Kitchen redefined

Last Updated : 06 September 2012, 12:48 IST
Last Updated : 06 September 2012, 12:48 IST

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From being a space relegated to the corner of a home, the kitchen has today become an extension of the living space and seamlessly blends in with the rest of the home. Bindu Gopal Rao explores the variety of kitchen designs on offer.

The kitchen is changing and changing big time. From being a place relegated to a corner and shut off from the rest of a home, the concept has changed immensely. Today, the kitchen has become an extension of the living space and seamlessly blends in with the rest of the home. It is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts with the switch to health eating, serving as a space to entertain and use the latest gadgets!

Making the shift

From just being a cooking-area or a dining-area, the kitchen has today demands  prime attention not only during the design phase of a home but also during its execution and usage by the end-user.

“Modular kitchen furniture has tremendously aided in synergistic design and layout with only one’s imagination limiting one’s options. Detachable, portable, changeable, reusable, scalable are some of the concepts that are tremendously facilitating ease of usage and customisation in modern kitchen furniture,” opines H R Girish, CEO, Vakil Housing Development Corporation.

There are several concepts that help you do up your kitchen depending on your functional and design needs including kitchen-in-kitchen, studio kitchen, barbeque kitchen, kitchen islands, etc. The kitchen island concept has been used by households in the west and the trend is steadily catching on across the globe including India.

Says Ajaz Vakil, GM Sales, Built in Appliances - Siemens Home Appliances India, “The idea of a kitchen island is to make that centre space in your kitchen work to your advantage without cluttering your work area. This invariably helps you stay organised and have an exclusive surface for functions including chopping, mixing, rolling dough, serving plates, or preparing drinks, etc. Kitchen islands are available in the market in different design formats offering varied functional value-additions as per your requirements or needs.

Depending on the island model you opt for, a kitchen island provides a set of drawers, shelves, space for built-in appliances and other handy storage facilities.”


Kitchens have also emerged as intelligent kitchens. Advent of technology into kitchens has ensured that its core functions such as cooking, utensil washing or even listing out inventories can be done remotely. Due to the trend of home entertaining, kitchen trends are more clearly centred on the blend of ‘function and fashion’.

Product categories such as silicone tools merge both function and fashion and Le Creuset silicone tools are a good example where design and innovation lead with wide colour availability.

Says Jason Kirk, Le Creuset, “Innovation is being seen in new technology such as induction hobs for cooking that generate heat via a magnetic field. This is very energy-efficient and incredibly safe as the hob will only generate heat once a suitable induction friendly pot or pan is placed in the surface.”

When it comes to flooring, there is a range of options which are anti-slip ones, and one can use them in kitchens.

An important element of healthy cooking is your cookware. This is because a sub-optimal cookware can spoil the entire experience of a good dish.

The Indian homemaker is trying out different world cuisines. Woks and steamers are flying off the shelves and pasta pots are doing well.

“People have brought the tandoor home, wherein they do not have to go out and eat unhealthy or heavy food every time they want to eat something grilled,” says Ravi Saxena, Managing Director, Wonderchef.

Developing modern concepts that draw on the best the field has to offer, companies other than design firms are increasingly innovating solutions to promote clutter free culinary space.

“Using devices such as rollout shelves, lazy susans, D-trays help maximise the available space. Overhead storage units extending till the roof, use of deeper counters and transparent glass shutters not only increase the storage space but also give the illusion of more space. Usha Shriram Enterprises’ latest offering of air-tight containers Biopkips has been specially designed to provide functionality and optimum stack-ability in the modern kitchen,” says Satnam Sandhu, Senior Vice President, Usha Shriram.

Technology is certainly not far behind. Kitchen waste disposal is another major area which the modern technology is actively aiding. “Considering the huge challenges of garbage disposal, kitchen bottle traps are now being replaced with ‘shredders’ which shred domestic kitchen waste such as vegetable peels which can conveniently flushed out through a drain pipe leading to a kitchen garden,” says Girish.

 “Management of space has also come as a very interesting feature in modern kitchens and is often done keeping in mind an eating area in the form of a breakfast counter, and also a separate chopping counter in the form of a peninsula, if space permits,” explains Himani Chugh, HOD, Interior design Diploma, JD Institute of Fashion technology.

Trend alert

Though a preferred L shaped kitchen is considered the best, a clutter-free work area is one of the key factors that define a luxury kitchen. “The trend in kitchens is shifting on all fronts. It is no more about just cooking but cooking along with family that is being preferred.

Thus, built-in designs; less wood work and more space is the trend. In terms of colours too, there is a change from white to using livelier colours,” says S K Nema, President, HSIL Limited.

Nitin Agarwal, MD- Prayag Polymers explains, “An island-shaped kitchen provides ample space because of being centrally located in kitchen. This type of design serves the purpose of a workstation, additional storage, serving counter and dining space.

Rectangular kitchen works best for medium or large sized kitchen. It has counters on two adjacent walls with a peninsula like projection as the third surface and open area at fourth side. This helps to open up the narrow space, by not completely enclosing the work area.”

Adds Agarwal, “Galley kitchens serve best in cases where there are long and narrow spaces with work surfaces, appliances and storage along a single wall or two opposite walls. The galley kitchen concept enhances small and narrow kitchens beautifully.”

Customising the kitchen is what sets it apart. Says Deepika Jindal, Managing Director from JSL Lifestyle Ltd, “Interesting colours and decals on the exterior to break the monotony of traditional concepts, accessories like chimneys which look more like decorative accessories and inner attachments making storage and removing of cooking stuff easier as well as high-end gadgets like dish washers, microwaves and ovens, which are inbuilt, are in vogue.”

The ‘sheer kitchen’ made mostly of stainless steel and carbon fibre, a state-of-the-art material much lighter and more resistant than stainless steel, used in the field of aeronautics and Formula 1 auto engineering is gaining popularity. “Kitchens, by and large, tend to be designed and built ‘around’ the user – the counter tops, cabinets, sink, appliances, etc are conveniently positioned to form an easy-to-navigate shell or cocoon around the user. On the other hand, the sheer kitchen, from one of Italy’s leading kitchen brands, Gatto Cucine, is designed to be an all-encompassing core that invites you to surround it.

This high-tech bubble fits an entire kitchen into a space only 148 cm in diameter,” says Rohan Jha, Managing Partner, Woodville, Bangalore. Modular kitchens are coming up with designs that are sleek, functional, clean and aesthetic. High-tech appliances integrated into kitchens is the latest trend.

“Today, customers can choose right from design, finish, frames, laminates, appliances, colour, etc and put it together to make their own kitchen. The focus this season is bold, dark shades such as red, purple, electric blue, violet, yellow and beige, teamed up with contrasting shades of wood/laminate for work stations and storage fronts in kitchens,” says Suchita Talwar, Director, Nolte Home Studio. Straight line kitchens are also in. The use of lacquered glass on shutters, in contrast with a wooden laminate finish for wet areas is catching on.

Published 06 September 2012, 12:48 IST

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