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  • Why do people always end up in the kitchen at parties?
  • Why do people always end up in the kitchen at parties?
    Ikea (2015) ©
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How the kitchen became a status symbol

Changes in tech, family roles and tastes have seen kitchens evolve from utilitarian rooms meant for domestic labour to open plan spaces featuring chef-grade equipment and movable workstations. But why are more are more people opting for these high-end, high-priced status kitchens?

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“You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties,” sings Jona Lewie, in her 1978 song of the same name; enough of a truism for IKEA to revive it for its 2010 TV campaign. But why do people congregate in the kitchen at parties?

According to one estimate, people spend around 12% of their lives in the kitchen. [1] It’s the room where we feed our bodies and souls; often the first place we stop when we arrive home and the last when we leave. And for those kitchen-bound partygoers, the room seems to exert some kind ...

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