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Compact Yet Uncluttered

July 24, 2023

Mrinmoy Dey

The USP of this kitchen, designed by Mumbai-based architectural firm GA Design, is the efficient space management and detailed storage planning rendering it an uncluttered look, writes Mrinmoy Dey

This kitchen, a part of a 2-BHK apartment in Mahim, Mumbai, bears a contemporary-modern look, in line with the rest of the apartment. The kitchen, although compact, is a fully functional kitchen with uninterrupted natural light.

Talking about the design style, Shami Goregaoker, Design Director, GA design shares, “I think when it comes to the kitchen, one must look carefully at the functionality first and then the style. Of course, it goes without saying that the design should be in sync with the rest of the house – but the materials have to be used very thoughtfully to create a space that is not hard to maintain.”

Design Brief

Talking about the brief, the designer shares, “The client wanted space for all regular electronic items that a kitchen has, plus a dishwasher. It was vital that there should be no spill-over of kitchen items into any other space in the apartment.”

She further adds, “As interior designers, we often need to get closely acquainted with people’s lifestyles and this holds true for kitchens too. It is important to understand their culture and habits to ensure that they go about their daily routine smoothly, the way they have always been used to.

The layout of the kitchen – the long and narrow space, is one of the first things that come to notice.The kitchen is a clean rectangle of 10’ by 7’6”. Photo courtesy- GA design.

The Layout

The layout of the kitchen – the long and narrow space, is one of the first things that come to notice. The kitchen is a clean rectangle of 10’ by 7’6”. “It is a new project in a new building and the kitchen layout has been planned by the builder. Given the size of the apartment, the kitchen layout is clean and the size is proportionate,” informs Shami.

One-wall and L-shaped layouts are more common in narrow and compact kitchens. Here, however, the designer opted for a U-shaped layout. “The U-shaped layout was primarily to incorporate a large sink and a dishwasher into the kitchen. The building plumbing lines run along the right corner of the sink so it was important for me to not waste that area. Also, all of the requirements of my client had to be accommodated into the kitchen, therefore the U layout,” explains Shami.

Materials, colour palette & lighting

Talking about the materials used in the kitchen, Shami informs, “The kitchen floor is in wood finish tiles, the countertop is in white composite marble and the backsplash is in tiles. The dark grey cabinets under the counter are in imported dead matt finish while the overhead cabinets are in white back-painted glass with profile handles.”

The countertop is in white composite Quartz marble – bearing the same properties as granite. “It is non-porous and stain-proof. As it is a small kitchen, the idea was to use a light countertop with contrasting darker finish shutters under the counter,” shares the designer.

Justifying the selection of tiles over glass for the backsplash, she explains, “Tiles are a good option as there are innumerable varieties in terms of colour, size and design. Glass can also be used as a backsplash – but in this particular case I needed something with a subtle print to offset the plain white countertop.”

“I think when it comes to the kitchen, one must look carefully at the functionality first and then the style. The design should be in sync with the rest of the house." 

Shami Goregaoker

Design Director

GA design

Talking about how the colour palette was influenced by the overall design of the apartment, she shares, “Even though the apartment is compact, it is blessed with a lot of natural light and ventilation. The obvious choice was to follow a light colour palette that would enhance the natural light flow. The living room has white walls with a touch of grey and taupe, the same was intended to continue in the kitchen and common bathroom. The entire apartment has flooring of light grey Italian marble so I thought of taking something different on the kitchen floor, but at the same time complementing the colour palette. And hence the light wood textured tile.”

The majority of light coming through in the kitchen is from the large window, making it look airy and cheerful. “The only other lights are two strips of profile lights on the ceiling and task lights underneath the overhead shutters,” informs the designer.

Appliances, accessories and more

Opting for built-in appliances has rendered the kitchen a neat clean and compact look while allowing fitting in a lot of appliances and gadgets. “The built-in appliances used in this kitchen are the microwave, oven and dishwasher all from Siemens. The size and finish available suited the client’s budget and our décor too,” shares Shami.

She further adds, “Built-in appliances are not just meant for larger kitchens. They snugly fit into smaller layouts too, thereby making the kitchen look less cluttered. As for large kitchens, I would still opt for built-in systems as they look neat, wires/plugs are not seen and it is a good option when going for modular kitchens.”

Talking about what excites her about designing kitchens, Shami shares, “For me, planning the kitchen layout is very exciting as it allows me to recall all my previous experiences and provide the client with various options. My design philosophy focuses on making the space uncluttered – which means each item should have a space of its own – whether it is kitchen gadgets or even kitchen cleaning rags and plastic dabbas. To provide more space than what the client anticipated, would be my greatest accomplishment.”


Location: Mahim, Mumbai

Size: 10’ x 7’6”

Materials: Floor – Wood finish tiles; Countertop – white composite marble; Backsplash – tiles; Dark grey cabinets under the counter – imported dead matt finish; Overhead cabinets – white back-painted glass with profile handles.