The kitchen isn’t just a space to cook for the entire family or when guests are over, it is the centre of most family activities. More than just a functional space, where you just cook and store food, it is the new living room of your house. Maybe that’s why, when you choose to remodel your house or shift into a new home, the kitchen is the first place to receive refurbishment. Luxury is in the eye of the beholder, and hence it’s your perception of your dream kitchen, along with a few designer tips, that can transform your normal kitchen into a luxurious space.
However, before you decide on the kind of kitchen you want, keep in mind the convenience factor. Luxury doesn’t mean hindrance and cooking need not be a tiring task, rather an enjoyable activity. Therefore, in the initial stages of designing a kitchen, workout the location of cooking (the area that will have hobs, hoods and the oven), cooling area (refrigerator, coffee machine or wine conditioner) and the wet area (sinks and dishwasher), and make sure that they are within your arm’s reach, but at the same time not look congested.
Go for design. Designer kitchens are in vogue. “Check out the ergonomics, space utility of kitchen furniture and appliances. Mix and match, allow contrast and make it as automatic as you can,” says Dhananjay Chaturvedi, Managing Director, Miele India. Pooja Kejriwal, Managing Partner, Home Collective, says, “Kitchen design trends and decorating ideas reflect the fact that modern kitchen interiors become multi-functional. People cook food, watch TV, use computer, study, eat and entertain guests in modern kitchens. Modern kitchen design and interior decorating are technologically advanced, beautiful, ergonomic, functional, space saving, light and comfortable. Fusion of styles and retro kitchen design ideas create exciting, unique and modern kitchens. The combinations of traditional kitchen designs with eclectic or pop-art interiors and colours demonstrate a bright, impressive, personal and modern kitchen. The integration of kitchen interiors with living rooms and dining rooms is one of the modern kitchen design trends fast gaining popularity.”
Space is the biggest luxury. So make sure that there is enough space to allow your loved ones to go on a food voyage, while you line up the choicest dishes. Lately, designers like Philippe Starck has made a stainless steel kitchen with shutters and some parts embedded with Swarovski. You can use a similar technique to make the interiors look luxurious, spacious and multi-functional. According to Kejriwal, space-saving ideas, small shelves, rails and hanging items for additional storage, small containers and baskets, knife holders and various organisers allow efficient use of valuable space on the walls and inside cabinets for storage. Additionally, custom cabinets can be made for storage and can vary with different cooking styles.
Your kitchen countertop is one of the most important aspects, which needs to be looked into, as most designer kitchens have several variations depending on the task like cutting, cooking, serving and eating. The most expensive and favoured worktop material is granite, because it is robust, durable, easy to clean and wonderful to look at. According to Chaturvedi, Corian too looks beautiful. He adds, “The best part about Corian is that its colour and finish can be customised as per the requirement.” Besides granite, according to Sumesh Menon and Vivek Popli of V & S Associates, you can use a specific kind of metal like stainless steel, wood (lacquer white and red), ceaser stone or custom made stone and back painted glass. Or like California-based renowned interior designer Amy Finley, makes your countertop into a showpiece by using 1,900 pounds of onyx illuminated from within with 1,600 LED lights. Rebekah Zaveloff, Owner and principal designer, KitchenLab uses Carrara marble to seamlessly blend with white subway-tile backsplash and white cabinets for an integrated look.
Modern kitchen design materials include traditional wood, glass, plastic, ceramic, stone and metal. Kejriwal says, “Kitchen designers and redesigning kitchen interior specialists suggest choosing contemporary stone, glass and metal alloys and stylish decorating materials for work surfaces. Traditional kitchen designs and contemporary interior decorating ideas are blended in modern design trends that celebrate old world charm and new technology.” You could even try glass countertops for a sleek look. They can be cut into any shape, and stained in any colour, and though it is a pricier option, it is becoming increasingly popular with modern kitchens. Danenberg Designs have constantly used glass with their modern Italian kitchens with lacquered kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances.
According to Ishitta Arun, interior designer, Art Like This, use a mixture of countertop materials. “In large luxury kitchens, having the space dominated by slabs of granite or marble countertops can make the room cold and harsh. You could instead, opt for wood, giving it a more traditional kitchen-table look.” A luxury kitchen is when you have an ‘uncluttered’ kitchen top, which gives a sense of space and luxury to your kitchen. Nothing clutters the design of your luxury kitchen like a bunch of appliances filling up your counter top. Design a space to conceal all the counter top appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters, blenders, etc.
Arun adds, “Pull-out cabinets can be used for storing frequently used appliances so that they do not occupy space on the counter top. Foldable custom-made counter tops can be used as dining tables as well.” Pininfarina, the same firm that designs Ferraris, use high-gloss metallic-finish cabinets and acropolis, an aviation-inspired workspace made from recycled aircraft aluminum and stainless steel for their futuristic kitchens. The acropolis incorporates a large Foster sink, a four-burner electric Foster cooktop, bottle and knife holders, and plenty of storage and cooking space. A control panel in the acropolis also controls the audio and visual components for the entire house, thus getting rid of the clutter without compromising on technology.
Appliances and Gadgets
In today’s day and age, technology is the mainstay of any space, and the kitchen is no different. Gas or induction cook tops, hoods and steam ovens are a necessity. You cannot do without a good refrigerator and a coffee machine though they can be placed in the living room. And a dishwasher is an absolute requirement. “Go for built-in appliances as they integrate seamlessly with the kitchen interiors and acquire minimum space. Smart appliances like ovens, which preserve the moisture and nutrient value of food, feather touch kitchen drawers, appliances, which you can control with the touch of a button are set to become more popular as we all get lifestyle conscious,” suggests Chaturvedi.
Other luxury kitchen appliances can include home chimneys, built-in ovens and built-in micro waves, a built-in sub zero wine chiller, a toaster, a coffee and tea making machine and a griller. According to Menon, a stroked chimney plays a vital role as it sucks out all the smoke, while coffee and tea makers, along with a wine cooler can give a high-end cafeteria appeal. Keep in mind, it is not only about the right appliances, but the way you display the appliances that makes all the difference.
Take a cue from Atlanta’s luxury condominium residences – the ultra-luxurious tower called The Mansion on Peachtree where the Clive Christian kitchen is served as a showpiece. The Wolf range of stoves and gadgets are placed in Edwardian kitchen cabinetry that is hand-painted in ivory, an island made from contemporary oak, and on signature Clive Christian bar stools.
And speaking about entertainment in the kitchen, whoever said a kitchen is just for cooking? It can be your very own entertainment zone as well. Pep it up by putting a LCD screen and audio system to prove that cooking and entertainment can go hand in hand.
Dry and Wet Kitchens
Of late there has been an emergence of the dry and wet kitchen concept. Chaturvedi elaborates, “A dry kitchen is an extension of the living space. It features lifestyle appliances like teppanyaki, ovens, warming drawers, barbeque and wine conditioners. The concept is to engage your guests in interesting culinary conversations. A wet kitchen is where the actual cooking takes place; it is replete with well-defined food storage space, dishwashers, hood, hobs and water sink.”
Ergonomic modern kitchen design suggests functional, user-friendly, comfortable and healthy layouts. “Main appliances, the fridge, stove and sink should be placed in a triangle within three to six meters (9-18 feet). Good lighting and organic design provide additional comfort to chefs. Kitchen islands, divided on dining and working areas or home bar and cooking zones are modern kitchen design trends. Light kitchen islands design ideas include beautifully designed legs and simple shelves for convenient storage,” informs Kejriwal.
With the world getting environment conscious, opt for brands that follow an eco-friendly manufacturing process. One easy option is to go for natural lighting. The other is to go for a solar water heater. However, the easiest way is to go for green appliances. Chaturvedi says, “At Miele, we call our appliances 3D Green. The three dimensions are production, energy efficiency and recyclability.” It’s not only the appliances, but the ambience as well that adds to the eco-friendly appeal. Popli says, “The key to being eco-friendly is openness of the kitchen. Use light colours for the interiors and a few indoor plants. You can also use eco-friendly crockery like bamboo bowls, eco kettles and
Lighting and Colour Effects
Lighting is an integral part of any kitchen. Go for ambient lighting and illuminated drawers for subtle luxury. There are three basic types of lighting--ambient or general lighting, which provides a soft wash illuminating large space; task lighting, which provides illumination to accomplish specific tasks (lights that shines directly on counter tops); and accent lighting, which focuses light on a specific object or area for aesthetic rather than task oriented purposes. Arun says, “The lighting of a luxury kitchen is of vital importance. The lighting must provide a modern quirk to the walls of a kitchen. Spotlights are essential to illuminate a defined area providing definition and practicality. Splendour is the key, the more flamboyant, the better. If light fittings are not properly installed, they can disrupt the focus and kill the feel of the room.” Where colours are concerned, make white your main colour as it’s universal and gives a positive vibe. Kejriwal adds, “White, grey, charcoal, chocolate and all natural wood tones are modern kitchen colours. Golden, orange, yellow, red, rich green, purple and blue colours are bright colour trends for modern kitchens. Green is a very popular colour for kitchen walls; soft muted shades can even work well for cabinetry and kitchen furniture. Green with a hint of grey or soft yellow looks natural and organic. Since red is considered a colour stimulating the senses, it’s an appropriate choice for kitchens, breakfast nooks and dining areas. Black is also a timeless choice for kitchen designs.”
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