Who Invented Fitted Kitchens?

When building or refurbishing a house, the two rooms that need the most work and feature the most complexities are the kitchen and the bathroom, not only because there are much more technical complexities when it comes to wiring and plumbing, but also to ensure that they look consistent and fit the homeowner’s vision.

Choosing contractors who can also provide kitchen fitting services is a good way to get around this, as they do not need to outsource the kitchen fitting to anyone else and can ensure perfect, consistent results.

They can choose the right fitted kitchen for the needs of everyone using it, but where did the concept of an effective, robust, space-saving kitchen come from?

From New York To Frankfurt

The first widely produced and sold fitted kitchen is nearly a century old, but that design was inspired by one made three years before it, which in turn was inspired by several writers and designers who literally shaped the modern kitchen.

Whilst kitchen areas have existed since the discovery of fire, the first person to seriously consider the needs of the people using the kitchen was Catherine Beecher in her 1843 book A Treatise on Domestic Economy.

Mrs Beecher, a pioneering educator who advocated for preschool education, physical education and the power of schooling to shape the development of children in general, was inspired by the steamship’s galley.

It featured a lot of elements that are seen in modern fitted kitchens, including a lot of shelving space, separated preparation areas and various storage stations for different food items.

Its biggest success and influence came when it was re-released in 1869 as part of The American Woman’s Home alongside additional chapters by her sister, author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, where it started to shape the perception of what the kitchen could and should be.

The next major step would come in 1913 with the pioneering work of Christine Frederick and the pioneering book The New Household.

Inspired by the industrial management systems of Fred Taylor, Christine Frederick advocated strongly for kitchens to be efficiently designed for the tasks that need to be done, with specific stations for prepping, cleaning dishes and cooking, nearly sorted and arranged in order of their use.

Her work was particularly influential in Europe and would go on to inspire a new wave of architects and interior designers.

The most important one was Benita Otte, who was a member of the Bauhaus around the time that the influential art and design school worked on their showpiece Haus am Horn.

Inside it is a fitted kitchen, and whilst to modern homeowners and contractors it will look terribly normal, it was, in fact, the very first fitted kitchen ever built.

What turned it from an interesting exercise in efficient design to the future of kitchens was the influence it had on Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky, one of the first-ever prominent female architects in Europe.

She was a firm believer in functionalism, where a building is designed around its purpose, and with that in mind, she worked with Ernst May on the New Frankfurt affordable housing project.

The centrepiece, and by far her biggest contribution to architecture during her 102 years of life was the Frankfurt Kitchen, the first fitted kitchen based around a universal concept that, whilst narrow, maximised efficiency and minimised wasted effort.

Top Tips For Finding A Competent Bathroom Fitter

If you’ve decided to have your bathroom renovated, these are no doubt exciting times. Bathrooms tend to take a lot of punishment, so they can start to look tired and worn out after a few years. However, all that’s about to change thanks to your shiny new refurb!

If you’ve decided on the bathroom you want, all that’s left is to find yourself a fitter and you can have a nice relaxing soak in your new bathroom in next to no time!

But before you jump straight in, you’ll need to find the right person for the job. While there are countless companies out there making big claims about their skills, sadly not all of them are up to the task.

So to help you find the right team for the job, here are some rules to follow when searching for bathroom fitters.

Research, Research, Research

Chances are, you’ve spent hours drawing up your perfect bathroom – the specs, the colour scheme, even the accessories you’ll be using to put the finishing touches on it.

So why spoil it all by failing to pout as much research into the company that’s going to fit it? 

The best way to research a company is to check reviews or testimonials to see what level of service they’ve provided in the past. While customers tend to only leave feedback when they’re angry, if it’s bad review after bad review then there’s a good chance you might experience the same.

So make sure you do your due diligence before you agree to any work being started as failure to do so could be a huge mistake.

Ask For Examples

Another common mistake you should avoid is hiring a bathroom fitter without first asking for some examples of similar projects. While checking feedback for the company is always a good place to start, you’ll want  to know that the fitter is experienced in completing projects like yours.

So ask for some examples of similar work and assess the quality of the work. Don’t be afraid to back out if you feel the workmanship isn’t to the standard you’re looking for.

Check Final Quote

When you come to get a quote for the work, make sure the final price covers everything. That includes the labour and any materials or subcontracting that may be required.

It’s not uncommon for some people to agree on a price, only to realise there are additional costs further down the line. So to avoid this, make sure your quote is all-inclusive before proceeding.

Here at Meyrick Builders & Roofers, we’re fully transparent with our pricing. We also have countless happy customers who are pleased with the work we’ve provided for them, so to get your dream bathroom fitted, speak to us today.