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Home and decor
Planning your Kitchen

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The Modern Kitchen

People come in all sizes and shapes and so do the varieties of kitchens. The kitchen is again a very personal space and reflects your tastes and set of aptitudes. Lets have a look :-

When we say a kitchen, we consider all those involved - children, men old women and of course the lady of the house. As you will agree, the kitchen is not a woman confined space it extends to the children making their own sandwiches, doing their homework while mama cooks, men like to do their bit in the kitchens like mixing a cocktail or preparing a exotic snack or even for a light to match their cigarettes.

Considering what old people say, we often have to depend on someone else to reach a jar of biscuits or other such trivia which they would be happier fending for by themselves. So bearing in mind all those who use a kitchen every household specifies its distinct needs and wants.

Generally a kitchen has 3 elements of prime consideration that are juxtaposed with each other to derive the combination best suited to the requirement in question. Freeze - Cook - Wash comprises a triangular positioning in an ideal kitchen plan. To arrive to your requirements of an ideal kitchen plan you must first take an objective look at your family's pattern of living and own work habits and preferences. Draw up a checklist of your requirements- a shelf for recipe books, as easily accessible convenience rack for those indispensable masalas a within reach cabinet for biscuits and snacks or definite electrical connections for the dishwasher , mixer or toaster. In fact even ambient lightning can be pre defined in order to attain a well lit kitchen.

Nearly Indian women spend 45% of her working time in her home in the kitchen. Cooking food, or updating the daily grocery or even chatting to friends over cordless, it all revolves around the kitchen.

Planning the kitchen is thus on 3 principal premises - location, floor  area and equipment.

Size of the kitchen - Ideally the floor area allocated for the kitchen should be a minimum 60 sq. ft - 9'0" x 7'0" with a thorough inter relation between the cooking washing and the freezing areas. This arrangement can be adapted to almost any space and is generally referred to as the efficient working triangle.

Types of kitchens

Whether U shaped, island , L shaped lined along the wall, modular kitchen or a corridor kitchen, it is on this principle that various kitchen types are planned and designed. Despite its highly functional nature, your kitchen should be as attractive and enjoyable to be in as any other room in the house.

U shaped kitchen
This arrangement is the most efficient one. Its greatest advantage is convenience flow of movement between the three work areas. Many a time one leg of the U is used as an island. However the kind of kitchen commands an equally efficient use of space especially for the corner units. Generally U shaped kitchens should be at least 10 feet wide at the base of the U. Anything narrower would result in a poor storage area and a cramped sink.
Advantage is are that the distances between the appliances are relatively shorter and they provide ample work space and storage space.

Island Kitchen
yet another option to save on the cook's energy as well as decoration costs is the provision of a peninsular unit that is composite enough to hold preparation, cooking and eating facilities. Ideal for a small family and especially if there is a space constraint, this island kitchen is generally accompanied by an open plan.

L Shaped Kitchen
This is an arrangement that can be adapted to almost any space and has a very efficient work triangle. With the corner sinks available, the arrangement can be attractively enhanced. generally in large kitchens, the L shape is often used with an island. 
The chef advantage of L shaped kitchen is that it makes space available for eating area or other family activities.

The One Wall Kitchen
When width is a problem, the one wall kitchen is generally preferred. They are usually found in one room apartments, sharing units and holiday cottages. However if the span is not too long and the traffic can be controlled to maintain an organized balance, a kitchen such as this is compact and can be accommodated anywhere. The storage area and counter top are of course considerably restricted. 

Modular Kitchen
Ready made kitchens have taken the world by storm. Scrupulously designed to fulfill individual needs, and adapt to the available space, modular kitchens that have become the common way of life. Standardized modules, pre fabricated in a variety of ranges materials, colours and finishes graciously fit the bill of fare to suit the modern kitchen. When the convenience and comfort of ready modules, one can avail of modern facilities and maintain a consistency in decor that defines ones personal statement of style. The basic modules are characterized by standardized units for the floor and wall, deep units to accommodate electrical appliances and gas trolleys and a wide choice of accessories in the form of wire baskets, carousels and adjustable shelves and pull out units. 

Materials used are just as varied. You could choose, lacquered wood, combinations of wood and laminate and granite or even aluminum and marble, or just flow freely with the tide of ingenious material at hand and explore your creative flair for a custom built one. 


Corridor kitchen 
Similar to a compact one wall unit a passage kitchen is a common sight in many cramped metropolitan apartments. Again the basic plan would essentially incorporate  the users pattern of working and living. It generally incorporates the advantages of working in an open plan. 

Features in a dream Home

Good work surface
In a well planned kitchen there should be  3 main work surfaces. one for food preparation and washing up, one for food mixing and one for cooking. Ideally each area should have adjacent storage for items need for each function - for example the vegetable rack and the refrigerator near the food preparation area and pots and pans above or below the cooking area. 

A heatproof work surface is needed beside the oven and hotplate. Some oven makers produce metal workshops inserts but wood  or cork mats can also be used. 

Excellent lightning
An even spread of light with no shadows is essential in a kitchen, and this is best achieved with fluorescent lamps. a centrally fitted lamp the wattage will depend on the size of the kitchen - will give good general illumination, but may caste a shadow of anyone standing in front of a work surface. This can be overcome by fitting tubular fluorescent lights beneath the front edges and wall mounted cup boards. 

The flooring is of utmost importance. One needs to minimize the chances of slipping for the kitchen floor is one place where water usually spills over. 

The different types of surface materials used:-

Now have some solid plans for your kitchen?

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