Modular Kitchen Accessories: What to keep in mind (Part 2)

Here’s a few other modular kitchen accessories that you might want to consider when setting up a new kitchen.

Vegetable Basket pullout
A vegetable basket pullout gives you a space to keep all your fresh produce. Things like potatoes and onions will always be kept outside even if you choose to keep the rest in the fridge. Instead of keeping your vegetables in a basket on top of the counter, this just makes your space look neater.

Note: One often has a choice between wicker baskets and stainless steel baskets. While wicker looks nicer, it can be harder to clean than stainless steel. You will also need to choose whether to put a shutter on your baskets or leave them open – a shutter can help keep the dust out and the smells inside.

VegiBasket1
Source: Howdens

VegiBasket2
Source: 3plModularKitchens

Kitchen Pantry Unit
Pantry units come in a few different variations, and generally are in the form of a tall pullout with multiple shelves. The advantage of a pantry unit is that the things lying in the back of your cabinets become easier to reach, as opposed to needing to pull out all your jars in front to access the ones behind.

Note: Given the tall nature of these cabinets, you’ll still need a stepstool or a small ladder to access the upper shelves.

PantryUnit1
Source: Hettich

PantryUnit2
Source: Hettich

PantryUnit3
Source: Hettich

Appliance Garage
Appliance garages are becoming popular in India nowadays. They can be thought of as small cabinets on your kitchen counter to keep your appliances plugged in, and pulled out whenever you want to use one. There is usually a shutter on the front of the cabinet, hence the use of the term garage.

ApplianceGarage2
Source: Houzz.com

ApplianceGarage1
Source: Houzz.com

Drawer systems
Drawers come in many shapes and sizes in your kitchen. You can use drawers for cutlery, pots and pans, grains, flour and much more. They are often referred to as tandem boxes.

Note: The larger of these tandem boxes have weight capacities, so its important to figure out what purpose you’re going to use your drawer for. Also keep in mind that the pictures your modular kitchen company will show you usually show divisions/compartments in these drawers, but those attachments need to be purchased separately.

DrawerSystems1
Source: Hettich

DrawerSystems2
Source: Hettich

If you missed the first post in this series click here Modular Kitchen Accessories Part 1

Modular Kitchen Accessories: What to keep in mind (Part 1)

BottlePullout1

When redoing your kitchen you’ll be spoilt for choice on the types, numbers, and brands of modular kitchen accessories out there. However, kitchen designers and hardware sellers are not likely to tell you about some of the more practical considerations of these accessories. So in the following post, we’re going to introduce you to some of the possible accessories you could install in your kitchen, while also giving you things to keep in mind when making your choices.

Inbuilt Kitchen Cutlery Trays
If you could only choose one accessory for your kitchen it would have to be a cutlery tray. This is one of the most useful organizers to have in a kitchen, and likely you’ll want more than one.

Note: Cutlery trays come in specific sizes, ensure your drawers are built to size else they may not fit properly, or you’ll have left over space on the sides. Rectangular trays (below image) tend to be more efficient on space, than angled ones (2nd image). Cutlery trays that are made of a firm plastic or metal are sturdier than the flexible plastic ones.

CutleryTray1
Source: Hettich

CutleryTray2
Source: Kaff

Garbage pullout
While you can easily ignore having a garbage pullout in your kitchen, it ends up being a neat way to organize your kitchen trash. Given the multiple boxes, you can start to segregate your dry and wet waste easily.

Note: Its important to note that most of the garbage pullouts in the market are quite small in size, and leave you feeling like you are wasting space below your sink. However, its best to go with what’s in the market than try to have your own built. Additionally, in our experience a pullout (left image) is more stable than the one you attach to the door (right image).

GarbagePullout1
Source: Hafelle

Kitchen Magic corners
Magic corners generally come recommended by kitchen manufacturers when you’re building a new modular kitchen. They make corners easier to use, and the things you store in there become a lot more accessible.

Note: However, there’s plenty you should know about magic corners before you decide how many, and what types to install in your kitchen.
• Magic corners can be frightfully expensive, especially if you go with the branded ones.
• Given the number of moving parts they have, they can get spoilt/damaged easily (be especially cautious when going for local brands).
• Do check what their max weight capacity is. The heavier they get, the more likely they are to break
• Often the storage space you get in a magic corner isn’t very much (pay close attention to the images below). You can’t stack your piles of dishes too high on there, if that’s something you were used to in the past.

Therefore, one would highly recommend taking a look at an installed magic corner in store before you give your kitchen company a go ahead.

MagicCorner1
Source: Hettich

MagicCorner2
Source: Hettich

MagicCorner3
Source: Indiamart

Bottle Pull Outs
Bottle pullouts are a convenient to put away your oils, vinegars, condiments and other jars you have.

Note: Measure the size of the largest bottles you expect to fit in there (e.g. 5L oil bottle) and make sure your pullout size is appropriate. Bottles when vertical can be a bit unsteady so you’ll need to keep the space quite packed up. Often pullouts are designed such that only one of the sides is fastened to the walls of the cabinet, making it a little shaky when pulled out.

BottlePullout1
Source: Hettich

BottlePullout2
Source: Hettich

Interested in more: see Modular Kitchen Accessories (Part 2)

7 Kitchen Design Ideas to Best Utilize Your Space

U Shaped Kitchen

A kitchen reflects your personality and style. Want to know how organised a person is? Just take a look at their kitchen.

The one common grievance everyone has at home is that ‘there isn’t enough space’. Thanks to innovations in kitchen design, today we have a number of kitchen hardware options in the market that help us organize ourselves and also save space. If you’re designing a new modular kitchen, or renovating your old one here are some tips for you.

  • Pull Out Cabinets– Pull out cabinets organize, de-clutter and help utilize every inch of your cabinet space. You can easily access 100% of your cabinet space without kneeling or stooping, and also get heavier items from your cabinets with minimal effort. It’s best to place pull out cabinets below the kitchen counters and push up cabinets overhead, to make things more accessible and provide better ergonomics of working within the kitchen.pull out cabinet
  • Corner Sink/Wash Casket– The kitchen corner is often the toughest space to utilize, whether its inside the cabinets or on top of the counter. A corner kitchen sink, though often more expensive than a straight one, can be a good way to utilise the corner. Corner sinks are now being manufactured in India by brands such as Nirali, and are easily available. Corner sinks also add a unique visual appeal to your kitchen.

Corner-Sink

  • Magic Corners– Magic corners have also made a significant impact on how corners are used, these days. With these circular shelves pivoting around a rod, all you need to do is swivel, and things kept at the far end come to the front. There are L-Shaped variations to these as well, wherein the front part is pulled out and a side shelf magically appears.

Magic Corner

  • Dish Drying Cabinet– Having a dish drying rack over the sink makes life very convenient as the water falls into the sink straight. The rack can be concealed with a wooden front cabinet cover, like the rest of the shelves in the kitchen, so that it blends with the rest of the kitchen design. Thus the utensils can be dried without making the Kitchen look cluttered and compromising the design.

Dish drying rack

  • Piped Gas (Instead of cylinders to save on space)- If you live in an area where gas pipelines are available, you may want to consider getting a connection as it saves on space and is safer to use. However, if you don’t have that option, you could create a rack outside the house, to place the cylinders and connect it to your burner via a pipe.
  • Drawer Systems/Organizers– What could be more delightful than finding the potato peeler exactly when you require it? Modern kitchen drawer fittings transform cluttered drawers of cutlery, cooking spoons,or snacks, into an organizers delight!There are also plenty of attachments that can help you organise your pots and pans so you don’t have to sift through 10 of them before finding the one you’re looking for. Imagine the difference this could make to your cooking routine.

modular cutlery drawer

  • Wine Glass Holders– Keep your stemware protected and sorted using a Hanging Wine Glass Rack. The rack, which is easy to install, is placed on the ceiling of the cabinet and helps save shelf space the glasses would have otherwise taken up. If you’re wondering, these attachments are fairly easy to clean as well.

Wine Glass Rack

We will keep updating this list from time to time, to help you organise your kitchen better. In the interim, do share your ideas with us in the comments section.

Things to keep in mind while planning a Modular Kitchen in India

traditional-kitchen
The Kitchen is the most used (read: abused) part of the house. Many women and families end up spending maximum time in the Kitchen. Some use the space as a family gathering space too, while cooking elaborate meals. Others prefer quick meals or hire professionals. Hence each person has distinct needs which need to be catered to, while designing a kitchen.
Before you begin planning a new kitchen, here are somethings you should be clear about:
1) Family Setup: If you live in a joint family with elderly people and children, then you should plan your storage at lower levels.
2) Will you hire professional help who will use the kitchen mostly? then you may want to store things used most by the help separately.
3) Stocking patterns: Do you stock for a week or for a month?
4) The budget: which is obvious
Once you have these steps sorted, think about the work flow. Usually, a kitchen involves cooking, stocking, washing, and an area to keep prepared food. Usually these areas should not be less than 3 ft apart, to avoid a crampy look. But much depends on the space you have.
Here are some layout designs you could consider: 
Straight Line Kitchen
Straight Line Kitchen

The Straight Line – this is most suited for small narrow spaces. In this layout, all the work area is set against a single wall. The production chain is linear. It is cost-effective and looks sleek. However, this kind of layout does not provide for adequate work and storage space.

Galley Kitchen
Galley Kitchen

The Galley – in this kitchen plan is flanked by work platforms on either side. Many consider this to be an ideal layout in terms of efficiency. Less movement per task. The only major drawback is that if the space is too narrow, the space would get easily crowded.

U Shaped Kitchen
U Shaped Kitchen

The U-shaped Kitchen – this type of design is ideal for a large space. It has platforms running along three walls, forming a U. this design provides for a lot of work and storage space. However if the space between the platforms is too wide, the travel distance during a normal cooking process will be too long and could be tiring.

L Shaped Kitchen
L Shaped Kitchen

The L-shaped Kitchen – this is the contemporary kitchen design in India. The platform runs along two perpendicular walls. The principle of the work triangle can best be demonstrated in the kitchen.

Peninsular Kitchen
Peninsular Kitchen

The Peninsular kitchen – again applicable to a large space, This layout has an independent counter which can be used for breakfast or snacky meals. This layout works best in open kitchens.

Island Kitchen
Island Kitchen

The Island Kitchen – the distinct feature of this kitchen layout is that there is a counter in the middle of the room. This type of plan requires a huge amount of space, but it works well for families that spend a lot of time in the Kitchen. Also, this layout works well in planning commercial kitchens.

Standard Measurements

Here are some standard measurements you could follow as thumb rules.

•    Height of counter-top from floor to work surface – 36″
•    Width of platform – 24″
•    Thickness of stone used for platform – 1 ½ ”
•    Thickness of platform skirting – 1″- 4″
•    Height of base unit – 34 ½ ”
•    Width of base unit – 24″
•    Distance between platform and overhead wall unit – 24″
•    Height of wall unit from counter – 18″
•    Width of wall unit – 9″-18″
•    Thickness of shelves – 3/4″
•    Maximum total height from the floor to overhead cabinets – 78″

Fire and Ventilation

Since Kitchens are synonamous with smoke and fumes, one should provide for efficient ventilation and the best way of doing this is with large windows. Where this is not possible, exhaust fans and chimneys are practical alternatives.The exhaust should be placed close to the hob and should have a separate plug point.

If you are planning on installing a chimney, the ducting has to be done in the initial stages of renovation itself. It should be placed directly over the hob at a minimum distance of 24″. Ideally, it should be fitted on an exterior wall.

Vastu Tips:

Here are some Vastu tips you must consider:

  • The Kitchen should be in the South-East corner of the house as the Element Fire governs in that direction. However, the North-West could be taken as an alternative.
  • Ideally, the hob should be placed in the South-East in such a way that while cooking the person faces the East.
  • Water should be in the opposite direction of the cooking gas.
  • Avoid placing the dining table in the center of the kitchen, and place it  in the North-west direction, if possible.
  • Electric equipment like microwave, oven or refrigerator should be placed in South-west.
  • The slope of the water flow should be from Southwest towards Northeast.
  • The exhaust fan should be installed either in the Northwest corner or the South wall.
Happy Kitchen Planning and cooking.
Interested in Kitchens? Check out our post on the practical side of Modular Kitchen Accessories