Look, what's cooking here

Interiors


Once upon a time, the lady of the house, grandly known as the homemaker, stayed at home and cooked for the entire family. The kitchen, a revered place then, used to be located far, far away from the living room, where the homemaker would toil to no end to make every meal special for her loving family. Cut to present, with the number of working couples on the rise, the definition of a homemaker and breadwinner are fast changing. Likewise, the boundary lines between the various rooms of the house are also fast fading.

Now, a kitchen is more than just a place to prepare meals. In fact, for most families, it is the heart of the home and the nerve centre where the entire family gathers to eat, chat and bond. No wonder, most people prefer open plan kitchens now as it facilitates better interaction among family members and guests. Alongside fast changing roles in the family, the definition of cooking has also undergone many modifications. Cooking is no longer considered a chore, a necessary evil, but is perceived as a creative activity, a ‘fun’ job. And, nobody likes to indulge in such pleasure trips confined to the four walls of a room, ain’t it? Thus began the journey of popularity of open kitchens.

Part of the living room

Today, kitchens are planned to be inseparable parts of living rooms where the cook, who can be any member of the family, continues to either hold conversations with the rest of the family or entertain himself/ herself with music or television.

Especially so while entertaining guests as the hosts can continue cooking even as they are chatting up their guests.  For good cooks, open kitchens can also serve as platforms to display their culinary skills. Besides, many young mothers prefer an open kitchen as it makes it easy for them to supervise their children while cooking. Be it a toddler or a school-going child who needs help with his studies, the mother can shuttle between the kitchen and the living room with ease.

A great space saver

This is not all. Open kitchens serve as space and money savers too. Since they occupy just a nook in the living room and are not enclosed by four walls, they seem bigger, open and spacious. And, of course, offer the added advantage of saving on the cost of building interior walls and keeping the space open to maximum natural light.

However, with the kitchen being open to view, care should be taken to design it creatively. It should also be planned in such a way that it saves time and energy for those who work in it. Well-planned kitchens also prevent hazards that might cause accidents and provide a pleasant environment for family members. However, while planning an open kitchen, it pays to consider the size of the family, the type of entertaining generally done and the type and amount of cooking done. A word of caution though: the smaller the floor space of the open kitchen, the easier it is to manage. Efficient use of kitchen space is more important than the amount.

Once the space for the open kitchen is earmarked, an island or a granite slab can be put in place to separate the kitchen from the living area. This slab can also serve as the breakfast table for a family that’s always in a hurry in the mornings.

When it comes to the interiors of the open kitchen, care should be taken to select appropriate wall tiles as they should blend well with the interiors of the living room. So also with kitchen cabinets.

The deeper they are, the better it is. A cool combination of open, closed and glass cabinets go a long way in making the open kitchen look classy. While crockery can occupy the glass cabinets, regularly used cooking ingredients like salt, sugar and pepper can occupy open cabinets to allow easy access, and messy-looking utensils like the tava can be shoved into closed cabinets.

As for the flooring of the open kitchen, it is best to let the flooring of the living room flow into it to give the place a uniform look. However, it is advisable to go in for granite flooring as it can handle kitchen spills quite efficiently.

Glamour quotient

To add to the glamour quotient of open kitchens, the sink should be placed in that corner of the kitchen that attracts the least attention. The best way to do this is to have it right next to the refrigerator.

When it comes to the counter-top, nothing can beat a pitch black granite slab. Not only is it easily washable, but offsets the look of our prized possessions in the kitchen including toasters, microwave ovens and food processors. After all, our highly equipped kitchen with expensive and sophisticated appliances should be displayed well to impress the visitors!

When going in for open kitchens, if you are worried about cooking odours, then banish such worries immediately. For, a hob and a chimney not only take care of cooking odours, but also lend the kitchen a touch of class.

Ultimately, there’s no limit to your creativity when it comes to furnishing your open kitchen. So, let your imagination run wild even as it complements the total ambience of your home.

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