November 21, 2010 4:15:03 am
From a place to cook and do dishes,kitchens have transformed into lifestyle spaces
Kitchens have come out of the hiding. It is now an integral part of the house and no longer tucked away in a far corner. Its where we chat,try out new recipes and entertain friends, says Ridhima Garg,a banker. Indeed,with spare-time shrinking,meals double as family hours. Thats the reason,when designing the house,a lot of effort went into doing up the kitchen. I was very clear there had to be a designated place for a breakfast table,chimney,hob,dishwasher,fridge and a microwave, Garg says. As a result,her kitchen is arguably one of the hubs of the house,where family and friends catch up while a meal steams on the stove.
Gurleen Kalsi of A&A Modulars,too,has noticed the growing importance of kitchens. People now put a lot of thought into it, she says,adding that theme kitchens are the latest trend. Kitchens now boast European finishes,built-in refrigerators and chimneys,and easy-to-clean surfaces among other features, she says. Most kitchens also have space for domestic help,provision for the Indian wet kitchen concept,and space for both use and misuse.
Many houses also segregate cooking areas,one for Indian cooking and the other,loaded with a hot plate and a grill. A storage area,too,is becoming important. People have realised that getting a modular kitchen does not mean they are aping the West blindly. We are not fond of frozen food and so the extended freezer does not have many takers, Kalsi says. Indians takes into account space utility as well. They want to use every nook and corner. As far as décor matters,bright reds,greens and purples have begu to make an appearance in kitchens, chips in Sandeep Shukla,Marketing Head,Evok,a home store.
Shukla adds,With the number of working women on a rise,the focus has shifted from design to functionality. Thats the reason appliances like hob,chimney,microwave,toaster,grill and a big fridge have become mandatory in all homes. As for the dishwasher,that depends on ones buying capacity, says Shivani Agnihotri,an English teacher,whos re-doing her house in Sector 21. For her,adequate lighting is of importance. While natural light is healthy and eco-friendly,task lighting like the under-cabinet lights make working comfortable. As for decorative lighting,it can be used sparingly to create special areas, Agnihotri also recommends segregated waste disposal for bio-degradable and non-degradable waste. While designing an eco-friendly kitchen,a few key elements that need attention are accessibility,efficiency and economical benefit, she says,while Usha Bansal,a housewife,recommends energy-saving appliances. But above everything else,its just about making the whole process of cooking and eating fun for you and your family, she concludes.
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