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Customised Vs Modular Kitchen

January 07, 2022

Remona Divekar

The choice between going modular or opting for a customised kitchen is like swinging between embracing modernity and preferring a bit of personal touch. Remona Divekar finds out some practical considerations for making the choice between modular and customised kitchens.


The culinary culture of a region is the DNA of the home kitchen. This is a subtle moulding force to the design and construction of a kitchen. Culture and climate silently but indisputably influence the functional aspect, the outcome, and workability in the kitchen. Over time it has transformed into a technologically advanced space capable to run efficiently by a single person. It could also relate to a space for a nuclear family in urban settings evolving to adjust to the socio-cultural change from a joint family tradition to the contemporary small or nuclear family unit of the city.

The changing epoch


The Indian cooking system vastly differs from every other land not only in its method but also in its composition and beliefs. In today’s context, the nuclear family structure with working couples means time and help both are in shortage, necessitating preservation of food, fast cooking, and mechanised help to fill in for helping hands. This led to the advent of the kitchen turning to technology and hence sought the path of 'Modular' in India. So in this cultural trait, mechanisation and modularisation of the kitchen was the only solution and industrial progress refined the process and enriched the outcome by equipping the kitchen with accessories and gadgets.


Although the modular kitchen concept does not easily fit into the Indian culinary mould, it brings added conveniences that were never seen before and are too valuable to let go of. So even at the cost of others inconveniences, arising out of cultural conditioning, the Indian kitchens changed their course towards the modular. And since then it is becoming an easy and trendy way to maximise storage area with a minimal footprint. Its aesthetical importance begins to co-exist with its functional significance.


Though technically suitable, modular kitchens have not been able to be regionalised completely to the Indian cultural traditions and beliefs that have always surrounded the Indian kitchen. For example, a wastebasket was never kept inside the Indian kitchen and was relegated to the outside of the kitchen. A modular kitchen allows this as a convenience, storing garbage within the kitchen in a closed basket, in a closed cabinet, below the sink. Also, Indian cooking is a ‘fry and smoke’ affair, requiring a larger chimney hopper area with a greater suction. The modular kitchen chimneys provide for this kind of area or suction draft. Though the carpenter-made kitchen seems like a reasonable solution, in the beginning, it ends up being an expensive affair.

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Innovate to enliven


Designing a kitchen is not an easy task particularly when the given storage space is not enough for cooking as well as the electronic appliances which are indispensable. Speaking on the evolution of modular kitchens, Dhruva Samal, Principal Interior Designer of Dhruva Samal & Associates states, “The first modular kitchens can be traced to many decades ago in Europe and only introduced to India in this century. Since then, we have witnessed an exponential growth in demand for them. Every year brings with it new features, finishes, and materials. I am amazed to see a modular kitchen with its entire cabinetry and shutters fabricated in stainless steel and offering a lifetime warranty against defects. This speaks volumes of the world of endless possibilities that lie ahead of us.”


According to him while determining the advantages and disadvantages of modular and custom-designed kitchens is when the time limitation for the completion of a project is considered, modular kitchens is the preferred option as they deliver precision on the finishing since they are prepared in factories with a very low tolerance for errors.

I am amazed to see a modular kitchen with its entire cabinetry and shutters fabricated in stainless steel and offering a lifetime warranty against defects. This speaks volumes of the world of endless possibilities that lie ahead of us.

Dhruva Samal

Principal Interior Designer

Dhruva Samal & Associates