Welcome to a new era in home interiors, where kitchens are no longer just a room for the lady or the man (owing to changing gender roles) of the house to dish out delicacies made with love. Kitchens are increasingly turning out to be carefully planned out section of the interior design, probably even before the foundation of the house is laid out.
Today, kitchens are a matter of pride for the homeowners and not something to be kept hidden from plain sight due to lack of order, storage space or even ugly grease stains. The awareness, availability of professional services and resources in terms of budgets and design options, have resulted in kitchens becoming a well-designed space almost comparable to living rooms, where modern families cook and entertain, thereby making it the heart of modern age living spaces.
Don’t know where to begin with designing that dream kitchen? Here are some simple, yet trendy tips that can be added to your checklist:
- Optimum usage of space: Space is a challenge, especially with real estate costs and smaller spaces. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, work with your architect or interior designer and visualize your dream kitchen – whether you need an I-shaped, L-shaped, U-shaped or an Island style. Based on your idea, they can work on several options that will suit your vision and budget. Island kitchens have multi -purpose features such as storage, breakfast counter, mini sink, induction plate, etc., hence are not space guzzlers.
Trend Tip: If you really desire to have an Island kitchen style, go for a combination with L-shaped kitchen.
- Smart allocation and Storage: A kitchen essentially has four zones – Wet or Cleaning, Cooking, Preparation, Storage (consumable and non-consumable). Your design plan has to essentially cover all the above zones and allocate them in such a way that it does not interfere with each other in a functional kitchen. For optimum storage, select suitable accessories such as bottle pullouts, grain trolley, cup and saucer tray, plate basket, corner trays and midway hanging systems that will make the search for the right ingredient easier as you are able to see everything at once and just as easy to re-arrange. Place heavier items on the bottom shelves for safe handling.
Trend tip: Tall Units are a proven fix for saving space and organizing items depending on their size and frequency of usage. Open shelves are also quite popular making the kitchen feel very welcoming, while keeping the functionality intact.
- Material decision: Deciding on the type and finish of the material used for cabinets, shutters, counter-top and wall dado tiles is a crucial decision. Ensure you choose waterproof materials wherever there is exposure to water. For tiles, i.e., flooring and counter top, there is a wide variety to choose from – both in terms of material and design. For flooring, ensure the ease of maintenance (vitrified, granite, marble are all good options). Wall tiles will bring a good vibe to your kitchen décor and you can go bold and trendy adding a little colour. Get the Mediterranean look with turquoise blue and white or go for a rustic theme with terracotta hues.
Trend tip: Metals like brass are also making waves in the international design scene. Brass or copper can look very elegant for knobs, handles and faucets.
- Smart kitchens: Kitchen automation is the buzz word. From sensor-activated lights that illuminate the kitchen only when it’s in use to Wi-Fi enabled devices which allows you to connect to your phone, search recipes to help you cook up a storm, kitchen technology is being used to make everyday life easier. An interesting product is a hands-free faucet, perfect for homes with small children who can’t yet reach the handle or any kitchen where busy cooks often have sticky hands.
Trend Tip: You may also want to integrate your audio-video systems, few speakers and a sleek TV with your kitchen to brush off the blues or to play your favorite soothing soundtracks
- Lighting trends: With a plethora of options available in the home lighting and fixtures range, the kitchen should not be left far behind in the lighting department. Consult your architect or builder to ensure all the light points are taken care off during construction itself, especially for in-lit shelves. For room and ambient lighting, go for soft lighting to bring in that warmth to the kitchen. Another popular trend is the use of industrial lighting fixtures in steel, which is seem in most cookery shows on television.
Trend Tip: Antique lighting fixtures from your local markets add to the drama in décor (provided you have the rest of the kitchen décor in similar fashion).
- Finally, it comes down to maintenance: We now have a kitchen that no one wants to go away from, but here comes the big part – maintenance! Remember that provisions for easy maintenance comes in the design stage itself. Be it the choice of material or colors. Chimney and hob in the cooking zone not only evacuates the smoke but gives a neat look to the kitchen. It is recommended to make provisions for a separate kitchen work area to avoid pile-up of vessels. Make sufficient space for all your appliances and maintain a clutter-free counter-top.
Trend Tip: Ditch the plastic flower. Grow a lovely herb /indoor plant to add a lovely charm to your kitchen.
Already have a functional kitchen, but not happy with it? Fret not! You can definitely get a good design consultant who can make your kitchen a new age one. Ultimately, it is about the ‘complete living experience’ that truly defines a home and lends it a character.
– Monisha Devaiah.