A neighbor said, “You know what? I prefer having one open cupboard with four or five granite or concrete slabs than all these fancy pull-out modular cabinets. About a decade ago, everything I used in the kitchen were contained within these shelves. Little has changed over the years in the kind of food we eat, and yet I find it so hard to organize with these cabinets.” She had a puzzled expression on her face looking at how the vast expanse of kitchen lacked space for everything. There were still stuff lying on counter top like mixer/wet grinder, cutting board, knives etc.
I know I keep coming back to the topic of storage in kitchens because it bothers me. A LOT. After spending a lakh on a kitchen, the last thing you want to deal with is lack of storage for rainy-day grocery and tons of appliances. As I started thinking, what my neighbor said made a lot of sense as I went back in time to my mother’s or granny’s kitchens. Open shelves – easy to access, clean, manage, take stock and organize. Simplicity rules.
Back to off-the-shelf Indian modular kitchens, they are still evolving. It will take a while before they match the standards of German or Italian kitchens. It was seven years ago when I designed my kitchen and back then, not a lt f thought went into how appliances should be stored. Here are a few things that bother me in readymade Indian mdular kitchens:
1. Appliances : I have a ton of them, thanks to my mom. She loves buying stuff because they look nice. But when it comes to using, she’s to happy to pass them over to me. And, I don’t mind using them. To begin with, there’s the hand blender, then a food processor, chopper, juicer (non-citrus), mixer, wet grinder, microwave and a 2 foot space to accommodate them. End results: some of them never get used as much as I would like to because it’s too much work to remove them, fix, use, wash, wipe it clean and cramp it back.
2. An assortment of spices: I’m sure it’s of late a common trend for most Indian kitchens to stock all the spices. Our daily cooking is a combination of North Indian and South Indian cuisine – North Indian for lunch (rotis, chana, rajama, dal subzi, salad, etc) and South Indian for dinner (dosa, idli, adai, rice/sambhar/curry). Noodles, pasta, pizza, chat, sandwiches and salad with dressing are meant for the weekend. So, it becomes quite a nightmare at times to take stock of everything from garam masala to homemade sambhar power, kanji maavu (porridge powder) and dosa mulagai podi, let alone the dearth of space.
If one were ready to spend a little more, well a LOT more, none of these would be a problem. My dream kitchen is a Hafele one – functional and looks great. But I doubt about the efficient use of space as to fix all those racks would nt be possible in a small kitchen.
As always, some images to drool over:
What are the problems you face or are you quite satisfied with the way you’ve designed it? Share your success story!