In modern houses, modular kitchens are a dream come true. They blend beauty and functionality with the perfect combination of cabinets, including wall-mounted and floor units. Additionally, they help to maximize the space in the kitchen so that it looks well-organized and clutter free. However, before you go ahead and install a modular kitchen, you should ensure that you have all the elements designed correctly, so that your money is spent wisely.
Today, we present you with 6 key factors to keep in mind when you are working with a kitchen planner or interior designer to install a modular kitchen.
For decades, interior design professionals have followed the principle of the golden triangle when designing a kitchen. As per this, the most efficient work flow is achieved in the kitchen when the cooking area, washing zone and storage section are placed in a triangular arrangement at a distance of at least 4 feet and up to a maximum of 9 feet away from each other. In a modern kitchen, this translates to having the stove top, the sink and the refrigerator placed at each vertex of an imaginary triangle.
This design is easy to achieve in most of the modern kitchen layouts, whether it’s U-shaped, L-shaped or even in a galley-style one. In a U-shaped layout, the stove and the refrigerator can be placed along opposite walls with the sink in the middle. In other layouts, besides the position of the three main elements, you should also account for where the other appliances need to be placed in relation to the stove and the refrigerator. The whole idea is to make the work flow in the kitchen as smooth as possible.
Installing a modular kitchen is aimed at making life easier in terms of daily cleaning, so when you choose materials for the kitchen, opt for low-maintenance ones. Natural stone is a good option for the counters as once it is sealed, the surface can be wiped down easily. Stainless steel is ideal for modern kitchens as it not only looks sleek but also is high on hygiene. It’s a popular choice for appliances, including the refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. However, you can use it for the countertop and cabinets as well.
Whatever you choose as the base material in your kitchen, ensure that you combine it with another easy-to-clean material that adds a refreshing contrast. For example, too much steel in the kitchen can bring a cold vibe, taking away the cosiness. In such cases, introducing warmer tones through wood cabinets or granite counters can soften the commercial look of steel.
It’s not enough to fill up the wall and floor space with cabinets and shelves. Depending on your requirements, you need to compartmentalize storage. Drawers for pots and pans need to be taller than those used to store cutlery. Similarly, if you have a large family and bigger vessels, you need to design customized shelves or cabinets to make sure that they can be stored easily when they are not in use. Corner units should come with swivel or swing out systems that allow you to access things from the deepest part of the cabinet without hurting your back.
You should also think about work efficiency when you design storage. Spices, ladles, pots and pans that you use daily should be stored close to the gas stove when they are within arm’s reach. Within cabinets and drawers, you can help to keep things more organized by installing sections. Keep the items you use most often in the top drawers where they are easily accessible.
Get some ideas on how to create storage for organized kitchens.
If your kitchen has a lot of small appliances that need to be stored after use to keep the counters free, design a shelf with a garage-style rolling shutter as its door so that it’s easy to keep things tucked away to make the kitchen look neat.
For small or narrow kitchens, where cabinet space is limited, consider hanging up your pots and pans on hooks. This way, they can be accessed easily. Additionally, you can paint the wall in a bold colour to make your pots and pans look like they are décor accessories in the kitchen.
It’s always useful to have a pantry in your kitchen, so if you have the space for it, you should include at least a small one. Of course, a separate room just off the kitchen would be ideal, but since space is a constraint in most modern homes, you can design a cupboard, with pull out drawers and pocket shelves on the inner side of the door. Consider using steel racks instead of conventional shelves as this will help to keep the cupboard better ventilated. Use the pantry section to store items that don’t get spoiled easily. These include packaged foods such as pasta, rice and dals. The smaller racks on the doors can be reserved for preserves, pickles, sauces or drinks.
Since most contemporary houses and apartments follow an open-plan design, it’s vital to have a well-ventilated kitchen so that the strong odours don’t waft into the living area. In earlier times, exhaust fans were used in Indian kitchens to flush out the smells from the kitchen, but nowadays modular kitchens feature chimneys with powerful suction that extracts any odours directly from above the stove and carries it out of the kitchen. This way, you don’t have to worry about the odour of masala being absorbed by your dining room curtains or the living room upholstery.
Additionally, if your kitchen has a window, you should ensure that nothing blocks it. That way, you can open it once a day to let some fresh air into the space. For the summer, if you need to stay cool while you are cooking, it’s advisable to install an air-conditioning unit rather than a fan as the breeze from the fan blades might put out the fire on the stove when you are cooking.
If you live in a small home gets tips on how to cross-ventilate rooms.
Kitchen floors are prone to wetness, so you run the risk of slipping and injuring yourself if you skid on the floor. As a precaution, you should install anti-skid tiles on the kitchen floor.
Since you work with knives in a kitchen, it’s important that the counters are well illuminated so that the risk of accidents is minimized. Additionally, you should keep a small fire extinguisher in your kitchen but earmark a safe storage space for it. The extinguisher should be accessible but away from the stove or the gas cylinder, which are the main sources of fire in the kitchen.
In India, depending upon the size of the kitchen, a modular kitchen can cost INR 2,00,000 and upwards. Working with an interior architect or kitchen planner can help you to design a space that is suited to your specific needs as every family has its own requirements based on food habits, the size of the family and one’s lifestyle. When you consult a professional, they will ask you questions to get an idea of the elements that are essential in your kitchen, based of which they will put together a customized design.