Sad reason this room is vanishing
AUSTRALIAN kitchens are fast becoming an endangered species - and Uber Eats could be to blame.
According to Adam Haddow, director of Sydney architecture firm SJB, kitchens have always been a central point of Aussie houses, but these days, they're shrinking - fast.
He said while they were still an important feature, we now tended to use them as a social area rather than a purely practical space as we turn our backs on home cooking.
And because we're cooking less, we need far less space than previous generations did - which is why new homes and apartments have smaller kitchens than what was once the norm.
Mr Haddow, who was interviewed for the newly released 2019 McGrath Report on Australian property trends, said we were now embracing "compact living" for a variety of reasons, including cost.
He told news.com.au traditional kitchens was one area that was being sacrificed as a result.
"Kitchens are still important - they are just not so much about cooking," he said.
"People are eating out more, they are dialling in more and the actual action of cooking is reducing dramatically.
"We still need an oven, a microwave and a fridge, but we're using them less so the space can be smaller, tighter and more concise."
Aussies are increasingly addicted to food delivery apps such as Deliveroo, Menulog and Uber Eats, spending a whopping $2.6 billion on them each year, according to research from finder.com.au.
And the average household also eats out up to three times a week, spending $94 each week on cafe and restaurant meals, the McGrath report claimed.
Mr Haddow said those trends had helped spark the evolution of our kitchens, which are now more likely to be laid out along one wall only, freeing up more space, and with more lightweight islands that are movable to give homeowners greater flexibility.
He said another part of the home that was on the extinction list was the humble home office.
"You used to need a desk and possibly an office; now you need a kitchen bench the right height for your laptop, or a sunny courtyard with connectivity," he said in the report.
He told news.com.au it was all bout flexibility these days, with Aussies wanting to take their laptop from the couch to the dining table and even outdoors based on the weather, time of the day and task being completed, instead of being stuck in a specific office.
And another staple becoming far less common is garages and parking spaces, especially in new, inner-Sydney apartment buildings where residents are far less likely to own their own vehicles, instead relying on public transport and car share companies such as GoGet.
"In the City of Sydney more than 50 per cent (of apartment dwellers) don't have cars anymore and that's helping reduce costs by not having to build basements and infrastructure in the ground, which from a developer's point of view is super expensive," he said.
"The car is going to be the same as landline telephones. Cars and transport will still exist; there's just going to be different ways of going places."
And another big change coming to our homes, particularly city apartments, was gardens replacing courtyards and balconies.
"There is a massive shift towards gardens because there's a desire from people to be better connected to the outdoors," he said.
"We're starting to see more diversity now - there's not just houses with gardens, and apartments with balconies. There are other types of living and there are now a whole lot more diverse product types."
He said higher-end apartments were now focused on communal rooftop gardens and small private garden areas, allowing apartment dwellers to have a bit of lawn, trees and pets, and that in time, that trend would likely trickle down to cheaper residences.