When thinking of renovating a home, we usually start looking around for inspiration. Some may have a clear idea about what they’re looking for and search for references to illustrate that, whereas others look elsewhere to decide what works for them—flipping through magazines, brochures, favourite websites and blogs, mood boards on Pinterest… The list of options to choose from are endless. And, very often, what we discover online are decor styles from the West – also when we’re looking for an open kitchen design idea.
From Scandinavian minimalism to Japanese wabi-sabi – there’s always a new style we’d like to adopt for a change or a different look in our homes. But our experimentations come to a halt the moment we look at kitchens overseas. Most of the time, while the aesthetic may be visually appealing, the design centres around an open kitchen design.
Contrary to being a hidden space relegated to one end of the home, an open kitchen blends with the interior design of the living area (usually the living or dining room).It is meant to showcase the same elements of style and design, similar to the rest of the house. Sometimes an open kitchen can even be designed in sync with the outdoor areas of a home to allow for entertaining and alfresco dining.
Overall, the idea behind an open kitchen is to invite openness—to proudly display the design or modern engineering of your kitchen, to include the family or guests in food preparation. Also, it serves to create more space by eliminating as many structural divides under one roof.
The first thought that comes to mind for most when asked this question is space. Or, usually, the lack of. We fear that our homes aren’t large enough to accommodate any of the open kitchen designs we’ve seen or liked, even though there are options of small open kitchen designs as well. However, the important thing to consider before anything else is your personal preferences and lifestyle. And, if you live with a family, every member’s tastes and habits as well.
The way your home functions and how you use your kitchen, will determine the best kitchen design for you. If you enjoy entertaining, cooking and including friends and family in the entire process, there’s a strong case for an open kitchen design. However, if most of the kitchen work is left to the help, and the space ends up looking like a war zone after cooking, perhaps an open kitchen idea isn’t the best for you.
You could always have the best of both worlds though. Solutions such as partially open walls, adjustable room dividers or pass-through windows with a counter allow for openness and accessibility, while also leaving room for privacy.
With lesser walls, a kitchen that opens into the living room also adds its additional space to the surface area. That paired with the added ventilation, benefits both the rooms.
An open kitchen idea works to bring the whole family together. With the living room paired with an open kitchen design, everyone in the family can go about with whatever they’re doing independently while also being together in the same room.
If you’ve invested in a swank redo with the best appliances, neat cabinetry and innovative fittings, there’s no reason to hide it away in a corner of the house. Similar to how your living spaces reflect your personal style, an open kitchen design will complement this further.
Whether you’re a parent taking care of the household chores or a newlywed couple living together independently: working in an open kitchen design with a living room will help you stay connected with the rest of the home. A parent can cook while supervising their child’s homework or a couple can enjoy watching the latest Netflix show from their small open kitchen designed to oversee the living room TV.
All open kitchen designs in India make room for entertaining. Informal guests can help with meal prep or the kitchen counter can double as a bar or food station, leaving the living room clutter-free and mess-free.
Your kitchen isn’t as organised as you’d like the world to see? Or it’s not a space that looks visually appealing after cooking? Then maybe you should reconsider any open kitchen designs. In a large Indian family, the number of utensils and ingredients that are used to prepare each meal can lead to a temporary mess, which isn’t something you want to add to your home decor.
Pressure cooker whistles, the mixing of a grinder, the cycle of the dishwasher—all this could be an acoustic trauma in the living room. That paired with tadka fumes and oil splatters is something no one wants to share.
The biggest concern for an open kitchen design in India is that most of us barely enter the kitchen, with the cooking assigned to the house help. For this reason, the kitchen isn’t a space many invest in good design or decor because they hardly use the area themselves.
Even if you’re remodelling your house from scratch, making as many structural changes as you can, the concern with setting up a kitchen is that you require it to be assigned to a wet area designated in the blueprint of the home. Sometimes, that area may not exist anywhere close or adjacent to the living or dining room.
Even the smallest homes can incorporate a small open kitchen design such as this. Taking up only a small corner or a wall, this kitchen counter has everything: the sink, cooking area and counter space, an electric chimney above, along with an oven and storage below.
The key here is that the entire adjacent wall has ample prefab shelving installed to store everything from kitchen supplies to dinner ware. All of this can be easily displayed or hidden away with the simple white sliding screen doors. And impressive organizing skills.
Image courtesy, IKEA
Image courtesy, Architecture BRIO
The goal here is to have an open kitchen design at one end of the room opening into the rest of the living area. The colour palette and woodwork in the entire room is similar. The cabinetry in the open kitchen matches the bookshelves and is further highlighted with the single statement chair. The island in the open kitchen shares the same colour scheme as the rest of the room’s furnishings.
If your space allows for it, an island is an open kitchen idea that will double as a place for your kitchen chores and a table to supervise your kids while they do their schoolwork.
Bonus: Anyone working from home can multitask cooking on the counters with setting up the laptop and work papers on the island.
Photography by Pulkit Sehgal
Image courtesy, São Lourenço do Barrocal
If your open kitchen design is not located next to the living room, but is big enough, make space for a dining table in the centre to enjoy meals with the family. The living and dining room may be kept for more formal meals or entertaining guests, whereas the kitchen dining table serves perfectly for quick breakfasts in the morning before everyone rushes off to work or school. Additionally, you can use it as a space for the whole family to whip up and share Sunday brunch together.
This is a great way to have the best of both worlds. These clear glass sectional doors separate the open kitchen from the living room when closed, while still creating the illusion of more space and light.
Pro tip: A clever idea for an open kitchen design in India would be to fit translucent glass on the doors to still allow light to stream in when closed. In this way, you can keep the open kitchen idea private when not prepped for guests.
Image courtesy, MuseLab
Photography by Madhurjya Saikia
All open kitchen designs in India don’t have to be a part of the living room. Sometimes, if your home allows for it, it can open out into the garden, the backyard or any space that also works well for entertaining and outdoor dining.
Bonus: These clear glass sliding doors bring an abundance of light to the space while also letting the greenery of the outdoors add to the decor of this simple open kitchen idea.
The open kitchen design here has windows that stream light and ventilation into the kitchen and living room. Every room should have a window or open space for sunlight and fresh air. If your home doesn’t allow that, perhaps planning for an open kitchen with the dining or living space can help share and make the most of a window or door.
Image courtesy, Tejas Shah Photography for Studiovistara
Photography by Prachi Damle
This open kitchen design uses the simplest decor rule—white immediately makes any space look brighter and more open. You don’t have to always stick to stark white. Even off white, shades of white or creamy tones would work well to add the illusion of space in all small open kitchen designs.
Pro tip: You could also play around with a mix of simple colour palettes or monochrome shades.
The single open shelf that spreads across the breadth of this single-wall open kitchen design works around the electric chimney. It also allows for storage, displaying well designed kitchen knick knacks and even a piece of art. Since this open kitchen idea is next to the dining area, it doubles as a space and wall to display your personal style.
A word of advice: If, however, your space is prone to dust or cannot be dusted regularly, this wouldn’t be the best solution for you.
Photography by Prachi Damle
Photography by Prachi Damle
The entry corridor to this open kitchen design has doors and ample light on both sides. This space has been utilised cleverly by placing a long dining table at the entrance making for an innovative open kitchen idea for anyone looking to use every inch of space in a home.
A window to the living room is an ideal open kitchen idea for someone interested in an open kitchen design in India, but not entirely ready to commit. The partially open wall, here, rests on a wooden countertop that complements the decor of the living room and is slightly elevated from the remaining counters of the kitchen (hiding anything that’s being worked on).
Bonus: Food once ready can be served on the counter for guests.
Photography by Pulkit Sehgal
Image courtesy, MuseLab
Small open kitchen designs not only double as space for cooking and eating, but also help display objects and incorporate colours that reflect your personal taste with the rest of the home.
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