Layout: Parallel, Straight, U or Island
This depends on the size of your kitchen and if you are particular about Vaastu. Parallel kitchens are the most efficient. I’m just going to focus on what does not work from my experience rather than dwell on what works.
What does not work:
- Don’t go by the layout you see in showrooms because they are not practical. If you are a frequent baker, then placing the oven and pantry unit detached on a separate wall from the counterspace will not be convenient. You want to place that hot loaf cake or a tray of scrunchy oven-fried crispies on the counter next to you, and not walk two feet to access a resting surface.
- Draw inspiration from model kitchens of sizes similar to yours. See if they tick all the boxes of what you intend to have in your kitchen – dishwasher, oven, pantry unit etc.
- Dishwasher is an appliance sent from heaven and the most used in my current kitchen. Everyone advised me against having it inside the kitchen, but placing it next to the sink is the best decision I ever made. It’s easier to load and unload dishes than carting them to the utility.
When it comes to kitchen, we have to start with one favorite thing as a vision to make the process easier. It could be a layout you have in mind, a countertop of a particular color, or a backsplash; and then, build everything around it. For instance, the Moroccan patterned blue backsplash is the hero in this kitchen. The rest – granite countertop, of-white cabinets — complement the look without stealing the show.
Similarly, in the image below, the combination of these bohemian tiles and the Quartz countertop fit like a hand in glove. The orange cabinet does not overwhelm visually owing to its smaller square footage coverage above eye level.
Use a tall pantry unit to stash your groceries. Let your budget, space constraints, and accessibility dictate what you put inside this unit – shelves or pull out baskets. Use the blind corner to store items you seldom use.
How to save money:
- The tall storage unit is a brilliant example of balance between storage and spending wisely. Instead of using a pull out pantry accessory, this one uses simple shelves. Accessing the corners in the bottom shelf can be tricky. What you can do instead is have two pullout stainless steel baskets for the last two shelves.
- I like the bottle pullout to the right in the image below as you can see it has a solid shelf and not the typical stainless steel one with gaps.
- If you are on a tight budget, then this is one place to save money. I know there are many fancy corner solutions with fancier names, but I sincerely feel you can save by installing shelves. The tricky bit is to make the top shelf of a smaller depth than the bottom one. This opens up the space and you know what you have stored. I keep extra tissue rolls, aluminum foils and large kadais stashed away here. Use the money saved instead on splurging on a roller shutter over the counter to keep your appliances out of sight.
How to save money:
- If your backsplash is a bold color like blue in my case , then use a neutral color for the cabinets. It will be easy on the eyes for years to come.
What does not work:
- A bold color such as orange below looks great in pictures and an expansive house. When you have a cabinet color like this or red or yellow in an apartment, you will be tired of it soon. I’ve seen the same happen with bright colored accent walls. So, unless you have a strong reason to, I’d recommend staying away from such strong colors throughout the kitchen. It’s fine in small doses.
And that brings us to the end of Kitchen Design 101. I’m aware there are still many untouched topics. Please feel free to ask your questions in the comments section below, and I’ll be happy to answer them.