It is a mistake to suppose 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 department depend so greatly the health and comfort of the family as upon those involved in this ‘household workshop’.
Every 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 complete change of air, for light and fresh air are among the chief essentials to success in all departments of the household. Good drainage should also be provided, and the ventilation of the kitchen ought to be even more carefully 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, generally invade and render to some degree unhealthful every other portion of the house.
There should be ample space for tables, chairs, range, sink, and cupboards, yet the room should not be so large as to necessitate too many steps. Undoubtedly much of the distaste for, and neglect of, “housework,” so often deplored, arises from unpleasant surroundings. If the kitchen be light, airy, and tidy, 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 pleasant task.
It is desirable, from a sanitary standpoint, that the kitchen floor be made impervious to moisture; hence, concrete or tile floors are better than wooden floors. Cleanliness is the great desideratum, and this can be 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 easily removed with a damp cloth.
The elements of beauty should not be lacking in the kitchen. Pictures and fancy articles are inappropriate; but a few pots of easily cultivated flowers on the window ledge or arranged upon brackets about the window in winter, and a window box arranged as a jardiniere, with vines and blooming plants in summer, will greatly brighten the room, and thus serve to lighten the task of those whose daily labor confines them to the precincts of the kitchen.