Sometime in the late 1930s (yes, that long ago), visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright established the concept of Open Kitchens – a modern, airy take on the most important space in the house.
This fundamental shift in design not only improved the overall aesthetics of the house but also resulted in numerous behavioural and cultural changes. It transformed the kitchen into much more than just a place to cook.
The open kitchen layout’s island and peninsula (cooking counter) define the kitchen and delineate cooking zones with built-in cooktops, hanging chimneys, sinks, and prep stations for home chefs to indulge their passion for cooking. This design also includes a communal area for conversations, dining, and homework.
In India, we are finally seeing a wider adoption of the open kitchen style, either to combat space constraints or to add a playful space to the home. The pandemic influenced the need for an open kitchen even more because more family members were now involved in the kitchen. Many celebrities have become chefs, displaying their stunning open kitchen layouts.
Nidhi Vaish, Founder, Yellow Brick Road Designs share expert tips to adopt contemporary kitchen design with ease:
Plan the island space: The Island, which serves as a prep station, dining table, and entertainment/community table, is the focal point of any open kitchen layout. It is a defining space that separates the counters from one another. It can also serve as storage underneath for small appliances, utensils, and crockery, or it can be used to house a built-in dishwasher or an oven, saving space.
Flat surfaces add more room: If you want a sleek and streamlined kitchen, go with built-in appliances and leave the counters bare to ensure a flat surface. Integrating wine coolers and refrigerators behind cabinet doors alongside the cooking counter is a simple way to accomplish this. For cooking (and to ensure noise-free, odour-free venting), consider a built-in venting hob that keeps the cat in the bag!
The Siemens Venting Cooktop features an induction air System design that reflects a thorough understanding of modern kitchen concepts: Cooktop and ventilation combine to create a refined and eye-catching appliance. Above all, the ventilation is consistent with the design of the cooktop and its user interface: complex in concept but simple in execution.
Furthermore, if you want a chimney, you can choose the falling chimney with LED lights, which is an art piece in and of itself. This layout will not make your kitchen appear crowded and provide you with more floor and counter space to work on.
Higher counters: If you want to cook discretely while maintaining an open layout, raise the island counter. This helps to obscure those in the living room’s view. Higher counters not only have slick designs but also save a lot of space. The breakfast bar can also function as a room divider, separating the kitchen from the rest of the room. The increased height will also provide more storage space beneath, allowing you to experiment with a pull-out bar unit. To liven up the high counter, add chic high stools.
Avoid over-accessorising: The purpose of an open kitchen layout is to provide more space (even in a large house). The space’s minimalism elevates the overall experience of the house. This means that one should refrain from over accessorising it with decor items such as art pieces, etc. Place some low-maintenance indoor plants and succulents on sidewalls, and add a pastel painting or hang a shelf above the island counter in case cooking is done on the other counter. Just this much will suffice!
Separate out the pantry: One of the most effective ways to declutter the kitchen is to designate a small, side nook/room or partition for pantry items. This way, you can continue to store your bulk items without anyone noticing. To declutter your kitchen, make room for a broom closet and dustbins. You can also plan for crockery storage near the sink or a dishwasher.