Beautiful Kitchen Design Ideas for you to Copy. Bonus: They are also Super-Functional

I’m not a trained interior designer.
Wondering why this disclosure? Because I learnt the nuances while designing our house, as I’m sure many of us have. How? Didn’t we have a designer? It makes for an interesting story that I will tell in another post. Every room took days, but the ones that took up maximum time were kitchen, pooja and the foyer bench. 
In this post, I’m going to answer all the queries about designing an Indian kitchen using the ones designed by Livspace to illustrate each point. My son and I cracked the kitchen design one evening after several spatial permutations of the triangle – sink, hob and fridge. I credit the final design to him. He was just 7 then, but one who took the millimeters seriously and continues to.
One of the hurdles when we were designing were the simple questions like:
1. Where will the hob in  a peninsula kitchen get its power from? Should the power line go below the floor tiles?
2. Is there room for an island hob or should it be a peninsula?
3. Where should the power sockets be for oven?
4. Should the dishwasher be inside or outside the kitchen?
5. How does copper piping work?
6. What countertop – granite or corian? What color?
7. Stainless steel or glass hob?
The tricky bit was we had not hired a designer by then, but the electrical and plumbing points had to be finalized with the builder. I did not know whom to turn to for my questions. The only image I had of my kitchen then was that the hob should be East-facing, a sink below a big window, and my famous blue tiles. So, if you are like me, with all these questions, then I suggest you bookmark this post for you’ll keep coming back.

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.

More on layouts

How to hide appliances on kitchen counter

you can have a rolled shutter unit installed in one corner of the counter with shelves and plug points inside them. These can be used to store appliances like food processor, mixer, blender, chopper etc.

Have large appliances like grinder in a pull out drawer beneath the counter.

cabinet layout

Parallel kitchen

Breathtaking Backsplashes

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.

blue backsplash

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.

Take inspiration from these stylish ideas for your kitchen backsplash

patterned backsplash

Stealth Storage

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.

Refer to these modular kitchen accessories for storage

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.


corner pantry storage

pantry storage

How to save money:

Cabinet Color

 What works:

  • 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.

ornage color cabinet

color conundrum
cabinet color

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.




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