Posted in Happenings In LA, Historical Influence, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Tours, Style Notes

Kitchen Sociology and Home Tours

Yesterday I took my Mom out to the Pasadena Highlands Home Tour in Pasadena, CA.
Home Tours are a lot of fun, a chance for homeowners to show off their flair for home keeping and their remodeling savvy and a chance for the general public at large to take a peek at how others keep a home, what taste they have and of course taking note of ideas they can use for their own homes.

We had a great time touring through other people’s homes and laughing with a little guilt that that we have a lot of organizing to do before we would dare let anyone tour our own homes. We fell in love with the color schemes, the architecture, the gorgeous tree lined streets. And finally, we gained a new appreciation for our circa 1980’s tract homes. Albeit, our newer homes can never compare to the charm of the historic Pasadena homes, we have to content ourselves with the fact that our cookie cutter tract homes have bigger closets and wider hallways. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side until you get there. So yes, we will have to wait for our trees to grow to full maturity and yes we will have to add the details in to get the good bone structure the builders omitted, we are still house proud for what we do have and love touring others homes for planning what we want to add to our homes.

The homes on tour, in the historic Highlands neighborhood in Pasadena draw from a diverse style of architecture in the neighborhood. What is clearly self evident in the Highlands neighborhood is the dedication each homeowner displays to the craftsmanship of the home. The dedication in restoring the homes to their original beauty and also the care taken to make certain that any addition to the home is in keeping with the original style.

Society has a natural inclination to know about Home Keeping. There have been thousands of books written on the Home, on Kitchen Design, on Entertaining, and on Home Keeping. There are entire television networks devoted to the subject of the Home.

What is it that makes the Home a popular topic? The answer is simple. We are interested in making our houses a home. We naturally want to know how other families keep a home and in particular, the kitchen is always a popular topic. The kitchen, the heart of the home, is where we nourish body, mind and soul. The kitchen is where many pinnacle events take place in our lives. The kitchen is not just about food preparation and meals. We share stories with family at the kitchen table. We celebrate, we mourn, we play cards, we doodle while on the phone, we pay the bills, we help with homework, we wrap gifts, we fold clothes, we make grocery lists and plan major events from our kitchen table. No matter what your lifestyle, we live a majority of our lives in the kitchen.

Many people are looking for solutions on how to keep a better kitchen in the same space where major renovations are not an option. Not everyone has the opportunity to have large scale exhibition style kitchens.

So here it is, a compilation of new sources on real living kitchens from real people just like yourself. Have fun and have a peek into other’s living kitchens. Enjoy! This is Kitchen Sociology at it’s best.

By the way, Electrolux is looking for 90 homeowners throughout Europe to be included in the Electrolux Kitchen Stars photo exhibition, an online gallery and a book. What a fun idea! A chance to have you and your kitchen immortalized forever. Why you may ask? Electrolux is gearing up for celebrating it’s 90th anniversary in 2009.

This is Cristian, at the Electrolux Blog.

Electrolux is spreading the word to our American audience. No doubt we have all caught the cute Kelly Rippa commercials showing off the glamorous side of Electrolux appliances. But that is not all. I love Electrolux’s idea of making you the superstar! “Consumer Insight forms the basis of all product creation and development at Electrolux. We go into peoples home and study how they live and interact with their appliances. In this way we understand how lifestyles, eating habits and design preferences reflect how consumers select and uses our products” says Ulrich Gartner, Vice-President Communications at Electrolux.
Gartner continues, “For many consumers the kitchen is a dynamic area: efficient and functional during the week; welcoming and entertaining at the weekend. The kitchen has also become the hub of the home, a place where we eat, sleep, work, and even make love. To celebrate our history, we want to celebrate our consumers and their kitchens – what better way than to have
them tells us about their kitchen star moments?”

How to become a Kitchen Star? Send a photograph of yourself in your kitchen with a short description of a “kitchen star moment” – perhaps a perfectly cooked meal on a date, or when
you redecorated your kitchen, gave birth on the kitchen floor, proposed to your wife at the breakfast table, or just cooked that very special meal for a very special person. The selected 90 Kitchen Stars will all receive the iconic Electrolux ErgoRapido in addition to being featured in the online gallery, the photo exhibition as well as the book and any other material developed
around the Electrolux anniversary celebrations. To become an Electrolux Kitchen Star or to find out more information about the competition, please go to

Below are more kitchens homeowners have submitted on line at different web sites. I prefer the pictures where people and pets appear in them. They don’t appear so cold. Don’t be afraid to appear in your pictures.

The following pictures and additional information can be found at
Apartment Therapy Home Tours.

The New Kitchen Paradigm: The Open Kitchen: Inspirational open space kitchen in California. For full article go to Apartment Therapy

For more information: visit The Eichler Network

For more information visit Home Galleries at the Garden Web.



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

4 thoughts on “Kitchen Sociology and Home Tours

  1. Thanks for the tip on the Eletrolux contest…I might enter…love to cook in spite of my smallish galley kitchen… Fay


  2. Hi Fay,
    I don’t think you can enter. You know the problem for we Americans is that we are left out of the contest. We have to live in Europe to qualify. Oh well, maybe they will change their mind. Do you have Electrolux in your kitchen? I have never thought an appliance looked sexy until I saw the Electrolux Icon cooktops. Is this weird or what?


  3. Hi Fay,
    You are more than welcome to enter! We will change the rules so all an apply – not only Europeans.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s