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Shifting Kitchen Design Trends: A Result of Changing Lifestyle?


Shifting Kitchen Design Trends: A Result of Changing Lifestyle?

July 24, 2023

Over the years, Kitchens have become an integral part of designing or building a house. It is an area where homeowners do get involved extensively. And, this has become even more critical because of changing patterns of cooking and personalisation of the kitchen space.

Kitchen as an Activity Area

With both husband and wife cooking and even the entire family joining in, the kitchen has become an activity area, more so at the weekends. It has become a place for the family to get together. It has become a place for bonding among family members with the kids and old parents also joining in. Therefore, the space has become more personalised.

Amaresh Anand, Partner & Principal Architect, Khosla Associates shares, “Traditionally, during festivals, families used to come together and join in these sorts of activities. Now, that aspect is coming back with more modern amenities. Kitchen design, thus, needs to account for all these lifestyle-influenced changes and decide on the layout, format and appliances accordingly.”

Kitchen becoming gender-neutral

In metros, kitchens are largely getting gender-neutral with families getting nuclear. “In families where both the husband and the wife are working, the husband also has to develop as much skill in cooking as the lady of the house,” opines Nitin Saolapurkar, Principal Partner, Saolapurkar and Associates.

He calls for the kitchen design to become age-neutral as well. “The kitchen should be designed for elderly people also. The conveniences of gadgetry will certainly aid them. But the level of the platform and the surface also matter. A variable height platform would be really convenient.”

"Kitchen design, thus, needs to account for all these lifestyle-influenced changes and decide on the layout, format and appliances accordingly."- Amaresh Anand, Partner & Principal Architect, Khosla Associates. Photo Courtesy- Khosla Associates

Amaresh Anand

Partner & Principal Architect

Khosla Associates

Growing preference for Open Kitchens

The open kitchen has been one of the dominant kitchen trends in the city. “From a mere functional space, the kitchen has evolved to become more of an interactive space in this open kitchen layout. With the families joining in the activities and getting together in the kitchen, the space has become sort of an extension of the living/common areas in a house. The kitchen being an open layout and acting as an extension serves the purpose of being an interactive space where one can even host parties. It has also become the centrepiece of the house,” opines Deesha Nulkar, Senior Interior Design Consultant, Centre for Design Excellence.

Kavita Sastry, Principal Architect, KS Designs adds, “Irrespective of the sizes of the apartments, people love open kitchens. In a smaller space, it opens up the volume. In a larger space, there is an additional closed wet kitchen. So in either of these cases, open kitchens have become very popular.”

Multiple Kitchens in a Single Dwelling Unit

Another trend that has become quite popular is having a separate dry and wet kitchen. “Often, the main kitchens are the ones being operated by the servants and have a closed layout. There is also a lot of focus on utility areas related to washing, drying and storing. Clients nowadays want a combination where the wet kitchen becomes the messy area that they don’t want to show people and the dry kitchen becomes the area where you bring in all the exclusive appliances and make it fancier. These dry open kitchens are generally operated by family members, so we try to bring in a theme and make it more integrated with the living area,” shares Deesha.

Now, in upscale residences, another type of kitchen is becoming popular. “This is for those clients who host a lot of house parties and get together at home. It is not a full-fledged kitchen but rather an elaboration of the bar. It is also useful for arranging tea and coffee meet. You could also bring in a chef who will put things together. This is a very recent trend and it’s more of an experience for the users,” adds Gunjan Das, Principal Architect, N.G. Associates.

However, customising each kitchen to suit the requirement of the user is quintessential. “Every man or the lady of the house has a particular way of using the kitchen. There is no standardised format that will work for everybody. The work triangle can be a start to base the design upon but it needs to be customised based on the needs of the users. There are so many other spaces that are becoming a part of the kitchens for example the bar, the breakfast nook etc,” quips Shyamala Prabhu, Principal Architect, Aakruti Architects and Designers.

Round Table Discussion in Bengaluru

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Compact Kitchens for the young professionals

Many younger people migrate to Bengaluru may be at the age of 23-24 years. “They get their first job and are most likely to find their partners and move into their first home. These young professionals usually don’t have any specific time when they come back home. Their home is a pad which comes alive at any time. Their kitchen is a bar, it also serves as a platform for people to sit on, sometimes even read on,” shares Anshul Chodha, Principal Architect, Sanctuary Architects.

He further adds, “Therefore, the design approach of the kitchen needs to accommodate all these. The kitchen has to be designed as a combination of many things. Their kitchen is a foyer for keeping things. For example, they keep their keys and things they pick up at the last minute before they leave. The kitchen is actually the precipice of that house. Another important aspect is that these kitchens are generally compact sometimes measuring about 40 sq ft. Another thing to keep in mind is that these young professionals don’t cook much, they order in.”

Kitchen in Rental Homes

Apart from the houses built for dwelling purposes, some homes are built for letting out on rent and holiday homes that they rent out. In most cases, there is a floating population that occupies the flats or homes – the frequency of changes can be as low as two years.

Anand opines, “Designing a kitchen for those specific apartments or holiday homes needs to account for all those aspects and should be generic in nature. The idea is to fulfil the needs of a diverse set of people that will use the space. Of course, the basic amenities will be there for example dishwashers, ovens, microwave ovens, refrigerators etc. However, the layout and the positioning of the appliances have to be planned in such a way that they will be comfortable to use for any user.”

The eminent panel discuss the kitchen trends.