KBB - February 2009 - (Page 44)

Opinion Family by Design Putting more than food on the table No matter what we do for a living or how much money we make, we hear in speeches all the time that everybody’s number one goal is to “put food on the table”—first for our children, next for our spouses and partners, then for our elders and, finally, for ourselves. Many social rules and rituals surround the simple idea of putting food on the table. For example, the West Point Gentleman’s Code states that “Gentlemen stand when a lady comes to be seated and begin dining only after she takes the first bite.” Others have been established by some pretty big traditions! At our house, my wife insists on everyone wearing a shirt. I insist on hats being removed. Elbows off the table, napkins in laps and no rocking back in the chairs are a few more I can think of right off the bat. through somebody else, and will be exclusive—both, in my view, are very rude. This may be almost tolerable for a quick one-time meal (like category-five holidays), but not at all for everyday dining and communicating. Speaking of which, “Don’t talk with your mouth full!” SERVING STYLES How we serve food differs from family to family. Some households bring serving dishes to the table with ladles, while some (like the Army) dish it up in the kitchen and you take it to the table. Settings are done formally or not, with some in-between. And then there’s the accompanying soundtrack: “Junior, it’s your turn to set the table.” “Ma, do I have ta?” “Yes! Forks Rituals are what form us and inspire our traditions, values and memories—they give us ourselves. MENU OPTIONS Of course, there’s also the food itself, whose variety and consumption inspire much conversation, also a kind of daily ritual. Just as our meals may include savory food, appetizers, snacks, sweets, salty, crunchy, crispy, main courses, desserts and fruits—wow!—our tables would be incomplete without the sounds of: “Hey, mom, what’s for dinner?”, “Don’t forget: you must eat your vegetables and meat or no dessert,” “Clean your plate,” and “What’s for lunch, June?” Also commonly heard: Oh, not that again! I hate this. I love this. What is this? Never mind what it is, just eat it! What would you like to drink? And can you nuke this for just 30 seconds more, please? on the left, knives on the right, spoons to the right of the knives, napkin under the fork!” “Why?” “Because that’s how civilized people eat!” “Why do we have to be civilized?” “Just do it or you’ll find out what uncivilized feels like!” Thank goodness “Grace” comes along to prevent an assault. FAMILY FIRST So what does all of this mean for us kitchen designers? I believe that if your kitchen works easily to keep your family together and connected at mealtime, you have half a chance of having a healthy family life. Make a mess of the architecture, and the family profile will be much different. One-time deals are one thing, but the daily and yearly rituals are what form us and inspire our traditions, values and memories—they give us ourselves. Someone once said, “We create the architecture, and then the architecture re-creates us.” As kitchen designers, we should be putting food on our own tables by helping others store, prepare, deliver and dine in an environment that builds family. Let’s be careful what we create. The whole of civilization depends on it! Start your design with the “family-building, communication-friendly, easy-to-service” table. They’ll be putting food on and themselves at that table for a long time. Nothing is more important than the table arrangement. It just may be the unsung sacred place of family life together. I —Mark Brady is a Connecticut-based kitchen and interior designer. He would like to hear some of your traditions and “rules” of the table. Email him at markbradykitchens@yahoo.com. TABLE TOPS The way we eat has also changed, taking on as many forms as our tables. Formal dining, informal dining, fast food, meals on the go or ready to eat—which will it be? Sometimes the tail wags the dog, and the table shape, size and location determine the dining mode. There are round tables (see King Arthur’s Court), square tables, rectangular ones, breakfast bars, dinettes, picnic tables and breakfast nooks (both for contortionists), and even the console of the car! My preference is a round table— nobody has a better seat, and easy eye contact with your dining mates is pretty much guaranteed. Straight-sided rectangles that are long or bars that are straight ensure that conversations with anyone other than the person right across from you will be over, around and 44 + K BB February July 2004 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - February 2009

KBB - February 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Options
Design
Green
Tech
Practice
Education
Opinion
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - February 2009

https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202211
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202209
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202207
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202205
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202203
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202201
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202201_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202102_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20100102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20091112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20090607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200808
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com