The Kitchen Redesigned
The Kitchen Redesigned
August 7, 2023
A take on how kitchens allow the user to become the director of the space...
Any industry that caters to the interior segment thrives on the attention it receives from both designers and customers. Today, however, kitchen companies are focusing more on individual customer needs keeping in mind ergonomics and their interpretation of living spaces.
With the average Indian gaining more knowledge about design and products both through the Internet and international travels, a lot of emphasis is being placed on the users making their own design decisions in the kitchen. This gives birth to the concept of customization, and with modular kitchens becoming a major trend, this takes on a whole new meaning; it allows the user to become the designer or director of the space.
The user becomes the designer
Imagine a kitchen unlike any other ever known or experienced – with the fixtures installed way above eye level such that one needs to stretch out to reach the faucet; with the cooktop at floor level and the worktop made of various materials like concrete, stone and even wooden floorboards. Here, perspectives remain in constant flux, and each object can be interpreted in different ways. Such an assault to the senses makes one ponder on what living spaces mean in the 21st century.
One such kitchen has been brought to India by Bulthaup – a German kitchen design specialist company. The Bulthaup b3 is available in a range of dimensions, materials, surface finishes and colours. Its various elements can be combined in any number of ways. Each kitchen is designed and manufactured in line with the unique requirements, lifestyles and traditions of the customer. It also keeps in mind that people leave their own personal touch on the kitchen and add their personal memorabilia over time. This is influencing debates about the kitchen and living space and prompting designers to change the way they think, rework designs and devise a whole range of new ideas.
Each kitchen is designed and manufactured in line with the unique requirements, lifestyles and traditions of the customer. Photo Courtesy- Bulthaup
Take for instance b3’s panel wall - a fresh twist on the multifunction wall - where both the interior and exterior serve distinct purposes. Personal objects can be stored and displayed in the space behind the panel. Cherished items can be showcased in an open-fronted brass cube, which can be positioned freely on the horizontal plane. Or, in another part of the wall, the panels slide open vertically with just a touch. And, a look into the wide pull-out below reveals functional prisms lined with saddle leather, where a selection of fine wines, spirits and drinking glasses may be displayed. By experimenting with materials, surface finishes, colours and a variety of forms, this kitchen demonstrates how a kitchen's aura evolves through the interaction of predefined elements with the fingerprints of the user’s life, and the resulting contrast celebrates the beauty of imperfection.
Such treatment is not only meted out to the exterior of the kitchen, but the interiors are also given a completely new look keeping in mind the ergonomics of the space along with the users’ freedom and convenience. The interior fitting system for drawers and pull-out elements signifies a break from the rigid organisational structures of the past. The old systems made it necessary to store silverware, cooking utensils and other tools in right-angled containers and to align working practices with these organisational structures, and not the other way around. Now, users can design drawers as they see fit and change them at any time, with ease and speed. The focus on function has been replaced by a focus on intuition, creating an entirely new user experience. Such kitchens adapt to people and their changing lifestyles and imperatives.
Bulthaup’s interior fitting system is based on the concept of functional prisms and high-quality accessories. The prisms are used in drawers and pull-outs and can be reprised on the walls above worktops. Additional elements can be added at the user's discretion. Interior fittings can therefore not only be tailored to individual requirements once, but are flexible and adaptive. The system grows organically with the evolving needs of the user.
Bulthaup’s interior fitting system is based on the concept of functional prisms and high-quality accessories. Photo Courtesy- Bulthaup
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Freedom of use
The user becomes the ‘director’ of the kitchen, with the power to redefine its scene on a daily basis, if need be. The horizontal nature of the functional prisms in the drawers creates a new look, greater transparency of organisation and ergonomics, with easy access for both right- and left-handed users. The drawers continue to serve as a means for storing utensils such as knives, forks, pots and pans. But, now they can be freely and flexibly reconfigured, making the system suitable for any lifestyle, for any culinary tradition and preference.
It is also possible to segregate storage items by type (pots, tableware, food. etc.). The pull-out elements can be adjusted not only in the horizontal but also in the vertical plane. To enable maximum personalisation of the kitchen space, these kitchens also offer a growing portfolio of accessories. This includes sliding elements of diverse sizes, which structure and dynamically change the space of the functional prisms in the drawers. They allow the user to create and organise themed zones and islands, to set priorities, to create primary and secondary areas. The shape of these sliding elements mimics the functional prisms.
The kitchen also has elegant containers, where required, with an exclusive leather lining for storing silverware, utensils, cookies, sugar or other items. The containers fit in perfectly with the functional prisms but can be easily removed and placed in other locations. These elements can also be used outside the drawers, on dining tables or worktops. Modular knife holders also come in two sizes. Containers in a variety of sizes are available for seasonings, their shapes aligned with the functional prisms, making it easy for the containers to be grasped and removed. They can be arranged according to themes, type or season.
Moreover, when placed on the worktop, the containers are inclined towards the cook, and when placed on a table, they are inclined towards the diner.
Through all of this, the user is able to focus on easy and comfortable use of the kitchen, enough to dole out delicious food without any hassle.
- Inputs from Bulthaup India