Art and Decoration for Town and Country Homes

Art and Decoration for Town and Country Homes

The Theory of the Kitchen

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON February 15 1926
Art and Decoration for Town and Country Homes

Art and Decoration for Town and Country Homes

The Theory of the Kitchen

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON February 15 1926

Art and Decoration for Town and Country Homes

The Theory of the Kitchen

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON

OF ALL the innovations and new treatments which have come into modern house construction those affecting the kitchen are preeminently outstanding. Our mothers complained of “a little box of a kitchen, not big enough to swing a cat in”—but the present day woman who has gotten her housekeeping down to a science looks for the small kitchen that will save her steps, and for an arrangement within the small kitchen itself which will conserve movement and energy. Plenty of light, an absence of dirt-catching recesses, compact combination of necessary fixtures and lay-away room— there you have the ideal kitchen of today.

Kitchen reform has in a large measure been due to the fact that the mistress of the house herself, has come to regard it as her domain. In the days of servants, the kitchen was not so much a consideration —save that it be roomy, perhaps, and not so close to the dining room as to make preparations or scullery conversation audible.

It is when the lady of the castle enters it, however, that she insists that every convenience of arrangement and equipment be ready at her hand, for she has energies to save and apply at her own pleasure elsewhere.

Compactness the Object

ÍET us begin with the sink. Directly ¿ above—not too high for the easy reach of a hand, and not so low that it might collide with a stooping head—is the place for a cupboard concealing the various appurtenances of dish-washing—the soapshaker, the mop, the metal mit or cleaning wire; the water-softener, the gritty cleanser. And, not to be forgotten, a bottle of Javelle water, which is the greatest labor-saver in the world in the way of cleaning the white sink when it has become stained. A few drops shaken on spots, if left for a moment, may be washed away with the tap-water, and will leave a path of pristine whiteness. Here too, may be folded the clean dish towels.

Directly beside the cupboard is the little wall bracket for drying newlyrinsed ones. Those that fold out in a series of four arms are the most satisfactory.

When not in use they may be pushed flat against the wall.

Beside the sink is one of the places where the strength-conserving housekeeper uses her high stool to good advantage, and she may have it there not only at dish-washing time, but when the vegetables are being prepared. Near the running water is the ideal place to peel or clean vegetables, for the reason that they may not only be cleansed in the running water, but their skins can be disposed of in the sink basket without any further gesture. Directly beneath the sink, should stand the white sanitary disposal pail— the sort that is frequently seen in doctors’ offices. A small lever pressed with the foot opens the hinged top, and closes it when released. There is no need for stooping down when this type of garbage can is used.

The left is the convenient side for the drain board. This is always preferably of the same preparation as the sink, a washable, uncrackable white enamel. In most of the modern houses this preparation is the rule.

However, the wooden drain board, although by no means so desirable, can be kept in good shape and free from dirtclogged cracks by varnishing or lacquering (with colorless lacquer) occasionally. At the right, a work board, extending from the sink and the same height as the drain board on the other side, under which cupboards for pots and pans are provided,is an excellent arrangement. If the everyday china cupboard can now be placed within reaching distance at the left, a great many steps will have been conserved.

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The Popular Cabinet

THE heart’s ambition of every woman who loves a kitchen, I think, is a “kitchen cabinet.” They are a real inspiration to the enthusiastic cook, who seems to find much of encouragement in gleaming new fixtures, all her materials at her hand, and the general satisfactory convenience of everything to do with baking, from baking powder, to the bread tins themselves, all in one place! That is the secret of the kitchen cabinet’s gjeat popularity. It combines in a rational radius not only cooking materials but utensils as well. For the woman who does her own work, it is almost indispensable.

Next we come to the stove. Stoves are a study in themselves, because they represent an investment from several angles. One is the consideration of the medium, the other is the consideration of conservation cf time and trouble for the housewife. If you live in a neighborhood where electricity is cheap, then your ideal choice is the electric stove. There is nothing

more satisfactory. All through Ontario, and in Winnipeg, reasonable electricity rates prevail. In certain parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta where the natural gas is cheap, there is no choice about the desirability of the gas stove. The various types of range and their prices, merit careful selection. In the electric stoves, for instance, you can secure an excellent three-burner range with' oven below, for $72.00 up. In order to have the semblance of a warming oven, you may buy separately. to be combined .with this, a back.shelf and shield, ranging in price from $9.50 to $12.00. A’ real warming oven with heater attachment, may be secured supplementary to the $72.00-up-stove for $20.00. The cabinet electric stove ranges from $125.00 up. The most reasonable of this type has four burners, the oven on the side (aboye) and a warming oven either above or below this. Shelves are also provided in the slightly more expensive varieties. In the gas ranges, four-burner, one-oven (below) types, may be had for as little as $36.00 cash or $40.00 on term payments. The type with four burners—baking oven at side and broiler, with a shelf across the back— ranges from $64.80 up. These are all the ordinary types of open-burner range. There is a new make on the market, however, which with as few as two bur-ners heats an entire metal plate over the top of the stove, having much the appearance of a coal range. They are very easy to keep clean, and thoroughly economical, on account of the small amount of gas that they require to heat the entire surface. They come with the ovens below or above, and range from $54.00 up.

While we are on the matter of stoves,

I think it may be a good idea to mention so met hi n g about their care. The practice of “blacking” the stove is a dirty and really an ineffective process and wiping with a damp cloth usually produces rust. The best method for keeping your stove in condition is to clean with sweet oil (or ordinary vegetable salad oil) and a soft cloth. A brush forgetting into corners is a good idea,too. m Of course, electric stoves do away with the business of matches, but you can get away from this in the gas stoves, too, if; you enquire for the types which have the lighting burner. This burner is a great invention.

Kitchen “Furniture”

THE dining alcove is one of the delights of an inviting kitchen. The most charming little sets may be purchased for as Ilctle as $25.00—a table and four chairs. , And the chairs are always available for other use around the kitchen. Many of the new small houses have built-in tables and settles in th^ dining nook, usually beneath a' sunny window, and nothing could be more attractive as well as labor-saving. Especially on cold winter mornings, the kitchen is a cozy place for breakfast. It sometimes takes the dining-room a long while to heat up, but the steaming dishes on the stove and the burners soon warm' up the kitchen.

A stool (noticeably high) and a ladderchair are the most useful and strengthsaving things in a kitchen. It is possibleto secure these two pieces of furniturq in1 one, nowadays, in the stool ladder. (see' illustration). y I

A small table on casters' or on large' wheels which may be purchased at the1’ hardware store, is a great saving of. strength and time in the kitchen. :It will' follow you wherever you go, and you transport anything from groceries'To ; clean dishes upon it.

. Uniformity in a kitchen is always' desirable from more standpoints than one. It is more restful to the person who works there during the day, and more conserving of energy when “cleaning up.” For instance aluminum requires one kind1 of cleaning, enamelware another. It is' less of a tax to have one: method of ’ treating" everything, in cooking and e verything . „else. For instance, if yoü áre going to fit out your kitchen in aluminum,’' you will have-to remember one ór ’ tWoy rules with regará to it. You cannot boil strong -washing sodas in it to clean in, or Use it for. preserving where; strong acids are used.Being a turncoat metal; it unites indiscriminately with acid or strong alkali, having adifferent reaction in' each case. The result is that your pots and pans are simply eaten away if either solutions are used in strong measure upon aluminum. The cleaning process for it is steel wool, good hot water and suds. With any sort of enamelware you do not have to keep these matters in mind, but on the other hand, you cannot get the splendid shine and polish, as well as rubbing away of fire stain, that you can get on aluminum.

Decorations and Frills

HE daintiest little curtains for kitchens can be made out of dotted Swiss, cross-barred muslin or,

dimity, or checked gingham, in all colors. You can gauge your color scheme fairly well in linoleum as well. Green is a very refreshing and restful color for a kitchen, and cream and green in alternating blocks in linoleum is very attractive as well as pleasing. One of the most delightful kitchens I ever entered was that owned by Fannie Hurst, the writer. The linoleum was black and white tile effect, and the curtains were red and white check. Even the oil cloth on her shelves

for “rubbing out” small things, however, and you may consider having this built in if you are ever designing your very own kitchen.

Built-In Features

EVERY kitchen nowadays ought to boast a milk cupboard—that is a little place where the milk may be left from the outside, and taken in from the inside. The bread may also be delivered this way (and

was in red—and you cannot imagine how cheery it was. Of course it was relieved here and there with little bits of soft white material in cupboards and so on, but it was wonderfully original and inviting. In that kitchen there were two or three most interesting pet birds—some with a good deal of red in their plumage, too! They added a note of the greatest happiness and companionship. I should think that a bird in the kitchen might be considered one of its most worth-while adjuncts.

Another nice little touch in a kitchen is a rag rug or two that can be washed weekly and changed. It rests the feet and is warm under-foot in cold weather. Also a rug in places where much standing is done saves the linoleum from wearing out. Linoleum, by the way, should be varnished to prolong its life.

The modern small kitchen cannot very well be a “small” kitchen (which is the desirable kind) if you have to count upon it for laundry, too. All the new houses provide laundries in the cellar, and many apartment houses as well. One little tub under the dish drain is a great convenience

other deliveries as well) and tickets placed in readiness, without the hardship of stepping outdoors. It is an excellent plan to have a garbage can arranged in the wall, too, and it is a feature that is often seen in the newer houses. The ice-box may be so placed that it may be filled from the tradesman’s entrance on the cellar landing by the ice-man, thus doing away with the unpleasant business of his tracking across the kitchen. It may then be opened from the kitchen side itself. A “cold cupboard” is very convenient for winter use when ice is really not necessary. This may be built anywhere about the wall, with a direct open vent to the outof-doors to admit cocl air, opening from within. The built-in broom cupboard is another good feature, but there are some doubts about the ironing board. In the first place, every effort should be made to have all laundering done in the basement—and in the next, the ironing board with a foot on the floor, is not good for ironing anything but flat pieces. A small kitchen board for little incidental ironing is the best piece for your upstairs workroom.