‘The Essential Kitchen’ with Kevin Henry: The Hearth Still Makes a Home

Today, when uncertainty surrounds us and the world outside seems lost to confusion and chaos, we seek, almost by instinct, sanctuary and communal comfort, much like our ancestors once did around an open fire. 

Reaching into our collective past, to a time when all family, community and social activates took place deep within the heart of the castle, we find the “Hearth”, a place where life, feasting, entertainment and communal gatherings centered.

Today’s hearth, the modern kitchen has evolved far from its original function of food preparation to that of “the social hub of the home”.  In the modern kitchen, the family, both nuclear as well as tribal, still gathers to share, rejuvenate and commune together, but the walls have come down and this once hidden and secluded place is now part of a larger social arena.  As the hearth of yore, the modern kitchen serves as a meeting place, a dinning room, a home-office, a place to do homework; it can also serve as a sanctuary for quite reflection, or a place to gather for fun and entertainment. 

Once the center of all communal life, the modern hearth has taken on a new domestic role, now finding it self reflecting a family lifestyle based on the sharing of traditional roles and functions.  With a more democratic lifestyle the modern hearth embraces the kitchen as a multifunctional arena, were food is prepared, people talk, homework is finished and where family and friends sit by a modern hearth to bathe in the warmth of community. 

So throw another log on the fire, pull the children closer and tell a tale or two of days gone by, and let the winds of uncertainty blow outside and feel secure in the natural  warmth of the hearth of your modern castle.

(A writer, speaker, designer as well as a green activist, Kevin M Henry is the Executive VP of Bazzèo Kitchen + Home Interiors.  Henry can be reached at kevin@bazzeo.com or follow his blog at www.theessentialkitchen.blogspot.com)