British kitchens see 3 billion arguments a year and 138 million secrets revealed

British kitchens are home to more than three billion arguments a year, 165 million children’s tantrums – and will see 138 million secrets revealed.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed that 524 million decisions will be made in the room each year across the UK – including 83 million ‘life-changing’ choices, along with a number of marriage proposals.

The kitchen, which 57 per cent agreed was the heart of the home, will also witness almost 28 million dishes burned beyond recognition each year, setting off the smoke alarm 166 million times.

And over the course of the lockdowns, kitchens have become even busier, being turned into a hair salon (31 per cent), classroom (11 per cent), home office (15 per cent) and a backdrop for video calls (22 per cent).

Almost four in 10 adults have had a big heart-to-heart in the room while almost one in 20 have even got engaged.

The study also found the average adult will spend just over two hours a day in their kitchen – the equivalent of 32 full days-a-year.

As a result, 51 per cent said it is important that their kitchen reflects their personality and lifestyle.

TV favourite and perfectionist Prue Leith CBE, who is the ambassador for Omega Kitchens, which commissioned the research, said: “On the surface it is easy to think the kitchen’s only function is related to all things food, but we know that for many it is so much more than that.

“In a lot of households, it really is the heart of the home, and somewhere we spend a huge amount of our time, especially over recent months.

“As a result, it has to deal with the comings and goings of daily life, be functional for preparing food, fit into the design and colour scheme of the home and many also feel it should fit in with their individual personality and lifestyle.

“It’s also the site of some pretty important life changing decisions, from deciding to have a baby through to moving house or buying a new car.

“We think that makes it the most important room in any home.”

The study found the typical kitchen will be home to 112 arguments a year, with the majority of those about the washing up or loading the dishwasher.

On top of this, it will also be the location for six children’s tantrums, five revelations laid bare and 19 decisions annually.

A further three big life decisions will be made, including deciding to move to a new house (35 per cent), quitting a job (26 per cent) and having a child (20 per cent).

And more than 24 roast dinners will be cooked each year, although one dish will be completely ruined.

Three in 10 have had a romantic moment in the kitchen, with almost one in twenty (four per cent) using it as a first date location while six per cent have had a first kiss in the room.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed 57 per cent have spent more time than ever in their kitchen recently, with 60 per cent now more likely to redecorate or change it as a result.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly since only 11 per cent said they currently have their ‘forever kitchen’.

The size of the room (34 per cent) is the top thing people would like to update, followed by the storage space (33 per cent), style of the cabinets (29 per cent), worktops (27 per cent) and colour scheme (26 per cent).

And of the typical British kitchen, 62 per cent have either white or grey kitchen walls – with just 1 per cent opting for a more daring purple wall colour.

Colour-loving Prue, who has had Omega Kitchens for 25 years, added: “I am well-known for my love of colour and using colour in your kitchen can make sure it also reflects your personality and looks exactly how you want as well.

“And, whilst we know the majority have more simple colour walls in the home, the kitchen cabinets are a great way to introduce a splash of colour into the room.

“Kitchens don’t have to just be one colour, there are so many options, and at Omega people can choose from 22 door colours, 12 cabinet colours and 19 door styles, giving more than 400 options in total.”

Each year, the typical kitchen will see:
112 arguments

Five secrets revealed

Six children’s tantrums

19 decisions

Three life-changing decisions

24 roast dinners

One dish burned beyond repair

Two pieces of children’s artwork put on the fridge

The smoke alarm set off six times

Three smashed cups, plates or glasses

*All national figures are based on 27,600,000 households in the UK

Top 10 life decisions to make in the kitchen

  1. To buy a new car
  2. To move house
  3. To buy a pet
  4. To quit a job
  5. To add a home extension
  6. To move in together
  7. To have a child
  8. To get a new tattoo
  9. To get married
  10. To retire