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The kitchen is often considered the nucleus of a house. Over time, this region of the house has undergone a revolutionary change, with modern home owners increasingly opting for hi-tech sleek appliances, fancy lights and the latest fittings.
Earlier, builders focused more on the living and dining room, while bedrooms and kitchens received minimal space and attention. Contemporary home seekers, however, have a different outlook.
“Modern constructions focus on the kitchen, as an equally important part of the house. Now, one gets large kitchens with open spaces and sweeping breakfast counters that break the ‘wall’ between the dining space and the kitchen,” points out Lekha Gupta, senior architect at L.A.B. (Language Architecture Body).
Modern kitchens may also have a small pantry or utility room, as well as a balcony, where one can grow a small garden or use the space to have one’s morning coffee, she adds.
Tanu Narang, co-owner of the Little Door, Mumbai, loves the concept of open kitchens. “We broke down the kitchen wall and made the kitchen an integral part of our house. It allows me to multitask – I can prepare dinner, watch TV, spend time with my family and friends, all without stepping out of the kitchen,” says Narang.
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Kitchens have also become a place for family members to experiment with their meals.
“There is an emerging trend of men taking up cooking as a hobby. Even children are more exposed to global cuisine. International cookery shows and increased exposure to technology, are the major reasons for this shift,” adds Narang.
In terms of décor, the trend now, is to keep the kitchen clutter-free and organised. Consequently, new-age modular kitchens are functional and easy to install, clean and maintain. They offer convenient storage options, with aesthetically-tucked-away shelves and pull-out drawers.
Imported materials, hydraulic hinges, larder systems and fittings are now available, which help to maximise storage, says Gupta. “Kitchen gadgets have also become more elegant, with built-in ovens, glass-topped hobs, double-door fridges and dishwashers. Companies are now designing these appliances, to blend with the kitchen décor,” adds Gupta.
Dos and don’ts
Wood, marine ply, stone, tiles and steel, are some of the common materials used to design kitchens. Colourful handmade tiles and glass tiles, can also be used for a vibrant look. You can add eye-catching coffee mugs, interesting tea pots, framed posters, wall art, sleek accessories and potted herbs, to spruce up the area.
“Avoid materials like Corian, travertine stone, terrazzo and soft marbles, in the main kitchen areas as these stain easily. Preferably, opt for a large sink with a drainage board and an ‘InSinkErator’ garbage disposal system,” suggests Gupta. Place the stove near the window, if possible, to prevent the oil and grime from sticking to other surfaces and appliances. You can also choose from a vast range of smart gadgets that easily integrate into the kitchen décor. The design of the kitchen should be elegant and yet, functional.
Tips for designing your kitchen
- Try to keep at least one wall without overhead storage. It will lighten the kitchen and one can add some open shelves for cook books and art work.
- Avoid heavy shutters and bevelled wooden shutters, unless it is a large kitchen, as they make the room appear small.
- Similarly, avoid dark colours, unless you have really large windows, which let ample sunlight into your kitchen. Use pleasant colours for the wall, the fixtures and the fittings.
- Organise items according to task, to make things easier to find.
- You can install plug points under the counters and provide openings in the counter for the wires to pass.