Taken for granite

Megan McArdle, on kitchen fads and fashion:

My understanding of the luxury cycle is that as soon as everyone can afford a decent replica of high-priced items, the replicated qualities become outré. By that metric, stainless steel and granite have to be on their way out; the only thing more ubiquitous in the American kitchen is the George Foreman grill.

On the other hand, maybe in 1948 I’d have been saying that wall-mounted cabinets were a passing fad.

I dunno. I wasn’t around in 1948, when they built this house I live in, but I suspect that even then, hanging cabinets on the wall just seemed like a sensible space-utilization practice. Of course, the one distinctly non-period feature of the kitchen — a section of wall between kitchen and living room now has a ginormous rectangular cutout, and a breakfast bar (with track lighting!) has been installed therein — probably made no sense to anyone but a previous owner. And, of course, me.

Truth be told, if I were actually looking for another house, I’d ring up Trini and ask her to evaluate kitchens for me. She’s good at that.

Oh, and granite countertops release radon.

Disclosure: I own a George Foreman grill. Also, Firefox 3.6.23 spell check doesn’t bat an eye at “ginormous,” but frowns at “countertops.”


  1. Tatyana »

    5 October 2011 · 9:51 pm

    what Trini CAN”T do?

    I enjoyed the comments thread @Megan. Seriously, a treat. Nice to see people are really interested and do their research.

  2. fillyjonk »

    6 October 2011 · 7:18 am

    I remember that a couple of years back, in some circles, Hoosier cabinets (sort of the precursor of wall-hung cabinets: if you’ve never seen one, imagine a large china cabinet/hutch in the kitchen. And some of them had bins specifically for flour) were making a comeback, or at least, were a hot commodity at things like antiques fairs.

    I dunno; I’m too busy keeping up with my work to worry about keeping up with the Joneses.

  3. Charles Pergiel »

    6 October 2011 · 9:53 pm

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, it won’t be too long before kitchen cabinets also become outre (with the funny little accent mark that means it from some foreign language and therefor tres chic, don cha no). Kitchens are just really weird. It seems like the fancier the kitchen, the less it gets used.

  4. CGHill »

    6 October 2011 · 9:58 pm

    If you can afford $50,000 to rework your kitchen, you can probably afford to eat out more often than I do. (Not that I’m très chic or anything.)

  5. fillyjonk »

    7 October 2011 · 10:15 am

    Yeah, but I thought eating in restaurants was the current bugaboo of What Is Making America Obese, and that rich people were supposed to be thin….

    maybe the truly rich have fancy kitchens but don’t eat. Or exist on slim-fast or some damn thing.

  6. Tatyana »

    7 October 2011 · 3:30 pm

    FJ: they do eat in restaurants and never cook@their fancy kitchens. At best they call in catering service.
    The restaurants are of a kind that post calorie count @each dish on their menus. With portions suggested by nutritionists: it is correct size if you can fit over with your palm.

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