It is often said that it is the kitchen which best reflects a woman’s sense of style and command. Imagine a newly-wedded girl cooking something for the first time in the kitchen, trying her best to avoid a mess-up. Everything is going according to her plan, until her deftly moving hands get interrupted, as she loses the sight of the wok on the lit hob, in her quest for an appropriate serving bowl! Scary, isn’t it?
Be it a sudden drive to flaunt your creative side, an unforeseen call for celebration, or just to satiate your appetite, when the kitchen is your final destination, you can’t afford to spoil the fun of cooking just because your kitchen isn’t ‘functional’ enough! At times, even the most luxuriously designed kitchens prove annoying, in terms of ease of availability of equipment and tools. Let us find out, how to style the kitchen by inducing comfort and making optimum use of space.
Revamp your Kitchen
From looking for a hassle-free layout, to desiring a novel design, there can be scores of reasons to re-do your kitchen. The rapid changes in the latest technology bring utility, the beauty of which is that it doesn’t interfere with your well accustomed taste. The latest kitchen designs usually flaunt sleek counters and cabinets that are no more than 2 feet in width. This kind of maximization of free space often provides extra room, perhaps for a new breakfast bar, or for a comfortable couch where your family could gather informally to enjoy coffee.
Minimize the Effort
The ‘built-in’ range of various electronics not only reduces the occupied floor area but also offers a concealed and neat look to your kitchen.
• One-stop Drawer: Instead of having too many drawers, you can go for the new ‘space corner’ drawers (two different corner drawers fused into one). These are ideal for ‘L-shaped’ kitchens and utilize 90% area of the edge as compared to 70% by regular drawers. One can easily find this range at Blum, a leading name in kitchen designing.
• Lift-ups: To avoid rummaging through drawers, you can hang multi-level storage cabinets on the sides of your stove and keep all the essential jars handy while cooking. They can be further concealed by using glass lift-ups with intricate designs. Check out the trendiest designs at Hafele’s or Hettich’s advanced lift-ups.
• Pulling out Wings: The new ‘pull-down’ shelves save you the trouble of avoidable stretching. To add to the delight, instead of wooden planks, one can use ‘pull-down’ or ‘movable’ wings by Neff or Hettich to bring down the shelves instead of having to stretch-up to reach for various items.
You can also make small changes in and around your kitchen area to add a dash of style and substance in your kitchen.
• Soundproof Sinks: Get a relief from those annoying sounds that dishes produce every time somebody puts them into the sink. Switch to soundproof dish-washing sinks for a noise-free cleaning experience. Carysil and Kaff offer a range of soundproof sinks. The granite and metallic blend that goes into the making of Carysil’s sinks ensures a stain-free and neat surface after every wash.
• Movable Wings: You can place two rods right above your counter-top for hanging movable shelves. While the shelves usually serve the purpose of easy storage, they can be occasionally removed and replaced with wine glasses, hung upside down! Hettich and Neff can be easily relied upon for the latest and sturdiest designs.
• Built-in Lights: Built-in lights impart a shiny reflection to your steel-ware. Though they usually come engraved in the drawers but while constructing a new drawer, you can choose your own shade of light.
Starting from Scratch
A new beginning in your life calls for novel designs and fresh innovation in your cooking area. Though there are various designs and trends to choose the basic palette of your kitchen from, the most chic ones are painted kitchens, solid wood kitchens, veneered kitchens, laminated kitchens and stainless steel kitchens. While each pattern comes with its own qualities, for optimum utilization, solid wood acts as the best option for counter-tops, as it simultaneously acts as butcher block too. Scratch-free stainless steel is also a very convenient choice as it cuts down on the unnecessary wear and tear, while giving a soothing sheen to your kitchen.
While choosing a counter-top, one should ensure that it should be easy on the eyes and damage resistant. If little scratches disturb the impeccable sheen of your kitchen you can try out ‘quartz’ counter-tops. Due to their non-porous surface, they don’t allow heat or acids to tarnish their shine. Their availability in the market in various patterns and colors has made them more popular than polished granite, which earlier used to be the standard choice of every designer. While deciding the kitchen layout, one needs to take into account a lot of practical factors like, the energy consumption, kind of cooking, preference of cuisines, the number of people cooking in a kitchen at the same time, etc. ‘Parallel’ and ‘U-Shaped’ layouts are more suitable for the kitchens that usually inhabit more than two persons at the same time, apart from adding to the leeway, they also provide ample space for constructing two different sinks. The most convenient and functional designs today are the ‘triangle set up’ and the ‘zone design’.
• The Triangle set up: Here, the sink, range and refrigerator are arranged at triangular vertices. This facilitates maximum movement to gather, clean and cook food. But, it should be kept in mind that the distance between your hob and refrigerator should not be more than four steps so that you can readily access the supplies while cooking.
• Zone Design: This design pertains to conspicuous spacing between the work station, the cleaning area and the eating zone. This type of space distribution best suits ‘L-Shaped’ kitchens. The idea here is to demarcate activity specific areas so that the people don’t keep bumping into each other.
Since the kitchen is the heart of the household, it should also be the hub of positive energy. This cultivates prosperity in the house. The kitchen should be located in the South-East part of the house, while the main cooking counter should not be located under the pooja room, toilet or bedroom. The heavier articles, like the fridge and water storage bottles should be placed in the south and west parts of the kitchen. The refrigerator though, can be placed in the north-west or the south-west directions. The entrance door should be positioned in the north, east or in the north-east corner of the kitchen. It should not be in any of the corners and should open in clockwise direction. Windows are very important to facilitate ventilation, be it any part of the house. A well ventilated kitchen ensures that fresh and positive energy keeps flowing into the food. Kitchen windows should be in the East direction. However, the smaller windows can be in the South.