Could Londoners eating habits lead to the demise of the separate kitchen?
Fri 07 Feb 2014
Is the future of the separate London kitchen shrinking to nothing?
We're all stuck for space in the capital - and our kitchens are suffering most. London's new developments and conversions are smaller than ever, according to estate agency Marsh & Parsons, but is it down to Londoner's eating habits?
Recent research from ratings firm Zagat found Londoners eat out more than ever before, up to an average of four times a week in 2013, and only half of a typical Londoner's total weekly lunches and dinners are prepared in their own kitchens.
The average size of today's new-builds is smaller, according to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and kitchens are bearing the brunt. RIBA'S The Case For Space report found that more than a third of residents living in new developments say they dont have enough space for everyday appliances such as toasters or microwaves, and they can't invite guests for dinner as their kitchens aren't big enough to cook in.
Marsh & Parsons measured up new properties on its books and found separate kitchens are increasinly rare - with open-plan kitchen-diners now the norm. A two-bed in a Barnes development has a 70 sq ft kitchen, which is roughly half the size of an average parking space. And a two-bedroom, two-bathroom Albert Embankment apartment in central London has a kitchen measuring just 65 sqft.
Charles Holland, director of residential developments at Marsh & Parsons, says the way today's Londoners socialise is 'marginalising the kitchen as the traditional hub of the home' and he believes developers now prioritise living space over kitchen size.
'Londoners today are increasingly following in the footsteps of New Yorkers,' he says. 'They prefer to eat out than host dinner parties. Kitchen size is no longer as important to many professional buyers.'
A trawl of London's new developments shows most feature gallery-style kitchens, oftern integrated into living and dining spaces. Marsh & Parson's CEO Peter Rollings says separate kitchens are disappearing and he thinks today's house-hunters prefer the practicality of open-plan living.
'The separate London kitchen is no longer a must-have space,' he says. 'It raises the question whether it will disappear altogether.'