Designing Kitchen – The Contemporary Way
Designing Kitchen – The Contemporary Way
February 21, 2023
The USP of this kitchen, designed by Milind Pai – Architects & Interior Designers, is the efficient space management for a relatively tight space, rendering the kitchen a clean modern look, writes Mrinmoy Dey.
Understanding the food culture and consumption pattern of the end user is key to the essential part of planning and designing Kitchens. “The design philosophy behind every kitchen is to suit all the needs of the lady of the house, looking at its practicality without compromising on the aesthetics,” asserts Milind Pai, CEO & Founder of the Mumbai-based design firm Milind Pai – Architects & Interior Designers.
And, this philosophy is well-reflected in this contemporary kitchen, in an apartment located in Goregaon – a suburb of Mumbai. This apartment measuring about 3000 sq. ft. is designed in a modern theme and the kitchen is in a rectangular plan with parallel platforms running along the length. “It’s fully loaded with all modern basic appliances as per the requirements of the 2+2 nuclear family for a kitchen area of 200 sq. ft. approximately.”
Explaining how culture and food habits shape the designing of a kitchen, Milind explains, “Based on these factors, important entities like dry storage, cold storage & kitchen appliances are induced productively. All the quantities and proportions of the space planning are dependent on these factors. There is a vast requirement change that comes with factors like modern v/s traditional, Veg. v/s Non Veg., Urban v/s Rural. Even the design will be changing user-specific based on religion, caste and community.”
Opting for built-in appliances has rendered this kitchen a neat, clean and compact look while allowing fitting in a lot of appliances and gadgetries. Photo Courtesy: Milind Pai Architects and Interior Designers
Speaking about the brief given by the client, Milind informs, “The only vital specifications given by the client was for a modern kitchen with subtle colours and clean lines. The client also wanted the kitchen to be fully equipped with modern appliances.”
He further adds, “The main challenge was to convince clients to go for fully modular kitchens rather than opting for semi-modular or site customised ones. We finally convinced them by showing our few completed projects and a few modular kitchen showrooms where they explained in detail the difference between semi-modular and fully modular kitchens and also the advantages of the latter. Also, a fully modular kitchen has better finishing with quicker work completion and is also cost-efficient.”
The kitchen is designed in a contemporary style. “We think a contemporary style is best suited for Indian kitchens, based on our cooking conventions, maintenance aspects, and minimalist looks. The working triangle should be well planned in order to make it more systematic.”
The layout of the kitchen – the long and narrow space, is one of the first things that comes to notice. Speaking on the rationale behind opting for such a layout, Milind explains, “This was a completely new project which we designed in such a manner to make it look prolonged and spacious. The key criteria, applied for this linear planning was the entry of the kitchen placed centrally on one end so the full length of both the walls gets utilised and secondly we did not think it was appropriate in this case to block the window on the opposite wall which also was in the centre of that wall and both these platforms.”
This is planned in such a way that while one wall has been utilised for the countertop and prep zone, the other wall has been used for appliances and cabinets, besides the sink. “The parallel counter kitchen is suited best for this slightly rectangular space because when you enter the kitchen, you don’t see any kind of clutter or heavy equipment across, thus visually giving us a clean look, which wouldn’t have been the case in an L- or U-shaped plan. Second, using the L & U shaped platform would’ve made it look more congested and blocked access to the opposite window which sometimes is very necessary for a visual connection with the outside environment of any workplace, especially from home. Third, the client wanted enough moving and free space for circulation.”
The client had briefed to opt for a modern design in subtle colours. Besides, the colour white always makes a compact space look airy and spacious. Photo Courtesy: Milind Pai Architects and Interior Designers
Materials, colour palette & Lighting
For flooring and walls white tiles have been used. The tiles used are vitrified, and glossy for the flooring and the walls. “Ceramic tiles are rarely used nowadays and the preferred ones are the vitrified types that are more durable and homogeneous. Glass and SS is also a popular choice for high-end kitchens in tops and dados. For countertops it is best to use and choose between the new generations of quartz materials which are available in many new shades different from the natural types,” says Milind.
He further adds that the Quartz material mentioned for the tops can hold up the heat from hot pans, and is easy to clean and maintain. Hence, the designers can choose from a huge variety of materials available in the market in order to match the family’s lifestyle, preferences and the type of cooking happening, as per what would best suit that project.
Detailing the use of our materials, Milind adds, “We have used Quartz on the countertop, for its durability and anti-acidic properties. And also for its refined look. We have used back-painted glass in the backsplash, which gives it a seamless look and partially reflects some surfaces making the end space appear larger. Not only is glass easy to clean and maintain, but it is also a non-porous material, that helps cut down on germs and bacteria from food products.”
White as the dominant colour here, combined with shades of grey in the backsplash, refrigerator, washbasin, and part of the cabinets, made up the colour palette for this kitchen. “The client had briefed us to opt for a modern design in subtle colours. Besides, the colour white always makes a compact space look airy and spacious,” opines Milind.
The kitchen has access to daylight through the windows. “Other than natural daylight, we’ve used COB spotlights and under cabinet LED profiles to accentuate the overall kitchen ambience.”
"This was a completely new project which we designed in such a manner to make it look prolonged and spacious. The key criteria, applied for this linear planning was the entry of the kitchen placed centrally on one end so the full length of both the walls gets utilised and secondly we did not think it was appropriate in this case to block the window on the opposite wall which also was in the centre of that wall and both these platforms."
CEO & Founder
Milind Pai – Architects & Interior Designers.