Interior design & decoration ideas

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How are modern kitchens different from older ones?

Over time, kitchen design has become more important. Where once it was a place where the woman of the house gathered to make meals for the family, the modern lifestyle has redefined the use of the kitchen. They are now considered a common space where families, friends and sometimes guests gather to enjoy delicious food and pleasant conversations. This is especially true in modern homes that have an open design that connects the kitchen with the living and dining areas. In India’s urban areas, including cities such as Chennai and Bangalore, the kitchen is often integrated into the social areas even in villas and small houses. Of course, with the advances in technology, the appliances and equipment used in modern kitchens are considerably different from the ones you may have come across in old bungalows.

What are the essentials in a modern kitchen?

Modern kitchens are designed to be intelligent, efficient, functional and practical. They have aesthetic storage systems that hide away clutter, keeping the countertops neat and the room looking spacious. Today’s modular kitchens are designed with great attention to detail to ensure that there is a specific space to store everything, whether it’s appliances, bottles of spices or utensils.  Floating shelves can be used to store things that you want to display in the kitchen, whether it’s colourful crockery, vintage copper utensils, which bring a trendy industrial style to the kitchen, or recipe books.

Since the modern trend leans towards creating multi-functional spaces in a home, it’s a great idea to add a feature that helps your kitchen achieve this effect.  For example, you can install an island counter that serves as a room separator as well as a bar, storage cabinet and dining area in your kitchen. 

In addition to this, modern kitchens should have adequate ventilation—especially since open plans cause the odours or smoke to permeate the connected social spaces such as the living room and the dining room. Therefore, large windows and powerful extractors are recommended. Modern kitchens should have built-in hobs with extractor hoods. If you are renovating your kitchen, the entire system, including a gas/oven and extractor will cost around 25,000 rupees for the smallest and most affordable models. The prices vary depending on the brand as well as the size of the extractor and stove.

In many of the older apartments in cities such as Mumbai, where the housing societies lay down restrictions for making changes to the exterior façade, it might not always be possible to install an extractor with a suction pipe to flush out odours and smoke. In such cases, a powerful and silent exhaust fan is a must in the kitchen.

How much will it cost to build or renovate a modern kitchen?

This will depend on several factors such as the size of your kitchen, the materials used as well as the overall design that you want to execute. Keep in mind that the cost of building modern kitchens from scratch won’t be the same as renovating your antiquated kitchen to turn it into something spectacular. So, before making any decision, we recommend you contact a couple of professional kitchen planners and get a few quotes. The starting price of a basic modular kitchen can be around 100,000 INR. However, this will vary significantly depending upon the design, appliances, accessories and finishes.

What is the role of lighting in a modern kitchen?

To create a modern kitchen, you must think of its sources of light, both natural and artificial. The lighting systems in contemporary kitchens should be aesthetic and functional! Therefore, we recommend you use LED light bulbs that allow you to illuminate areas where you need more brightness. Another idea is to install LED light frames in the floor of the kitchen or along the edge of the ceiling. Similarly, you can add them under the base frame of your shelves or the contour of a kitchen island. LED bulbs are costlier than regular incandescent ones, but they will reduce your energy costs in the long run and save the planet. A false ceiling or a drywall can be used to fix LED lights in a creative display that becomes the highlight of your kitchen. You can also think about hanging a few elegant pendant lamps over an island or bar counter to add sophistication to your kitchen design.

How can I integrate my kitchen with other areas of my house?

As we mentioned earlier, open plans are the order of the day in modern homes, and this extends to kitchens. You can integrate the kitchen with other social areas of the house such as the dining room or the living room. This will not only make your home look trendy but also optimize the space in these shared areas by eliminating walls! 

You can create a well-integrated open plan by making your kitchen island the dining area, with a design that is solid in places, but has hollow sections into which you can place chairs or stools. Likewise, the kitchen island or countertop could become an element that visually separates the adjoining dining room in the shared space. 

If you live in a studio apartment-studio or a small house, it is worthwhile to consider more radical alternatives such as a prefabricated or custom-made kitchen that is designed specifically for the narrow or tiny space. Some to these designs are so clever that you can hide a kitchen inside a large storage cupboard in a living room.  A custom-built or prefabricated kitchen, can cost anything from 3,00,000 INR for a small straight layout to around 10,00,000 for a state-of-the-art model with professional standard appliances and equipment. 

Before you pick a design, make a list of what you need from the kitchen. For example, for a couple living in an urban area like Bangalore or Pune, if cooking is not a priority, with busy lifestyles and the ease of getting meals delivered home, investing in a high-end hob and extractor or a built-in oven may be totally unnecessary. Similarly, in a weekend house in an area such as Munnar or Ooty, where you like to cook while entertaining your visitors, designing a kitchen with professional appliances as well as a dining counter that can seat guests is a functional option. 

Browse through the professionally designed modern kitchens on homify and save your favourite ones so that you can use them as reference when you are sharing your ideas with a kitchen planner.