The Indian kitchen has come to evolve so fast and uncontrollably, changing the very way families have come to be organised in the country. The modern Indian kitchen is opening up so many exciting design possibilities. It was once intimately related to a spiritual and ritual dimension, it was where the poojas happened, the Gods were kept, and most importantly, where you stepped in only after a bath. In many cases, this meant that the kitchen was a sacrosanct and secluded place, one where few members of the family went in. The modern kitchen has evolved to become something more open, more multi-purposeful, more egalitarian. Domestic division of labour, social spot, and a refuge from midnight munchies, are some of the things it has come to represent.
We give you a few tips to get that kitchen design right, and ensure that you have a drop-dead gorgeous instantly inviting kitchen space that is the new trending spot in your house.
Keep it Real.
First things first. Think with your head. Hell, I would say this about designing any room, not just the kitchen. I’ve been swayed and bewitched by enough pinterest boards to understand what you must be going through to filter it all out, and make a sensible, realistic plan first. A kitchen can come as a bit of a challenge too, considering how functional it needs to be. But this is exactly where you want to keep your design level headed. How big is your kitchen? How many gadgets can you keep there? Can you afford to have a kitchen island at all? Open storage may look attractive, but is SO much more high maintenance. What does the budget look like?
Don’t Mess With The Triangle!
The sink- The stove- The refrigerator: the holy kitchen triangle, which describes where most of the action happens. Work out a comfortable and easy passage between these three points. Think, narrow aisles, inconvenient door swings and islands that cut you off. Simple enough, but you’ll easily save yourself a few thousand detours around blocked aisles.
While you’re at it, keep an eye on the secondary areas too. Don’t forget to clear an easy path from the sink/ temporary trash bay to the trash can. That route between the stove to the table, too, if you are into keeping the amount of broken serving cutlery at a minimum.
Project by Architechnik
Providing each spot in your kitchen with the light it needs. Besides the general lighting or ambient lighting, preparation spaces, and stoves need additional lighting fixtures. Map out your kitchen into the various functional areas it will have. Consider installing lighting over your kitchen island as well. I would never hold you back, when it comes to cool, ambient lighting, but really, though, make sure you’re not chopping bhindi in the dark.
Project by Ajay Sharma
Your cabinets will take up around 1/3rd of your budget. No way you’re going to compromise on proper, clean storage, no sir. That thing about open shelves that I mentioned earlier? It’s a serious decision, and you should stick with closed shelving, especially if your kitchen doesn’t have enough circulation to keep the grease out (or a tiny crew of elves doing the cleaning every night).
If you have a small kitchen, all the more important not to waste any space. Placing cabinets over the fridge is a great idea to make some extra room. Here, the small stuff matters, those pantry pull-outs, lazy susans, extra hooks for your mugs and ladles, that type of thing.
Circulation is Key
When I think kitchen, I think good smells. You don’t want to smell last night’s paneer tikka lingering about in the air. I’m not just talking about windows here, I’m pointing at all kinds of circulation. A good chimney, super super important for those delicious oily preparations so common to Indian cuisine. Airborne grease particles will pillage your shiny cabinets and pretty walls even before you know it.
Now the kitchen is home to the biggest gathering of gadgets in the house. Gadgets heat up, and their lives can be cut significantly short if they can’t cool down quick enough.
Project by Zero 9
The counter space
This mistake gets repeated so many times that we thought it wouldn’t hurt to point it out just one more time. When it comes to counters, go for functional, and not too decorative. Most gadgets have a permanent spot on the counter, so plan accordingly. Allocate space near switch-boards wisely.
When it comes to counter material, some laminates are rugged, while the more expensive marbles and decorative metallic, and wood countertops are high maintenance.
Project by KNA Design Studio
The Kitchen Island: To do or Not to Do
The kitchen island is the most universally popular renovation to make the rounds. It opens up the space, offers options for storage, seating, and socialising, not to mention, optimization of precious empty space. However, it’s not applicable across any type of kitchen. It’s ideal for L-shaped kitchens and single wall kitchens. If you have a U-shape situation, ensure that there is enough clearance between the two parallel legs before you even think about a kitchen island. A kitchen island that obstructs the holy triangle is the worst it can get.
Project by Renessa Architects
The Kitchen Island: Finding the Right Fit
If you’ve decided that a kitchen island is the right design choice for you, it is time to plan for the right kind of island. Now, an island can be multi-purpose, or narrowed down to, say, a dedicated breakfast bar. If you’re going for a seating setup, remember that each seat should be allotted about 24 inches of side to side clearance on the table, with at least 12 inches of depth. Less than that, and you’re setting yourself up for a crowded, uncomfortable dining experience. Decide what you need your island for- steel countertop if you want to cool hot pans, butcher block if you want it for chopping, and extra study-table space if you need to work in the kitchen.
Now if you really really must have that kitchen island, even though you have a u-shaped pipe of a kitchen, don’t you lose hope, because you could go for a mobile cart- these are super inexpensive compared to a built in island, and you can simply tuck it away when you’re not using it.
Project by Rajiv Shah
If renovating: work on your old mistakes.
If a kitchen island simply got in your way in your current kitchen design, then just do away with it. Don’t hang on to a sleek/ pretty design that, time has proved, was so not functional. Renovate keeping the big picture in mind. Don’t forget to make sure all the elements come together, in your haste to install trendy designs: maybe the newest and sleekest counter-tops won’t really go with the rest of the kitchen, and a rustic take works better- you know what you should do.
Project by Andblack Design Studio
Now DIY sounds pretty sound and quite romantic, but a DIY kitchen might not be the best idea. I have way too many friends who wish they’d invested in a professional kitchen design, because, let’s face it, these guys have way more experience than we do, and you can’t afford to mess up your kitchen.
A professional designer can help you fix on the right budget, and avoid both trivial and gargantuan mistakes that will cost you so much more time and effort in the long run. Now, if your budget doesn’t quite accommodate an expert, you can keep it DIY, but it never hurts to consult an expert, so just hop on over to iDecorama and get a free consultation with a first-class expert. Click here for free customized design advice.
Project by Shwetha Deshmukh Associates
Have fun with it
Don’t go overboard to get that super-sleek and sorted design, only to end up with a sterile space that hardly makes you want to cook or eat there. The kitchen is the heart of the house. Don’t forget to add some personal elements, and some mood-lifting colours.
Project by Zero 9