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A Fusion of Modern and Traditional Styles

April 10, 2024

Mrinmoy Dey

The USP of this kitchen is taking existing elements and weaving them seamlessly with new additions, crafting a cohesive design that looks like it was made from scratch, writes Mrinmoy Dey

This 85 sq. ft. kitchen, designed by Thane-based architecture and interior design firm Architecture Design Combine, is part of a 2.5 BHK apartment spanning 915 sq. ft. at Hiranandani Estate in Thane. “As it was a new apartment, the kitchen came furnished with a quartz countertop and PU under-counter cabinetry. Our design task was to avoid all civil changes and harmonise with the builder’s pre-existing colour scheme and material choices,” shares Harshil Safi, Principal Architect, Architecture Design Combine.

Loretta Rego Safi, Principal Architect, Architecture Design Combine adds, “The focus was on achieving ample yet not overwhelming storage solutions whilst ensuring practical functionality. Additionally, the client desired a sense of spaciousness within the kitchen; an open and uncluttered feel to enhance the overall user experience.”

Accessorised with repurposed door knobs from an old cabinet, serving as hooks for aprons, and a decorative Turkish wall plate. Photo Courtesy: Architecture Design Combine; Photographer: Prashant Bhat

The Design and the Layout

According to the architect duo, the choice of design style for an Indian kitchen depends on the client’s individual preferences and the overall aesthetics of the home. “While aesthetics does play a crucial role, the primary focus should always be on the organisation of space with respect to the equipment, storage, and workflow to ensure that the functionality of the kitchen aligns with the user's needs.”

In this particular project, the design approach has been tailored to accommodate a blend of contemporary and traditional elements, reflecting the broader style of the apartment. “The lower cabinets feature PU shutters, contributing to a contemporary vibe, while the inclusion of wood finish shutters introduces warmth. The use of ceramic knobs and decorative elements such as plants and earthenware add to the traditional aesthetic,” elucidates Harshil.

The U-shaped layout of the kitchen provides ample circulation space, with a tall unit to the left of the refrigerator housing a built-in oven and a microwave. The space above the tall unit and the refrigerator was used to create storage for items which are not used regularly. The cabinetry above the sink discreetly conceals a water purifier and a traditional matka.

“Given the limited cooking requirements, excessive storage was deemed unnecessary. However, the client's interest in baking influenced the inclusion of a built-in oven with dedicated storage drawers for baking essentials. The absence of heavy cooking and frying activities led to the decision to forgo a chimney in the kitchen design.”

Harshil Safi

Principal Architect

Architecture Design Combine

“We had to stick to the U-shaped layout provided by the builder as no civil changes were to be made. Moreover, only a U-shaped layout would provide an efficient workspace in the kitchen given the proportions of the room and the locations of openings within the room,” reasons Harshil.

According to Loretta, a U-shaped layout offers several advantages for a kitchen of this size compared to alternatives like an L-shape or parallel kitchen. “It provides ample countertop space while naturally establishing the essential workflow triangle. The layout ensures sufficient circulation space and facilitates the creation of distinct work zones which can allow multiple people to work in the kitchen simultaneously, without getting in each other’s way.”

The U-shaped layout ensures sufficient circulation space and creates distinct work zones, allowing multiple people to work in the kitchen simultaneously, without getting in each other’s way. Photo Courtesy: Architecture Design Combine