Thought some would enjoy this article by Bernard Salt on how the Aussie home has changed over the centuries. Light hearted but insightful, as always from Mr Salt. No Place Like Home - the Australian "Houses were simple when I was a kid: three bedrooms, a kitchen, a lounge room and a bathroom. Fancy houses had dining rooms. The idea that a house might have two bathrooms never entered my head. The lounge room was the "good room" and fastidiously preserved for entertaining guests, priests and suitors. Suitors never got near a bedroom in the 1960s. The kitchen's layout was simple: combustion stove, sink, refrigerator, table and chairs. The concept of entertaining guests in the kitchen while a meal was being prepared was foreign - probably a hangover from the 19th century, when the kitchen was associated with domestic service. In the early decades of the 20th century the kitchen was associated with the lowly status of women; it was regarded as a place of toil. Outside there was a wash house, which posh people called a "laundry", a wood shed and a lavatory. Sewerage networks arrived in our cities by the middle of the 20th century, and the loo came inside. Then it got all uppity and started to be known as the toilet. Up the back of the block was an instrument of environmental torture known as the incinerator. All manner of rubbish - paper, cardboard, rubber, plastic (not that plastic was common) - might be disposed of there, the only rule being that it could burn. Clean households burnt rubbish; dirty households allowed rubbish to accumulate in compost heaps. I suspect that initially the garage was little more than a converted stable; it was hidden behind the house. But the garage broke free from its backyard mooring and began its great migration: first it settled as a separate structure alongside the house and soon inveigled its way to a position under the roofline of the house. Finally, like two thwarted lovers, garage and house were as one. This was a radical move for it changed the way we lived. Access from the garage delivered householders and guests into the kitchen. As the status and earning power of women evolved, so too did the status of the kitchen. It became a showcase of household wealth, power and social connectivity. The humble tool shed that once commandeered an entire end of the garage quickly moved into the kitchen. The once dark and masculine shed was trimmed, slimmed and reimagined as a utility drawer. No need for a vice, saw, plane or chisel; the modern utility drawer contains little more than flat and Phillips head screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, an adjustable wrench and perhaps a light hammer. No need for male tool-handling expertise because everything in the utility drawer can be deftly managed by today's can-do women. I am not convinced that men have reacted to this emasculation of the tool shed by commandeering any part of the kitchen, but recent moves to introduce mini-bar fridges and outdoor sinks to the barbecue area do appear to be steps in this very direction. The formal lounge room has had an Ikea makeover and has merged with the kitchen to become the family room. In this room, couches offer multiple dozing arrangements and some armchairs are even replete with cupholders. The dining room has disappeared; families now eat - or graze - on the go, on the couch, on the deck or at a breakfast bar. And if they do eat together it'll be on a Friday night down at the local Thai or Vietnamese. The way we live may well change as dramatically in the future as it has in the past. Who knows - we may one day all have beds with built-in cup-holders. The very idea is as uncomfortable to us today as was the idea of, say, entertaining suitors in the bedroom. [email protected]"