It is not an exaggeration to say that kitchens are the focal point and one of the most frequently used spaces in households today. Gone are the days where the kitchen in the house was relegated to the backyard and was an area that was used mainly by women to cook, clean and wash up. Today, with hectic urban lifestyles and both men and women working, the kitchen has almost become the epicentre of city homes. An area where the entire family meets and bonds over cooking and conversation whether at the beginning or end of the day.
Hence, just like the rest of house, kitchens today are chic, stylized and have evolved into family spaces. “The kitchen is no longer considered a cooking space or a functional spot for food processing today. There is a lot more emphasis on stylizing, cooking and serving, enjoying the process and emphasizing on better food serving; all of which make it place for beyond conventional cooking” says Arun Roonghta, MD, HGH India.
Combining aesthetics and functionality
Given the utility and quality time spent by families in the kitchen, the emphasis on making this a well-planned space is more than ever before. Keeping pace with modern lifestyles, cooking techniques and food habits, kitchens interiors are a classic combination of fit, finish and functionality. Vibrant colour schemes, innovative storage solutions, high tech appliances, elegant kitchen tops and statement kitchen islands are the order of the day. “Mix and match finishes in the kitchen are very trendy vis-a-vis monochrome kitchens. It is all about keeping the mix interesting and making the kitchen an essential part of decor. Dramatic backsplashes and marbles add a punch in the otherwise functional and boring kitchen. A variety of finishes on the shutters like stone, wood and even mother of pearl are now trending” says Priyanka Mehra, Principal Architect PS Design.
Optimum space utilization is a key factor today with kitchens becoming increasingly smaller in urban homes. There is tremendous research and improvement in the field of building modular kitchens that are well designed spaces suited for contemporary lifestyles. A well laid out kitchen has storage spaces that are effective is making the kitchen look clutter free and neat. Storage to stow away appliances like the mixer-grinder and microwave oven is a trend that is fast catching on. Classy steel kitchens that are elegant and easy to clean is yet another hot favourite with consumers today.
The focus is, therefore, on space saving furniture, on materials that can be cleaned and maintained easily as well as on smarter appliances. “Foldable dining tables, storage racks, stools and bottle racks are clearly an emerging trend. Another trend is towards automation of kitchens with introduction of more and more appliances like dishwashers, more advanced food processors, cooking and induction ranges, all of which were not so much part of an Indian kitchen till recently” says Arun Roonghta, MD, HGH India.
The chimney which was once considered a luxury is an essential fixture in kitchens today. “The 3D chimney which offers 3-way suction through bottom and lateral filters, is a great example of consumer relevant innovation. They come with lateral vents mounted on the side of the chimneys which capture the smoke that escaped the bottom vent. They also reduce the noise generated by the hood since the surface area for grease capture increases and hence there is less turbulence” says Hardesh Chojher, Marketing Director,Franke Faber India Private Limited. The company also offers silk chimneys that are enables the consumer to cook in a completely noise free environment.
Seamless integration with the rest of the house
Kitchens today are no longer spaces that are concealed or hidden. It is increasingly becoming a part of the living room and in many cases like studio apartments, the entry to the house is through the kitchen. In this scenario, there is a great emphasis on kitchen décor and making the place looks as stylish as the rest of the house. Creative colour schemes, open shelves with artefacts and accessories in between, sophisticated lighting and using décor elements from the living room are just some of the ways to make the kitchen integrate seamlessly with the rest of the house.
Often, the kitchen is also used as a space to entertain guests. “Open kitchens are here to stay and provide the opportunity of having a dining / breakfast counter which work well to become conversation starters. Use similar or complimentary colour schemes in the kitchen to match the rest of the house” says Priyanka Mehra, Principal Architect PS Design.
Clearly, the choices and options available today are aplenty and kitchen décor is indeed a big thing. Kitchen furniture has become a specialized field too with more and more brands focusing on just kitchen spaces. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and transform your kitchen into a space where you would like to spend more and more of your time!
This article was originally published in Sakal Times here.