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Lifestyle Influenced Kitchens

January 9, 2023

Remona Divekar

Kitchens are ever-evolving. The functionality of kitchens has changed over a course of time fulfilling all kinds of requirements of today’s consumers in terms of aesthetics, design and technology, ensuring intelligent space utilisation. Pratap Jadhav, Principal Designer of Pratap Jadhav and Associates shares some interesting facts about kitchen design with Remona Divekar.

With the kitchen being such a high-activity area, over the course of time, it has become a living space with maximum time spent even beyond cooking. Newer homes, these days are designed keeping in mind kitchens as living spaces where size is certainly not a prerequisite for a great interesting and inspiring kitchen.

Designing a kitchen is all about the speciality features that are integrated into the space to make preparing food and beverage easy. The kitchen might be equipped with the most beautiful cabinets, technologically advanced appliances and high-end finishes but if the layout doesn't meet the requirements of a homeowner's lifestyle, all of the fanfare may fall flat.

These newer, larger, more accommodating kitchens are planned to create a natural flow for those coming and going hence the idea of the kitchen as a living space has started gaining more popularity. Everyone appreciates having a kitchen that is safe, spacious, easy to use and beautiful where the rooms are filled with energy, aroma and texture created to be utilitarian spaces.

The kitchen design once chosen lasts for years, hence, it becomes essential to get them right as it is important to spend quality time to choose right, and spend right. Photo Courtesy: Pratap Jadhav and Associates

Pratap Jadhav, Principal Designer of Pratap Jadhav and Associates from his 33 years of experience in residential interiors says, “When planning a kitchen, careful consideration is given as to how efficiently the space will be used, ensuring maximum comfort to the homemaker or the person working in the kitchen. Core design concepts are being incorporated into many aspects of kitchen design, including appliances, cabinets, lighting and flooring. In the designing process, it is important to understand the usability of the kitchens, post which layout is made suitable to the lifestyle of the occupant.”

He further adds, “It is important to identify each zone which will work best for the kitchens as it cannot look like a leftover space. It has various flows and different work areas that need to be integrated throughout the entire project. Irrespective of the size of an apartment or flat, the height of the kitchen platform is irrelevant, it is important to focus on the benefit of the user in the kitchen. Therefore, it becomes essential to stress on having maintenance-free kitchens in India where almost everyone likes to clean, and wash the platform every time post their cooking. This quality underlines the fact that a suitable kitchen for India is one which can be washed easily or is of minimum maintenance. Corporate kitchens are not exceptional; here too maintenance and hygiene play an integral role”.

Types of kitchen layout

An efficient kitchen that maximizes independence and convenience is the cornerstone of good design. Designing an efficient kitchen is also a complex task which involves keeping the work triangle compact. Functional, usable and economical kitchen designs are practically preferred. In smaller kitchens, the size and shape of the room will often dictate the layout. In larger rooms, there are more options to consider.

The L-shaped layout allows room for a dining area in the kitchen and provides ample storage space and floor space. U-shaped layouts in the smaller kitchens may provide maximum storage and application capacity but standing space is limited. A galley-style kitchen requires less space and sometimes provides people with more than one entry and exit point.

All kitchens have various routes, some that everyone uses and others that are only occasionally used. Primary throughways are designed outside the expanded work triangle. The appropriate size and location of both garbage and recycling bins in the kitchen make clean-up efficient. Containers within a cabinet system maximize the usage of space.

The maintenance of kitchens particularly in the uneven and fluctuating climatic temperature is difficult, particularly in those corners of the kitchen where it can be difficult to mend. Photo Courtesy: Pratap Jadhav and Associates

Appliances, gadgets and more

Jadhav tells, “Marrying modern with traditional designs will make the kitchen space cool and quite timeless as the approach to the design of kitchens is contemporary. There is a greater interest in the various components of kitchen design that allow for an enhanced visual appeal while bringing in important features of hardware and aesthetics, such as adjustable height sink, cooktop, workstation and upper cabinets, integrated into the design where food can be prepared with ease along with its accessories. Think about what can be ideally stored in the kitchen and how the appliances can be used without making the kitchen platform messy.”

Elaborating on the countertops, he says, “The key to proper height placement is to keep the counter to a minimum thickness for easy adaptability and accessibility of all kinds of family members, young and old alike. It can be achieved by installing counters with electrically adjustable heights, available from a number of innovative kitchen designs. Clear counter space provides easy accessibility to major food appliances. Rounded or bull-nose edges on counters increase safety by eliminating the danger of sharp corners. Storing related things in the same cupboard is easy to find especially for people with limited mobility and visual impairment. Touch-and-release drawers and cupboards are universally accessible to everyone.”

Designing a kitchen is all about the speciality features that are integrated into the space to make preparing food and beverage easy. Photo Courtesy: Pratap Jadhav and Associates