Delectable designs impart kitchens with as much magnetism as the aroma of fine cooking.
Today, visual appeal and revolutionary technology are the two factors driving the evolution of the kitchen segment in urban India. Apart from demanding designs that reflect their lifestyle and personality, modern buyers are also asking for enhanced functionality in the form of sleek home appliances. Today, the kitchen is as much a showpiece as the other areas of the home.
And supply is keeping up with the demand shifts. From built-in kitchens to modular kitchens, the market is catering to every whim and requirement. Some kitchens go all-out futuristic, while some flaunt ethnic chic by allotting storage and working spaces for traditional Indian cooking gadgets like mortar and pestle and small flour mills. Colour trends are getting more experimental, with bright, eclectic colours for cabinets, walls and built-in appliances. Modular kitchens are already ubiquitous in urban apartment blocks. It is the concept of the kitchen island, a layout that offers different dynamics, which people are now beginning to explore. We speak to the experts in the field to discover more about what's cooking in the kitchen segment'
Tom Joseph, AVP and Business Head, Arttd'inox Modular Kitchens elaborates on the latest trends in kitchens
How has kitchen design evolved over the years?
These days, the focus of kitchen design is on functionality and ergonomics. Built-in, integrated kitchen appliances and neatly fitted cabinetry give a feeling of clean, uncluttered space. Bright colours like red and citrusy shades like orange, lemon and lime are being used in small appliances. Accessories like chimneys have a huge demand.
What are your offerings for Indian customers?
We customize our designs to the client's needs. The L-shaped and U-shaped layouts are popular with apartment owners, while single-home owners with bigger kitchens prefer the island models. The space for storing domestic grinding machines and areas to ground grain and flour, which is a typical requirement for any Indian family, is one of our kitchen layout options. Our new external finishes like the various wood prints as well as the self prints on stainless steel, developed by ArttDInox, are a big attraction.
What is the price range of your designs?
An interesting concept to get a new finish on the existing stainless steel modular kitchens can cost as low as Rs 3 lakh! Arttd'inox has also conceptualized classy and functional kitchens that can be customized for optimal space utilisation. The wood finished stainless steel modular kitchens are priced at Rs 7 lakh and above.
Black Is Back
Ajaz Vakil, GM Sales-Built in Appliances, Siemens India shares insights on the company's innovations in the kitchen segment.
What are the latest trends in India and abroad?
Built-in appliances and kitchen islands are two of the latest trends in the Indian market. The kitchen island improves functionality and ensures more space for movement.
As a longstanding built-in kitchen appliance manufacturer in Europe, what are your offerings for the Indian market?
Siemens built-in kitchen appliances provide an integrated solution while blending in seamlessly in the Indian kitchens. Every product is crafted to offer standard technological features for convenience and better functionality. Siemens built-in appliances 'hobs, hoods, microwave ovens, drawers, refrigerator, wine coolers, dishwashers and dryers ' are crafted to cater to the aspirations of any modern lifestyle.
You have recently unveiled the Black Series, what is the USP of this range?
The Black Series, our latest range of our premium home appliances, emphasizes style, German innovation and aesthetic value. It is also amongst the most energy and water-efficient appliances across the globe. Siemens Black Series consists of dishwashers with innovative features like aqua Sensor and varioSpeed; hoods that capture heat and cooking odors almost noiselessly; a stylish and safe double oven; a combi steam oven that combines hot air cooking with steam to maintain the nutrients and flavor of the food.
Alok Aggarwal, Managing Director, Ozone Overseas highlights its wide array of offerings for Indian customers.
How is Ozone meeting the present market demands?
Ozone offers a complete range of hardware that includes soft-close drawer slides, drawer systems, soft-close hinges, aluminium frame and handle profiles, roller shutters, overhead cabinet fittings. We also offer a host of kitchen organisers for efficient space management.
What are the materials best-suited for kitchen counter tops, cabinets etc?
For countertops, there is granite, kota or marble and solid acrylic surface materials such as Corian. Nowadays, laminate kitchen countertops are also quite popular as they offer rich colours, solid and smart patterns and appealing textures. Wood has always been the most popular material for cabinets. Bold colour laminates, glass and stainless steel are also finding applications for cabinets.
Rupesh Baid, Principal Designer, AND Design Co explains the factors involved in designing a kitchen.
What are the major designs trending today?
Classic and contemporary kitchens are the two leading choices among customers. The former use classic patterns in the shutters and subtle, classic colours whereas the latter use brilliant colours and minimalistic designs. For classic kitchens, we go for wood finish or Duco finish. For contemporary kitchens, we use minimalistic simple straight lines.
What are the factors considered while designing kitchens?
We consider the owner's lifestyle, personality and food habits before designing their spaces. Bigger houses often have kitchens segregated into wet kitchen and dry kitchen area. We often create spaces for light cooking, which can be easily cleaned.
What are the materials preferred these days?
Nowadays quartz, used as a substitute for granite, is quite in. With properties and looks similar to granite, it is available in a variety of colours. Corian, too, is finding favour despite its high maintenance requirement. Also in trend are back-painted glass, screen lamination, and colourful and plain veneer.
Manish Jain, Director, Bleu Concepts decodes the requirements of Indian customers.
Are Indian consumers veering towards creative, modular kitchens?
Yes, Indian consumers are choosing to install modular kitchens. If space permits, couples opt for small kitchen islands where they can eat and clean up right away. Well-travelled people are getting to know new technologies and designs, and they now have the purchasing power to afford these in India.
In terms of aesthetics, which material is in demand now?
In terms of aesthetic appeal, Corian is a material that looks just like granite, but has a better structure. If it cracks, it can be easily fixed, and it can look just as good as new even after a decade.
Which are your best-selling, and most innovative models?
Our best-selling model is the Cool Kitchen. It is visually appealing, and has a small breakfast table built inside the kitchen, which customers appreciate. Our most innovative product is the Interactive Kitchen. It is a perfect blend of an in-built bar and an entertainment unit, targeted towards tech-savvy, vivacious couples.
Rajesh Ahuja, Managing Director, Sleek International elaborates on the role of technology to improve kitchen functionality
What trends and technologies are in vogue?
The modern consumer demands the best in functionality, colours, innovation, material and technology. An open kitchen or island kitchen is in vogue. Consumers prefer joint-free countertops, two-toned cabinet shutters, attractive backsplashes and an added breakfast table for convenience.
The concept of soft-closing, Nova Pro technology, motorised handle-free drawer, ceramic induction cooking media and various software technologies are some of the hi-tech advancements taking place in the global kitchen industry.
Please shed some light on your best-selling models and innovative designs?
Sleek's wire accessories are one of our best-selling products. Our latest innovations in accessories from Grass and Sige, particularly the soft-closing drawer system and the swivel ladder units are also in demand. The new range of imported chimneys and hobs are also on the best-selling list. Sleek's PU shutter is the new rage. We are soon bringing out a never-seen-before shutter innovation in a material which is set to create a sensation in the market.
What are your offerings for customers aspiring to redo their kitchens in shoe-string budgets?
Sleek Specialist Kitchen offers the best solutions, some of which are the organised cutlery units, wooden partages as drawer inserts, spice pullout units and rotating tall units to store grocery...
Nitin Nagpal, National Manager Kitchen and OEM, HSfele India elaborates on the ample offerings from the company's stable.
What does it take to design a 'smart kitchen?
Design should follow the work triangle for a smooth flow in the kitchen. It should feature latest trends and functionality, incorporating the customer's lifestyle, cooking habits and family size. A designer should know various technical aspects of appliances and lights before offering a design.
What are the customer preferences and how are they being met?
Indian customers are still novices at selection of appropriate products; a kitchen specialist plays an important role in under¡standing their needs, lifestyle and budgetary requirements and then offering a tailor- made solution.
What are your offerings for the kitchen segment in India?
HSfele is the complete solution provider for the kitchen segment, except cabinetry. We offer functionality through Blum drawer systems and flap fittings, ambient lighting, kitchen accessories, high-end appliances, Blanco sinks, faucets, and Caesarstone a quartz stone for countertops.
Kitchen is the heart of your home and will continue to remain so. Designing a kitchen will always be a challenge, but a well-designed one will always be model of efficiency. A kitchen specialist is a boon in today's day-and-age who can help you customise your kitchen to suit your fast-paced lifestyle, requirements, space planning from the ample offerings market players have to offer. .
Tel: 011-2650 1236
AND Design Co
Tel: 022-6142 6100