60-Something: The Road to Unique Self-Expression of Industrial Kitchen Design

2013-08-13T16:08:00Z 60-Something: The Road to Unique Self-Expression of Industrial Kitchen DesignBy Denise DeClue nwitimes.com
August 13, 2013 4:08 pm  • 

The other day, Jim-The-Landlord announced the need for "a family conference." He wanted my husband and I to sign off on his new plan.

The good news was that he had secured a loving home for the beautiful Electro-Chef. Bad news: the much-admired mint green, fulsome refrigerator was going with it and we were free to acquire replacements.

Kitchen dilemma: How much did I want a stove that really worked? Was I willing to pay for a refrigerator, too? For a few moments I considered how much I really did admire that stove's sleek lines and color, how I did enjoy (as the 1940s advertisement proclaimed) having the most pretentious kitchen around.

But for several years a desire had been burning inside me and the volcano was about to explode. I desperately wanted to simmer sauces on "low", to saute' on medium and I really wanted to. . .to bake a pie.

So, a few days later, I casually dropped by the appliance section at the local Sears and what to my wandering eyes should appear? Jim-the-Landlord, loitering among the ranges and refrigerators. I needn't go into detail, but we struck a deal. I would get a new stove and refrigerator. I would pay less than previously agreed. He would pay more. I managed to get a nicer one than I had 40 years ago and it wasn't Harvest Gold.

I'm was very happy with my new kitchen, though, until I read about the introduction of the GE Artistry™ Series, “appliance's designed to focus on the needs of today's generation of Millennials and their desire to uniquely express themselves.”

Tragically, it is too late for me to get in this game.

Honestly I never truly believed that the best way to express myself was through my kitchen. Although, when other people have amazingly beautiful and efficient kitchens, I suspect they probably are better than me. Momentarily I regret not having "potentiated" kitchen-wise. I know I'm not alone on this. Fabulous kitchens usually make women feel better about themselves.

In it's day, the darling Electro-Chef totally filled the bill. But it's a new day and I think I have a few ideas that would help me express my artistry.

Maybe a new design for a washer-dryer combo that squished down like an accordion and fit under my bed. Or, how about a line of self-cleaning items? A self-cleaning floor would be nice, or a bathtub, or windows! How about self-cleaning windows? While he's at it, I would especially enjoy a self-cleaning refrigerator, which also disappeared all the little jars that are less than half-full and simultaneously left a list of them under a magnet on my refrigerator. Also, ix-nay on all the produce that has becoming gray, black, white, or stinky.

I'd buy a closet-sorter, a drawer-contents-arranger, an underwear-folder. What about a curtain installer? Actually I'd like to have a sleek, gleaming gizmo that allowed me to point to a picture of the curtains I'd like and then to the window where the fabulous, full, and very English drapes would star—and then automatically measure the space, measure the fabric, cut, baste, order the perfect rods and finials, etc. Then I'd click the clicker and Voila! A Masterpiece Theater room, just like that. Oh, look! It self-covered the arm chairs to match! What a gizmo! What an industrial design!

Then there's gardening. I could use an automatic soil-preparer. I could use outside industrial design. I'll help write the late-night TV ads: "Turn Clods of Clay into Fry-able, Vitamin-Enriched Edible Soil—In Seconds! No Need To Wash Produce Ever Again!" How about "Tired of Lugging Around Giant Bags of Dirt? Expandable Potting Soil—A Tiny One-Pound Bag fills a 50-pound Pot!"

Meanwhile, I guess I better move my clothes from the washer to the dryer; head into my kitchen, check the crock pot, rinse out the coffee machine, unload the dishwasher. Then I'll take a handful of mint, stuff it in a cup with water and a tea bag and throw it in the microwave. After 3 minutes I'll ice it with designer cubes from the freezer and pour myself a lovely glass of iced tea from an elegantly—industrially-designed pitcher I got at a yard sale.

Then I'll sit down and sip it, and decide what kind of pie I'm going to bake in my new oven. Amazingly, the New York Times published a special Pie Issue on July 3. Plum Chutney Crumb Pie—now that's worth exploring—not exactly an industrial-designed pie, if you know what I mean…

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