As the aroma of a freshly prepared meal in a traditional recipe wafts through the air, all the members of the house slowly waddle into the kitchen to first feel the aroma and then finally getting down to eat a happy family meal filled with laughter. Is that how you envision your kitchen?
As the “owner” of your kitchen, you know better than anyone else how to convert your kitchen into a happy place. While we can’t help you with the actual preparation of the food, we can definitely share some great ideas to convert your kitchen into a perfect sanctuary.
A good kitchen design upholds a marriage between functionality and style. It makes it easy for you to go about your work, saving time, energy and even resources. It makes your long hours enjoyable and creates an inviting ambience for your family. It shields you from the chills of a cold winter morning or the heat of a sunny summer afternoon.
When planning your kitchen design, think not only of short term space but also a kitchen that is easier to clean and maintain in the long run. It needs to be child proof, airy, have ample storage and be embellished with select accessories that make it stand out. Ready to have a kitchen just like that? Read on:
The kitchen we described above can come in all shapes, sizes and budgets. While the general rule states bigger the budget, the better, there are many clever little kitchen hacks that don’t depend on your wallet but your keen eye and intelligent choices.
Start by first making a list of everything you need new or to be replaced. Open windows, cabinets, modular fittings, dining table, accessories, equipment, storage containers and anything else you may have seen in an interior decorator’s show book. Also, look up for designs and ideas at friends’ homes and online. Be careful to shortlist things that can work well for your needs. A house with 4+ members or children will have different needs from that of a newlywed.
Before you actually begin making changes, try out samples. If your old storage containers need replacement, buy a few of the new containers and use them for a week or so before you replace your entire lot.
Depending on the space available, you can choose between a U, L or C shaped kitchen layout. Each has its own advantage. A U or C-shaped platform allows more countertop space keeping your cooking space uncluttered. An L platform allows more room for you to move and gives an illusion of a spacious kitchen. Modular kitchens have ample overhead storage options that can give your kitchen an uncluttered look.
Think of all the appliances you use frequently which can be a decisive factor. For example, if you use just a microwave and mixer every day, then and L platform may do. But if you are an active home baker with a high-end oven or an active dieter who cannot live without your juicer then make space for these where you can access them easily. If they are hidden out of site, it just would make things more cumbersome and you may end up snacking on that chips packet than getting the juicer out.
Colours play an important role in defining the spaciousness in your kitchen. Light coloured walls make the kitchen look more spacious and is an obvious choice. But what the interior magazines won’t tell you is that the walls may get dirty faster than you think requiring more maintenance.
Similarly, kitchens that go for dark finished wood exteriors may not work for smaller kitchens as they deflect light and can give a claustrophobic look. A steel finish kitchen, often like the ones you see in restaurants give a modern, sleek look but that look also needs to match with the design flow in your home.
When choosing kitchen colours, also think of the finish. For example, using interesting tiles can make your kitchen look great and cleaning easy too!
If you stack up all the things in your kitchen one above the other, it may probably put a skyscraper to shame. Believe it or not, we all have a lot of “stuff” in our kitchen… things we use daily, once in a while or others that may never see the light of day.
Before planning your kitchen storage, dispose the things you don’t need. It’ll make you feel lighter and your kitchen will thank you for it every day. Use a modular design to create overhead cabinets right to the ceiling and utilize space below your countertops for things you use regularly. Use thin and tall containers to store your staples which take up much lesser space than regular cylindrical containers. Use the walls to hang ladles and daily use pots and pans.
This arrangement has been created by Japanese architects .8/Tenhachi.
You can choose to create a mix of the glass door and wooden door cabinets. Everyday items like tea, coffee, sugar, salt and spices can be stored in glass door cabinets while other items can be pulled out of sight with wooden cabinets. Countertops generally come in granite or marble finish. We would, however, recommend a granite finish as it’s durable, easy to clean and doesn’t stain. Depending on your cooking style, choose a 2, 3 or 4 burner hob. Morning rush hour often warrants cooking breakfast and lunch simultaneously so we recommend multiple setups for a big family. Installing a chimney is a great choice as it keeps away the grime from your walls. Chimneys come in various price ranges can take a toll on your budget so do give a good thought before you install one.
Your kitchen’s accessories will be the one thing that will differentiate it from any other kitchen. And with no shortage of choices, you can make a unique style statement. Think of the clock you put in your kitchen which can be in the shape of an apple. You can add a blackboard to a stone finish wall to display your menu for the day. Your fridge can contain a “kitchen rules” magnet along with family collage photos. You can add a fresh herbs corner with glass wall jars growing oregano, thyme, mint and basil! You can even add a small radio near your window to help you hum a tune when you cook.
At the end of the day, how you treat your kitchen defines your style and goes a long way in making your life easier and more fulfilling. And our kitchen hacks sure make it fun for you to step in every day!
For more ideas read Planning your kitchen like a pro