There is no ambience in the home more loved and lived in by all the members of the family, the best of the family, the best place to savour the pleasure of being together with all the tastes, memories and daily habits of the family. These are feelings which need a suitable ambience, where the warmth of wood combines with the strong character of the stony materials, such as marble and granite of table tops and the counter.
The hob also has a central position with a canopy formed by it's hood which destroys odours and fills the ambience with light at the same time. The electrical appliances are carefully concealed beneath the worktop. Function and harmony from the dominating characteristics of the present collections.
The basic concept is to finish this ambience which is the most lived in the entire family with the aim of making it a place in which it is pleasing to be together. To create, therefore, a little domestic paradise in which several people, all there together will find it easy to move about among extremely functional articles. There is no need for large spaces, but it is attractive and welcoming, perfectly in tune with the surroundings with the reminder and exaltation of stories, traditions and rediscovered family values.
The marked personalities of these modern and innovative kitchen brings into the home the soothing atmosphere of colourful and lively activity. There are as many as four colours which gladden the eye and communicate a note of joyful serenity of the ambience which they furnish, creating together a happy scene.
A kitchen layout should be customised to the specific requirements and needs of the users. Hence, it is important to ascertain the individual preferences overall lifestyle and eating habits of the direct users.
The kitchen should be in the south-east portion of the house. The door of the kitchen should be in the north, east or north-east direction opening clockwise. The lady should face east while cooking, for it brings good health to family members. If the lady faces west while cooking it may lead to health problems to ladies; while cooking with the face towards south may lead to financial problems in the family.
Cooking Gas/Range should be in the south-east part of the kitchen. Sink in the kitchen should be installed in the north east. Big windows and ventilators should be in the east direction, while smaller windows should be in south. Exhaust fan should be installed on the eastern wall in the south-east corner. A dishwasher can be placed in the north west of the kitchen. If any storage cabinets are made in the north east, use these cabinets for light weight storage only. Soft pink and orange color can be used in the kitchen. Drinking water should be placed in the north-east; water filter will be installed in the north east, if required.
Refrigerator should be in the south-east corner. No toilets and bathrooms should be adjoining and above or below the kitchen. If the kitchen is adjoining a bedroom, the wall between them should be thicker than other walls. Food should never be served in the center of the kitchen i.e. no dining table should be placed in the center of the kitchen. Dining table should be placed in the north-west corner of the room. If a dining table is placed in the kitchen one should only face east or north while consumption of food as it is good for digestion.
The kitchen is probably the most used (or misused !!) room in any home, requiring an efficient combination of storage spaces, working counters, seating areas and free passages. It has to be functional, practical, elegant and comfortable, all at the same time and hence, great emphasis should be laid on the overall layout design of the kitchen, especially the small (and seemingly minor) details.
There are various practical points that must be considered and discussed before commencing the designing of a new kitchen or the modification of an existing one.
The style of cooking (which varies greatly due to influences of country, state, religion, health and personal choice) would greatly influence the design and layout of a kitchen. Importance must be given to the type of materials, ingredients and mediums used as well as the appliances and working space required for that particular style of cooking.
A kitchen should be designed to match the preferred style of the individual user and the general decor of the rest of the house. It may be designed in a country/farmhouse, contemporary, colonial/english, laboratory, futuristic/high-tech, European/Mediterranean or ethnic style with matching decor and finishes.
A minimal, modular, straight lined, no-fuss work-area where the emphasis is on efficiency, workability and cleanliness. There are no wasted spaces and no unnecessary display of items or clutter. Most of the appliances are built-in and the work areas are easy to maintain and clean .
According to the theory, an efficient and practical kitchen layout is one where ideally the three major elements: sink/washing area, refrigerator, cooking range are conveniently located so that the user can work and move about easily. The distance between the refrigerator, the cooking range and the washing area should not be less than 6 meters. This working should not be broken by full heights, fitments doors or passages.
The flooring, mostly used are mosaic, ceramic tiles, marbles. Stone flooring or ceramic tiles are recommended for Indian conditions, keeping in mind the surrounding dirt and dust since the material is impermeable, hard and stain/scratch resistant.
The walls in most kitchens are usually painted. Good quality plastic emulsion paint for areas under the sink and near the wash area .
Cabinets are usually made of 20 mm commercial block boards with laminate or enamel/duco paint.
Adjacent to the kitchen platform, another L shaped platform near the south wall for keeping micro even, mixer, grinder etc. will be very useful.
The main kitchen platform should be in the east and the south-east corner. The platform should not touch the east and the south walls of the kitchen. It should be at least one to three inches away from the walls. We can also take a projection of 1 to 2 inches while constructing the kitchen.
Stove or gas burner should be in the south-east corner, a few inches away from the wall.
The kitchen should be in the south-east corner of the main building or flat.
The washbasin (sink) of the platform should be in the north-east corner as far as possible. Pitcher of water and utensils for drinking water should be in the north-east or the north side.
Essential commodities like boxes of grain, spices, pulses etc. should be in the south or the west direction.
The entrance door of the kitchen should not be in any of the corners. Kitchen doors in the east, the north and the west are useful.
The gas burner should not be in front of the main door of the kitchen.
There should be one or two windows or air holes in the east and the west direction of the kitchen. An exhaust fan in this gap is useful.
If there is a dining table in the kitchen, it should be in the north west or the west side.
Light weight articles can be kept in the east or the north.
Mezzanine floor in the kitchen should be in the west or the south.
While cooking, the face should be towards the east.
The colour of the floor and the walls of the kitchen should be yellow, orange, rose, chocolate or red. However, it should not be black or white as far as possible.
A kitchen in the west direction can be tolerated. However, if the kitchen is in the north-east direction mental tension increases and one may suffer great losses. If the kitchen is in the south-west direction, life at home becomes difficult because of clashes.
If a freeze is in the kitchen, it should be in the south-east, the south, the west or the north direction. It should not be in the north-east direction. If it is in the south-west direction it should be a feet away from the corner otherwise it always gets out of order.
Engineer Rameshwar Prasad
(B.Tech., M.Tech., P.G.D.C.A., P.G.D.M.)