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Nine things to consider while designing a kitchen

10 July 2017 , 0 comments / 3 likes
Have a lot of pots and pans but not enough space to store them? Do you find yourself reaching from one side of the kitchen to another to collect ingredients and utensils while making dinner? How often do you burn yourself due to lack of counter space, poorly placed window or chimney, insufficient lighting and crowding when more than one person needs to use the kitchen? Often these become a source of constant frustration.

Space saving, efficiency and safety are watchwords when it comes to designing your kitchen space. Vaishali Lahoti, Designer at Cuisine Regale, shares important points to consider while designing the kitchen space in your home.

With exposure to global lifestyles and cultures, our lives are changing. This alsochanges the way we look at kitchens. From an open arrangement with built-in appliances to a lounge where you can socialise, the kitchen is where you have conversations with food and convert the daily chores of cooking to an experience of comfort and style. Kitchens are no longer dingy corners where a woman’s work is never done; today they have become places to celebrate, to bond with family and friends. The modern day modular kitchen serves this purpose.

The world of modular kitchens is fast evolving. Increasing open-shelving options, a growing array of colorful fixtures and globally influenced appliances are providing a multifunctional touch to spaces that were once dark and crowded. With kitchens becoming the focal point for social activities, an island counter or counter-height tables are considered trendy choices.

The most important thing to keep in mind while planning a kitchen is to design the area with consideration for usage and the availability of space, which will make the design meaningful, functional and aesthetic.

Cooking styles and needs are exceptionally diverse in a country like India, where food habits vary so vastly. Hence, kitchen requirements too will be different for each household. Fundamental aspects that a user should look at while doing up a kitchen would be:

Kitchen height - The height of the counters and shelves should be such that every part of the kitchen is accessible and easy to use. A safe and convenient kitchen requires the counters to be tailored to the users’ height so that the shoulders don’t need to be hunched while working and the use of a stool or steps is minimised, if such props are required at all to reach high-set cupboards.

Layout and accessibility - Someone who creates tempting treats needs to shuffle between a number of functional areas in a kitchen – the sink, the stove, the refrigerator, the work counter, storage cupboards, etc. For this, the layout of the space should be defined according to the work triangle rule.

The Work Triangle consists of three basic workstations - the sink, refrigerator and the cooking hob/range. The triangle is measured from the centre of the sink to the top of the refrigerator to the centre of the cooktop. According to the 26 Feet Rule, in order to ensure maximum efficiency, the work triangle perimeter should be at least 12 feet, but not exceed 26 feet.

Accessorising – Minimalistic yet useful, accessories help in organising the kitchen and at the same time, add a signature style to it. For example, hanging storage shelves, cutlery hangers, towel dryer, a dustbin, etc.

Storage – There are two kinds of storage that a user should look at: active and passive storage. These are based on the frequency of usage of items and how they are stored. A modular kitchen should cater to both needs with ease.

Adaptive kitchens – A kitchen should be able to adapt to different cooking styles and cuisines, and cater to the techniques used.  

Material – The materials used in a kitchen depend on the location and the user. A place with high humidity will call for a kitchen with Marine Ply (for its water resistance properties), a place which is prone to termite and insect infestation will require the use of steel (for its anti-pest properties), and so on. While deciding on materials, users also must consider how easily a kitchen can be cleaned, which is crucial.

Indian cooking – Indian cooking tends to focus on masala, oil, curries, etc., with a lot of wet cooking such as grinding, boiling, stewing, etc. This needs to be thought of while designing the kitchen, incorporating features that facilitate cooking techniques. It would include features like durability, water resistance and ample storage space, the whole being easy to maintain.

Customisation - A key factor that must be taken into consideration is that the modular kitchen must be easily customised as per the user’s needs and the space available. The quality of the units must not be compromised in any way.

Shape and design – Shape and design of a modular kitchen is also an important factor. Some of the most popular designs include the ‘L’ shape, ‘C’ shape and ‘U’ shape. Parallel counters are also seen in many homes. ‘L’ shape and ‘U’ shape modular kitchens are the best for small kitchen spaces. Customers with large kitchens can experiment with islands in modular kitchens.

Do share your experiences in your kitchen and how did you overcome the challenges during remodeling.
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