A ramble through domestic history in the 20th Century
The typical house of this era was built with a very small kitchen, which might also have been referred to as the scullery. A separate walk-in pantry would be ideally provided for food storage, preferably on a North-facing wall of the house, which could mean it’s not actually within the kitchen area. The kitchen was primarily viewed as a functional space, without decorative touches. Practical tiles would be typical for the floor – a quarry type tile rather than decorative ceramic or encaustic. Often they weren’t even plastered and the brick walls whitewashed or painted in thick gloss paint – quite possibly the type of deep green paint you would expect to see on exterior woodwork. The key was to keep the room functional and hygenic – a brick wall could be scrubbed down without causing damage. Wall tiles were out there, but a more expensive option.
Easiwork advert showing typical kitchen multipurpose cupboard. This is the first step on the road that leads us towards fitted kitchens. This model is a massively deluxe version – you wouldn’t find anything this fancy in the average suburban home.
Showing the level of unfittedness still usual in the 1920s. Very fancy cooker, far larger than would be found in a small semi-kitchen. But a plain sink with tiny drainer and pine table are entirely typical.
Compare this with the Easiwork advert from the decade before. The kitchen cabinet has grown and developed into pretty much a modern fitted kitchen. Again, we are talking top of the range and unlikely to be found in typical suburban homes. And the size of kitchen illustrated is not the size most people had.
As taken from advertising literature for new-build houses in Hassocks. A more realistic portrayal of the size of kitchen and the kind of equipment a normal homeowner could aspire to. Even this is idealistic and showing what comes with your newly built estate house, rather than what a Victorian type semi may have. At this point a lot of people in these type of older houses would still be unconnected to gas or electricity.
Called a “Bungalow Kitchenette” this again is an idealised dream of a kitchen. A large kitchen/diner of this type would be rare in typical semis and terraces,