A beautiful kitchen certainly adds great value to your living space. Experience must have taught you that planning a kitchen is no easy task and involves a lot of intense decision making. Right from the layout to the colour of the cabinets, every little detail matters.
Whether you are getting a whole new cooking space or simply looking to do some home improvement, there are a few things that you need to ponder over. While a successfully laid out kitchen can give you convenience in preparing your meals, compartmentalize your cutlery and appliances and save money, the smallest of mistakes could cost you a fortune.
It is always a good idea to get professional help. An experienced designer/ interior team can make all the difference when your goal is to build a perfect kitchen. Discuss all the nitty-gritty with your designer and give them a complete picture of what you want from your kitchen. Also, keep in mind that the overall décor and feel of your kitchen should be in line with that of the living room.
While the array of options in the modular kitchen market may leave you overwhelmed, here are some tips to help you out along your journey.
Keep the layout and the space in mind
While there are a variety of modular kitchen options available, it is essential to have a basic idea of what kind of kitchen layout will suit the area you are working with. For example, a straight or parallel kitchen is ideal for smaller spaces. Medium or large spaces allow you more room for an L, U-shaped or even island layout. A kitchen peninsula is midway between an L-shaped layout and an island where the peninsula separates the kitchen from the living room. It is the perfect way to work an island into your design when you have a smaller space.
Think about the working area and ease of movement
The countertop is one of the most important areas in a kitchen that defines not only the appeal of the entire space but also your convenience. While traditional materials like granite and marble are still popular, engineered stone, mainly quartz, is trending as it offers greater functionality in terms of stain-resistance and grease-proofing, apart from a sleek and elegant look.
Keeping your sink, cooktop and the fridge in a triangular alignment with the main preparation area at the centre is ideal for ergonomic reasons.
Plan every space carefully with due diligence to the pantry, cooking and washing areas. Ideally, these spaces should be kept three feet apart measured from the countertop to ensure good efficiency and ease. Contemporary designers believe in integrating appliances into the kitchen to achieve a sleek modular look while minimizing clutter.
When it comes to storage, you may need to discuss each drawer, shelf and cabinet with your designer to customize to your needs. Storage capacity depends on individual usage pattern – say, the number of groceries you stock up, for example. If you have kids or elderly people in the family, then pull-out and soft-close cabinets are ideal.
Good lighting and ventilation
The days of the dingy yellow incandescent bulbs are long gone. Good lighting is the crowning glory to a well-designed kitchen. A poor lighting plan can take away all the highlights from your kitchen by making it appear dingy and cramped. Contemporary designers are playing with innovative LED lighting options to deck up the kitchen.
A spotlight over the main work area or your crockery collection, along with softer mood lighting over the dining space is a good way to add character to your kitchen.
A window in a kitchen always helps by bringing in natural light and freshness. Chimneys and exhausts must be placed correctly to prevent heat from building up especially in an Indian kitchen, which involves the use of many hot and pungent spice mixes. Given the use of cooktops and a host of other electrical appliances that radiate heat, a hood along with proper ventilation is a must in a modern kitchen.
A good kitchen has a good balance of all the five elements of nature. It is important to take great care in designing it with keen attention to details. Contemporary kitchens are all about keeping it crisp and minimal. So, discuss your ideal kitchen plan with your designer before taking a decision to remodel it or buying a new one.