The Evolution of the Kitchen – 1970’s ‘til Now

Someone on Twitter tweeted (and retweeted) the following link originated by Women’s Day magazine that is a series of collages about the evolution of the American household (I’m assuming from WD’s archives) from the 50’s until now: http://www.womansday.com/wd2/Content/Family-Lifestyle/Evolution-of-the-Household.  They are filled with erroneous and unverifiable factoids and photos that is entertaining none the less.  I figured- Hell, I could do that too.  Only mine would be focused on kitchens (‘cause that’s my thing) during the period in history that I’ve actually been old enough to have my own kitchen:  1973 thru 2009.  Included are elements that influenced and reflected the trends of the day such as celebrities, TV shows and popular cars and gadgets.

Yikes!  Sorta gives away how old I am –that I have actually been old enough to have my own kitchen for four decades!  Suffice to know that I wasn’t also old enough to vote until 1977.  So do the math and you’ll know exactly how old I am (as if it really matters).  This blog post is about kitchens… not about my advancing experience with them.Surprised 

I didn’t become an actual kitchen design pro until the current decade but have loved residential architecture, decor and design since I was a child –pouring over ‘house magazines’ with my mom.  Dad remodeled the kitchen in every house they ever owned –including his present kitchen that is in the house that my grandfather built when I was 3.  I always wanted to be a designer.  When I was in high school I was obsessed with becoming a fashion designer and later as a young mom became interested in interior design.  After getting a design degree –I found myself thrown into commercial design and ultimately began my design career designing office cubicles… BORING!  This ended when a unique opportunity presented itself for me to shift the emphasis of my career from corporate office design in the Dallas area to designing residential kitchens and baths on the California Central Coast (which also just happens to be where I was born and is closer to my family).

In the 60’s when I was growing up in Southern California, my mom and siblings and I used to make poster collages from magazines.  We’d cut out photos and clip phrases from magazines and glue them onto poster boards.  Coming up with funny pictures and witty quips was cheap entertainment that kept us occupied for hours.  It was a lot like making up our own episodes of our favorite TV comedy Laugh In.  I find it interesting that creating these “computer generated” collages took just as long as doing it with scissors, paper and glue  –but it’s not near as messy.  It’s also not quite the same doing them by myself but I still had a lot of fun reminiscing about things I’d forgotten long ago.  So I’m hoping you’ll enjoy them too.

70's Collage

80's Collage

 90's collage

2000's collage

Thank you to House Beautiful for making your archives available on line.  I hope you don’t mind that I featured so many of your kitchens.  You’ve been there right along with me all these years.  It’s been a hell of a ride!

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