June 16, 2019

SuperSize Me – Kitchen appliances to do a hummer proud

I was visiting a friend a few weeks ago who has recently finished a home remodel in West Los Angeles. He and his wife turned their 1500 square foot bungalow into a 4000 square foot family home. I stood in their kitchen looking at their double wide refrigerator (literally, double wide.) It’s two fridges side by side with the doors mounted to open to the outside creating about 72 inches of cold storage. The hummer of refrigerators.

Super size refrigerator — by Hummer?

Makes you wonder, how did anybody ever raise a family in the 1500 square foot house that was there before? Arrol Gelner of Inman News touches on the same question in this article from Upstate House a couple months ago:

Needless to say, bigness has hit housing in, well, a big way. Not only are American homes now nearly twice the size of their postwar counterparts, but they have more of everything: more bedrooms, more bathrooms, bigger windows, taller ceilings, more garage doors.

The things inside our homes are getting bigger too, as a trip to an appliance store will quickly confirm. Like those colossal baby carriages, appliances are being pumped up to SUV-like proportions.

Many washing machines and dryers, for example, are now raised up on huge pedestals for “convenience,” not to mention being slathered with enough fake chrome to shame a Lincoln Navigator owner.

I’m guilty too. We tore out 24 inch wall ovens and rebuilt our vintage kitchen around 30 inch double ovens, dropped in a huge fridge and a six burner range. We drive the biggest suburban on the market, and live in twice the house I grew up in. Personally, I just like elbow room and efficiency, and have a big family. But what about couples with 4000 square foot mini mansions crammed into lots of little look alike lots? Does the space inside make life seem more substantial? What’s the nexus between, big and shiny and important and successful?

What do you think?