What’s Cooking?

Kitchens haven't changed much over the years, these are still spaces where stories are told and the senses come alive. What has dissolved are the walls, making open plans a reality and kitchens communal. Since everything and everybody we know are going modular, from desktop tiles on your smart phones to people who live by excel sheets, homes too have reached that stage where it isn't uber enough if you don't have a modular kitchen.

Initially, international modular kitchen companies anchored on Indian shores without a thought on how Indian cooking functions, our climate, how we move about our spaces, or simply, how we open and close shelves. Today though, these companies are customising their fittings to suit our way of life, with stainless steel counters, wet and dry areas for cooking, water-proof marine plywood for humid conditions.

A New Zealand-based appliances company, Fisher & Paykel, had conducted ethnographic studies to adapt their products to Indian homes. "Feedback from customers in New Delhi and Ahmedabad, helped us understand consumer habits and usage. We brought it changes such that now the power modules in our products can withstand irregular power surge, our appliances can handle dust and high humidity levels. Our dishwashers come with water softeners because of the hard water in taps," says Sanjeev Wadhwa, country manager, Fisher & Paykel.

Indian companies too are entering the ready made kitchens market. Modular kitchens by most Indian manufacturers are growingly easy to maintain, pest-resistant and corrosion-free. They are designed to be flexible and adaptable for intelligent space utilisation. Most branded modular kitchens begin at Rs 10 lakh and based on the fittings one requires, can go up to Rs 1 crore.

Materials: While wood and glass are cake and cream, the shift is towards sustainability. From reclaimed wood and bamboo to engineered stone, companies are exploring options that are relevant to the environment-conscious customer. This also means there are multiple colour options available. It doesn't need to be restricted to whites, beige or black. Ever thought of teal or green in your kitchen? Textures too are played up, so nothing stops modular settings within a kitchen to change from wood to stone to stainless steel. Meanwhile, copper sinks are adding that quaint touch too, costing R7,000-12,000. Though this is only for the asking, few companies have this option.

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