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“Aesthetics is Something that ‘Wraps’ the Functionality”


“Aesthetics is Something that ‘Wraps’ the Functionality”

January 9, 2024

From just a coffee corner, the office kitchen takes a step into a larger function.

An interesting aside of the burgeoning kitchen design industry in India is not just the high-end modular kitchen and the gadgetry that comes with it but steady development in the corporate space as well.

Research has revealed that offices and workspaces with well-designed and efficient kitchen areas exert a positive and motivating influence on the workforce at all levels. The corporate world, therefore, gives significant importance to a kitchen design that goes beyond the idea of a ‘pantry’ in an obscure corner.

The ideal pantry design in an office blends the quieter areas with group seating and meeting places. At the same time, it allows for modern appliances and adequate counter space and storage options. However, the centrepiece of it all remains the actual kitchenette which fulfils the demands of a regular kitchen without overshadowing the corporate look of the space.

Irena Kilibarda, a Serbian designer from Belgrade has worked to develop one such project. Her recent design of an office kitchen defines her attention to minimalism, functionality and their judicious blend to create the perfect design.

Modern appliances and adequate counter space; Photo Courtesy: Dsignedby

Office Kitchenette

Her latest minimalist design for what is known as the Office Kitchenette is a contemporary kitchen which blends style and function for a space that is cutting-edge yet inviting. With the appearance of being a discrete and classic cabinet, the piece of furniture acts as a compact and efficient kitchen for any office space.

Emblematic of functional chic, the kitchenette’s integrated storage and appliances can efficiently accommodate all kitchen equipment.

With a choice and mix of materials, the look of the design is sleek, clean and clutter-concealed. The materials also reveal the focus on function and aesthetics.

Perfect materials

Made from fibreboard with oak veneered fronts and special matt acrylic paint, the kitchen neatly houses a Bosch dishwasher, domestic minibar, Häfele hardware, USB and EU sockets, R.W. Atlas faucet by Waterworks, and a Corian DuPont cameo white worktop with a closable sink. The cabinet can be custom-made, with bespoke sizing, colours and functions.

Irena Kilibarda is an architect and designer who has studied at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Belgrade and implemented numerous interior projects. Her projects are published in renowned journals and on world blogs dealing with architecture and design. She is a Founder of the architectural and design studio Designed by.

When it comes to design, Irena believes that functionality and beauty should never be mutually exclusive. Coming from a background in architectural design, her work displays the art of combining simplicity with classic influences before adding final high-tech touches.

The Office Kitchenette designed by her reflects her ideas of minimalism and aesthetic simplicity with functional efficiency.

Irena Kilibarda

Founder, Dsignedby

Belgrade, Serbia

Fact-file: Office Kitchenette

Designer: Irena Kilibarda

Material: Oak, Bosch dishwasher, Corian DuPont worktop, Hafele hardware, Waterworks faucet

Size: 185x70x90cm

In an exclusive interaction with Kitchen Ideas, Irena Kilibarda, the creator of the Office Kitchenette emphasises efficient design over any over-the-top element.

The office kitchen is usually a small pantry at one end of the hall. How does your design for an office kitchen go beyond the definition of a regular pantry kitchen?

This kitchen is much more than a kind of cabinet, especially in an office. When you look at it, it is a piece of design furniture that could be found in a living room as well as the waiting area of the office building. It has also to be a freestanding piece. The idea is that it can be positioned in the middle of a room. The office area can have many features that might not offer much leeway to a kitchen space, for example, there can be water or electrical installations in that spot. The right design therefore must work around it.

What features mark your kitchen’s minimalism in design and does it contain enough space to function like a regular one?

The office kitchen does away with frills as it has to be focused on space management and balance. The size of the kitchen is enough for most offices. We designed it in a way that the minibar fridge is built-in and there is a DuPont Corian sink that is easy to clean and could be closed when not in use. The most used equipment in the office pantry is easily the coffee machine with drawers underneath it for supplies. If a portable induction hob is added, which is done conveniently, the space can function as a regular small kitchenette.

Sleek and minimalistic kitchen fixtures; Photo Courtesy: Dsignedby