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Cultural Diversity in the Kitchen

Across the globe, many cultures have preferred diets and methods of cooking, and as such each culture has a distinct kitchen style suited to their needs. As the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is a melting pot of culture and cooking, and Home Concept want to exemplify that! We take a look at the different ways I which various cultures design and decorate their kitchens and how you can incorporate your culture in your kitchen style.

Cultural Differences in Appliances, Cooking and Space

Examples of varied kitchen style across the globe usually change dramatically from east to west, based largely on diet and aesthetic preferences. For example, in Japan an oven is not necessarily an important appliance in the kitchen, whereas most people in western culture couldn’t picture a kitchen without!
South and Central American cultures cook a large portion of their food on flattop grills in the kitchen, charring everything from flat breads to plantains!

The way space is used is also culturally entrenched based on the values and even communication styles of various cultures. The way one’s kitchen style interacts with the rest of the house, and the outdoors, is aligned with one’s culture!

In the United Arab Emirates, interior design in the kitchen is quite ‘inward facing’, without much outdoor connection, as the culture values protection and privacy of the family.
Western cultures such as in the United States and to a degree, South Africa, are tending towards ‘outward facing’ living spaces and kitchen style, by maximising space and connecting the kitchen and home to the outdoors as much as possible. For example, we love large sliding doors and kitchens that extend onto open verandas. Western cultures combine living, dining and kitchen spaces with open plan design to break down interior barriers.

Representing Your Culture in Your Kitchen Style

The kitchen has long since been a communal area where days and experiences are shared, and as such, including culture in kitchen style is recommended. Why? Reflecting your personality and values in your home embodies everything that you may strive to be and encourages you and your family to stay aligned with your beliefs.

How to Merge Cultural Aspects into Your Kitchen Style

Merging your culture into your décor and kitchen style can be done in various ways from fine tuning your colour palette to adding textures and lighting that represents your beliefs.

As mentioned, the way one utilises space is influenced by cultural values, and this extends into order as well. Depending on whether your culture values openness or privacy will influence whether you incorporate shelves or cabinets in your interior design. Open plan versus sectioned off kitchen style works in much the same way.

The degree of simplicity in your kitchen style mimics culture, as both the Far East and the West often value minimalism of design and appliances, whilst middle Eastern and North African cultures are drawn to vibrance and intricacy. Another thought to consider is your culture’s connection to nature, and how to bring that into your décor.

The accessories you add to your kitchen style can bring the desired mysticism or exoticism of your culture, with simple touches such as decorative cabinet handles and the colours you use on your walls, upholstery and décor items. Use accessories such as rugs, tapestries or wall accents as light, intentional touches to nudge your kitchen style in the direction of your heritage.

Your countertops and cabinetry should be fashioned in the tones and colours that compliment your cultural values and beliefs. You can pick your perfect countertop colours here, and your complementary cabinet colours here at the Home Concept website.

Cultural diversity in the kitchen is both beautiful and achievable. Modifying your kitchen style to suit your heritage is a great way to feel connected to your home and your values, whilst resulting in a beautiful kitchen. You can have a look at Home Concept’s beautiful kitchen style ideas here or contact us to chat about your vision!



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