It’s a mistake to imagine that any room, however small and unpleasantly situated, is ‘good enough’ for a kitchen. This is the room where housekeepers pass a great portion of their time, and it should be one of the brightest and most convenient rooms in the house; for upon the results of no other dept depend so greatly the health and comfort of the family as on those involved in this ‘household workshop’.
Each kitchen should have windows on two sides of the room, and the sun should have free entrance through them; the windows should open from the top to allow a total change of air, for light and unpolluted air are among the chief necessities to success in all departments of the household. Good drainage should also be provided, and the ventilation of the kitchen should be even more fastidiously attended to than that of a sleeping room. The ventilation of the kitchen should be so ample as to thoroughly remove all gases and odors, which, together with steam from boiling and other cooking processes, usually occupy and render to some degree unhealthful every other portion of the house.
There should be adequate space for tables, chairs, range, sink, and cupboards, yet the room should not be so giant as to need too many steps. Undeniably lots of the distaste for, and neglect of,’housework,’ so frequently deplored, arises from upsetting environment. If the kitchen be light, ethereal, and clean, and the utensils bright and clean, the work of compounding those articles of food which grace the table and satisfy the appetite will be a pleasing task.
It is fascinating, from a sanitary viewpoint, the kitchen floor be made impervious to moisture; therefore, concrete or tile floors are much better than wooden floors. Cleanliness is the great desideratum, and this is often best attained by having all woodwork in and about the kitchen coated with polish; substances which cause stain and grease spots, do not penetrate the wood when polished, and can be simply removed with a damp material.
The components of beauty should not be short of the kitchen. Pictures and fancy articles are inappropriate; but one or two pots of simply cultivated flowers on the window ledge or arranged on brackets about the window in winter, and a window box prepared as a jardiniere, with vines and blooming plants in summer, will seriously brighten the room, and thus function to lighten the job of those whose daily labor confines them to the precincts of the kitchen.
The furniture for a kitchen shouldn’t be cumbersome, and will be so made and dressed as to be simply cleaned. There should be plenty of cupboards, and each for the sake of order, should be devoted to a special purpose. Cupboards with sliding doors are much superior to closets. They should be placed on casters in order to be easily moved, as they, are therefore not only more acceptable, but admit of more thorough cleanliness.
Cupboards used for the storage of food should be well ventilated; otherwise, they furnish choice conditions for the development of mold and germs. Portable cupboards may be ventilated by means of openings in the top, and doors covered with very fine wire gauze which will admit the air but keep out flies and dust.
For ordinary kitchen uses, tiny tables of acceptable height on easy-rolling casters, and with zinc tops, are the handiest and most easily kept clean. It is quite as well that they be made without drawers, which are too likely to become receptacles for a heterogeneous mass of rubbish. If desirable to have some handy place for keeping articles which are frequently needed for use, an arrangement similar to that represented in the attendant cut may be made at minuscule expense. It could be also an advantage to order little shelves about and above the range, on that might be kept diverse articles required for cooking purposes.
One of the most essential articles of furnishing for a well-appointed kitchen, is a sink; however, a sink must be correctly constructed and well cared for, or it is likely to become a source of serious danger to the condition of the inmates of the household. The sink should if feasible stand proud of the wall, in order to permit free access to all sides of it for the sake of cleanliness. The pipes and fixtures should be selected and placed by a competent plumber.
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