The Essential Kitchen with Kevin M. Henry


Up until recently, the kitchen was designed as a functional laboratory for a single participant, the woman of the house, the little lady, mom.  It was laid out with assembly line efficiency with a window centered on the sink so she could watch the little ones in the back yard.

The evolution of the Modern Kitchen has grown far from its primary function of food preparation, to that of “the social center of the home”.  A place where the family, both nuclear as well as tribal, still gather to share, rejuvenate and commune together.

Today the Modern Kitchen is still the gathering place of the tribe, but the walls have come down and this once hidden and secluded space is now part of a larger social arena.  It serves as living room, dinning room, home-office, entertainment and media center.

The Modern Kitchen has become a place that defines the home and the individual that lives in it.  This once private domain of the feminine world has now given way to the new social order and reflects the world that we live in.   More democratic than “Moms” kitchen, everyone is welcomed in the Modern Kitchen.  Friends, family and guests are invited, if not encouraged to participate in the ritual of preparation.  

Simple and clean, open and inviting, the exclusion of all things extraneous are the words that describe the Male Centric Kitchen.  A kitchen without boundaries or barriers, a kitchen free from conventional thought and restrictions, a kitchen created to reflect the individual.

The Modern Kitchen is open to the rest of the home, and as such, the kitchen now must function on several levels, from food preparation to social interaction, from entertainment center to living-room.  More furniture, than cupboards, the Modern Kitchen blends seamlessly
into the living areas of the home, successfully achieving the delicate balance between form and function. 

The Modern Kitchen, in its new domestic role, finds itself reflecting a family style based on the sharing of traditional roles and function.  The living area embraces the kitchen as a multifunctional arena, were food is prepared, people talk, the last email is finished and guests are entertained. 

The core of the Modern kitchen is about entertaining, aesthetics outweighs functionality.  Where room for friends and guests are a prerequisite…”a space where the day begins and the party always ends”.

Kevin Henry is a writer, speaker and industry leader as well as the Executive VP of NYLOFT. He can be reached at