In traditional Indian homes, a kitchen was the only place one couldn’t enter without bathing. It goes to show how revered the cooking space was for the family and some kitchens even had prayer rooms inside or close-by to ensure that no one wandered around that space in an unclean appearance. Kitchen concepts in India however, have undergone a huge change from cooking on the floor to modern hobs on platforms. And this is true not just in large cosmopolitan cities, but also in smaller towns and villages. Shami Goregaoker, Design Director, GA Design elaborates four new aspects which can be added to the design of modern kitchen in order to make them more functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.
A kitchen is no longer a gender-specific area where the lady of the house is struggling in the heat to prepare a delicious meal for her family. Not a neglected space in the house anymore, in fact, a kitchen is a place of gratification and pride. Today’s modern society allows gender specific guidelines to be blurred and therefore in some homes, the kitchen is where families spend their best moments, from cooking together to enjoying their morning breakfast.
A kitchen is an integral part of the house and therefore also of the house design. Whether it is a kitchen in a large villa or a compact apartment, kitchen design goes a long way in reflecting the user’s style of living. Every user wants their kitchen to be a comfortable space where they can spend their productive time effortlessly. They want their kitchen to look neat, clean and stylish. It should accommodate everything from expensive crockery and a washing machine to massive space for dead storage of the entire house! And this can be made possible with wise planning and careful designing. A kitchen design comprises of a few important aspects:
A kitchen layout is the most important aspect of the kitchen. The layout should allow for easy movement within the different zones and should be prepared bearing in mind the existing plumbing and electrical connections. In order to arrive at a well-informed layout, the user should assess all her requirements in terms of cooking space, storage, electronic appliances, lighting and ventilation. It might also help to make a list of all the things that you do not want in your kitchen. Do you simply need a kitchen to cook or do you also want it to accommodate a place to have meals with your family? Once you’ve ticked your preferred boxes for the list of requirements, you must get involved in the planning – the placement of various zones for preparation, cooking, cleaning, storage and electrical appliances. For narrow kitchens, parallel counters along the length of the kitchen always work best. For square kitchens, counters on 3 sides are advisable for maximum utility of space.
How you want your kitchen to look is a personal choice. However, ideally, the design style of your kitchen should be in sync with the design of the rest of the apartment. So for a modern styled apartment, the kitchen design should be modern. A bespoke kitchen design with clean lines and a lot of counter-top space lends elegance to the zone. An uncluttered kitchen with cheerful colours and neat cabinetry is always a joy to work in. To achieve the uncluttered look, you need ample storage space and built-in appliances. They are visually integrated to give your kitchen a rich look.
Some users however prefer free-standing appliances – these too can have a specific place to be stored away when not in use, thus helping to maintain a tidy and sleek look. Adequate cabinetry in a simple neat finish with trendy colours should provide space for every utility item, thereby reducing counter-top cluttering.
Flooring material is the most important part of kitchen design. It needs to be non-slip, stain free and easy to clean, especially in line with the Indian style of cooking. There is a wide range of tiles from modern to rustic that can be used for kitchen flooring. Remember that the flooring you use should complement the look and design style of your kitchen.
Kitchen counter-tops are generally made of granite, however, quartz has gained immense popularity as a counter-top stone in the last few years. Quartz has similar qualities as that of granite and is available in a wide range of colours. Corian is also a hard material available in many colours and can be used as a counter-top, but it is not scratch-proof.
Kitchen cabinet finishes are available in any colour that you want. They can be made of laminate, glass, acrylic or even natural veneer for the bespoke look. Cabinets can be customized to your size, colour and finish to suit the design of your kitchen.
Kitchen lighting has to be factored in at the planning stage to make provisions for wiring, light fittings, electronic appliances and heating/ventilation. Apart from general illumination in the kitchen, each zone should have specific task lights – the cooking zone, the sink, the storage and the preparation area. Task lights are generally fitted underneath the overhead cabinets so they are mostly concealed. It is important to create a well-planned lighting scheme for your kitchen that sets the mood for cooking and entertaining. Clever lighting can make your kitchen look spectacular and mood-changing.
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