in the dining-room.
Fig. 3. - Plan of a larger kitchen.
Figure 3 shows a larger kitchen, with a serving room between it and the dining-room. The ice box is in the outer wall and is filled from the outside. The cupboard at (1) could hold the cooking utensils, as it stands conveniently between the sink and the range. A kitchen as large as this should have a small table on rollers for carrying food materials and utensils back and forth. If you have ever visited the kitchen in a dining-car you will realize that compactness is one of the advantages of the small kitchen over the large, although the latter may be better ventilated and cooler.
The walls and floors, and even the ceiling, should be washable. A tiled wall is as easy to wash as a china dish, but the expense is prohibitive in many cases. Table oilcloth for wall and ceiling is very satisfactory; next to this in desirability is paint, and for the last choice a washable paper. This paper will bear scarcely more than a damp cloth for cleansing purposes, however. Avoid cracks and crevices in the woodwork, having all surfaces as plain as possible.
The best floor is one covered with an inlaid linoleum, which gives warmth and comfort to the foot, is easy to clean, and wears for many years (Fig. 4). It should be cemented down at the edges that no dust may collect. The first cost is rather high, but it pays in the end. A hardwood floor of maple or yellow pine is also satisfactory. Tiling is the cleanest of all floorings, but is very fatiguing to the worker.
Enamel-paint makes a smooth finish for the woodwork. In the kitchen of the future, which will be fireproof, steel fittings will probably take the place of all wood.
Have harmonious colors in the kitchen. Decide upon a cheerful color scheme, and carry it out in all the fittings. One most attractive kitchen is furnished in soft brown and buff, with a touch of blue in the linoleum on the floor. Figure 4 shows the interior of a small kitchen, practical for a family of six or eight. The curtain at the window, which gives a c touch of daintiness, is of a washable material. Figure 5 shows a much larger kitchen, with two sinks, and a work-table in the center. See how conveniently the refrigerator is placed for serving, and for returning food from the serving room to the refrigerator. The vegetable sink is near the stove, and the utensils, too, are near by. A rolling table is seen at the left. No plan can be drawn that would be perfect in all situations. If you ever have the opportunity to plan your own kitchen, decide just what you want it to contain, and then plan the places for each article. Sometimes there are too many drawers and shelves, and these not of the right size or position.
FlG. 4. - A kitchen corner.
Fig. 5. - A well equipped kitchen.