More men are cooking—and that’s influencing home design.
By Rieva Lesonsky
When I was growing up, my mom cooked, except on Sunday when my father grilled dinner in the back yard—sometimes even during the New York winters. I remember being shocked one morning when (I can’t remember why) my father made scrambled eggs—I was surprised he knew how.
I don’t cook, but my significant other is quite handy in the kitchen (he has a restaurant management background). Apparently, that is a sign of the times. The Wall Street Journal cites a study by the University of Michigan which looked at men born between 1961 and 1981 and found that those men (married and single) cook an average of eight meals a week—more than their fathers did.
Why the change? The WSJ posits that the rise of the foodie culture is partly responsible, as are dual-income households where “more men share KP duties.” And it quotes Casey Ryan Kelly, an associate professor of communications who studies gender and culture at Indianapolis’s Butler University, who says, “Cooking has been ‘recoded’ as a macho pastime,” citing the influence of TV chefs on Food Network.
Kitchen remodeling is an $18 billion dollar industry—and men are speaking up. The WSJ quotes a designer who says the cost of remodeling a kitchen (indoors or out—another trend related to more men cooking) is at least 30 percent more if a man makes the choices.
What’s this mean for entrepreneurs? Well, if you’re an architect, a contractor, in the design business or sell kitchen goods, you need to adjust your thinking when it comes to the kitchen.
The article in The WSJ cites several kitchen trends influenced by men, including an overall aesthetic that’s more streamlined and masculine and specifically one that includes darker, more masculine colors and larger cabinet pulls.