Open Kitchens or Closed Kitchens – What’s Best for Indian Homes?
India is fast catching up on the trend of open kitchens, which have been quite popular in the west for a while. However, the closed layout has long been the conventional choice for an Indian kitchen. An open kitchen blends in with rest of the home but a closed one offers more privacy. Deciding between the two can be a tough call for any homeowner. Take a quick look at the advantages of both layouts and how they can work for you.
Advantages of open kitchens
1. Modern day Indian couples are hard pressed for time. Balancing work and family life has become a key challenge in today’s world. With only limited hours spent at home, multitasking is necessary. In such a situation, an open kitchen is the practical choice as parents can keep a check on their kids, catch up on some TV or simply interact with each other, all while engaging in their culinary chores.
2. An open kitchen easily becomes the heart of the home rather than being just a workspace. The open design lets you interact with people in the living room while you are busy preparing food. Entertaining guests and serving them during parties becomes easier and more convenient when you have an open layout.
3.India is among the most densely populated countries in the world. Consequently, real estate prices are far too high and the space crunch is acute. This is often a crucial factor while designing an Indian kitchen. For small or modestly sized kitchens, open layouts work well as they make the space appear larger.
Advantages of closed kitchens
1. People who are uncomfortable with the idea of letting guests see the inevitable clutter in their kitchen while entertaining still favor closed kitchens. A closed layout allows you to make mistakes and have them go unnoticed. It will also let you save up the ‘ta-da’ moment for when you actually serve your preparations in front of the guests.
2. A closed kitchen demands less maintenance and cleaning than an open one. With the Indian style of cooking, cleaning is certainly a challenging task as the areas of your kitchen can easily collect grime. A closed layout will be less of a hassle to manage, since the fumes, smells and grime will be restricted to your kitchen. This will cut down on unnecessary cleaning.
3. Most homeowners are tempted to opt for an open kitchen while renovating their closed kitchen. However, renovating a kitchen is a cumbersome process and this is easily the most expensive area in your entire house. If you have a limited budget and timeframe, breaking down the walls and changing the layout is often impractical.
4. Extra walls do not necessarily mean less space. In fact, walls can be used to install cabinets or open shelves. They will allow you to add storage and display facilities, making for a more complete kitchen. This is an important aspect to consider in an Indian kitchen, especially in large households.
So, are open kitchens good for Indian homes?
While designing an Indian kitchen, it’s important to keep your personal preferences and lifestyle in mind. The way you live in your home and how you use your kitchen will determine the ideal layout for you. If you’re someone who entertains a lot, cooks with friends and hosts informal brunches, then you can opt for an open kitchen. However, if you are particular keeping your cooking area private, then a closed layout is the way to go.
Do remember that you can always opt for the middle ground if you wish. A number of Indian kitchens have a half wall or a pass-through window, which covers some portion of the kitchen while maintaining a certain degree of openness and accessibility. Blending the essential elements of the two layouts will combine functionality with aesthetics while letting you embrace the best of both worlds.