August 21, 2006

Smart and compact

Today kitchens are as important a part of the house as the living or the bedrooms; they were at one time treated as leftover spaces and done up with little or no imagination. Easy accessibility to every function and making the optimum use of the available space with lots of storage are always the key elements to this domain. Several options are possible if the available space is large enough - like an "U " type or an "L" type counter space or altogether an "island kitchen' - either opting for the custom-made conventional type or going in for a modular one with a configuration of different modules. Other than that it could be plainly be a mix-and-match of both. While accessories and gadgets ranging from hobs, dishwashers to dispensers always form part of a modern house, the right placement of these, each within reach, are important factors in designing and planning a kitchen. With modern technology becoming a part of our daily lives and ever- increasing space constraints with room sizes shrinking, the real challenge comes in designing smaller spaces which meets the requirements of the end user. Development of newer kitchen concepts where one can outright buy a readymade kitchen of the individual's choice in a jiffy without going through the laborious chores of constructing one has opened up a new arena for the consumers. To give an example of one such innovative kitchen that is yet to hit Indian homes - especially designed for studio or single room apartments - is the 'Compact Smart Kitchen', which can be tucked away in any corner of the living or dining room. Circular in plan it measures 1.8m in diameter approx and 2.30m in height. This compact unit houses practically all the electronic gizmos and gadgetries ranging from microwave, a cooking range to a small built-in refrigerator plus a series of shelves and closed compartments for storage of bottles to jars and bowls plus an enclosed dish rack. Finished in laminate the circular counter top also accommodates a small sink. When not in use the circular kitchen can be closed with a sliding mechanism almost to look like a piece of furniture to complement the d├ęcor of the room. The time is not far when this latest rage will appear in our Indian homes.