I was on my travels recently – in the States, visiting relatives.  They live in a swanky new house – built in old colonial style but their kitchen however was something else entirely.  Lots of gleaming granite counter tops, island unit with glass and stainless steel fitted ovens.  They also had a remarkable gas range – the hostess had insisted on that model quite specifically as being the very best for domestic purposes.  Strangely though it has never really been used in anger – just two of the six rings are ever used – for boiling brocolli and cauliflower.  The rest of their meals are cooked on the outdoor range and in the microwave ovens.   In a couple of quiet moments I caught the endless stream of house rebuild shows – everybody seemed to want exactly the same thing – no scope for design tweaks or individualism at all.  Maybe it was the commercial take on programmes – all sponsored by the big suppliers of kitchens and homewares – almost dictating to the public what they  want in their new open concept home!