Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 8, Tuesday, August 17, 2004





KITCHENS have become the main gathering place in many modern households. Families congregate there to eat, work and talk. Entertaining has become more informal, and guests nowadays are often involved in the meal-making process, instead of waiting politely in the living room.

There is no one 'ideal' kitchen. What is perfect for you depends on your personal lifestyle. To acquire that perfection, you need to establish your personal priorities. The kitchen is one of the most functional rooms in the home, and needs detailed planning if you are to be satisfied with it.

The first stage is planning the layout, the vital key to making your kitchen easy to work in. You need to work this out before you go on to set out ground rules for positioning kitchen units and appliances. Depending on your lifestyle, you can choose from a variety of styles, from a country farmhouse kitchen to something hi-tech and modern, or even something minimalistic. There are various shapes of kitchen design: the L-shape, the U-shape, and the single line. Space is also a consideration. Can your kitchen accommodate an island layout? Or is it so tiny that not a centimetre can be wasted?

Mrs. Nagina Sinha's house has two kitchen areas. The larger one is located on the ground floor, while another one, smaller, but very unique in style, is in the 1st floor. The focus of this story is on the kitchen-cum-dining area, which is literally the heart of the household as the family spends a lot of time there, taking all their meals, and sharing tea-breaks there with close friends and relatives.

The room being almost square shaped, the ideal layout seemed to call for an island design. Hence, a small dining table was placed at the centre of the kitchen. The table is made of wrought iron with a 8"mm glass top. The chairs are also wrought iron, with fabric seats and backs. The dining set, with its rust polish makes the kitchen look attractive.

The floor was initially covered with black tiles, which darkened the entire room. These were replaced by wooden-textured tiles set diagonally across the floor.

Readymade kitchen cabinets have taken the world by storm. Scrupulously designed to fulfil individual needs and adapt to available space, modular kitchens that have become the common way of life in the West over the last century are finally gaining ground here. These ready-to-install kitchen cabinets are durable, strong, pest-proof, highly scratchproof, and corrosion resistant. The doors are self-closing and equipped with sound-deadening gaskets and imported hinges. Just such a readymade kitchen cabinet, made of hi-tech powder-coated laminated board in an elegant deep bottle-green shade was set around the kitchen. This cabinet has two portion, the lower part being 2'6" high, and the upper part being about 2'0" high, with a 2' gap between them, just like any standard kitchen cabinet.

An oven was placed on one corner of the room, with a kitchen hood for convenience. An exhaust fan was installed nearby to remove any odour. Next to the oven, a long was basin was placed. Kitchen sinks are very important, and can either be set on a basic unit of dimensions identical to that of the cabinet, or set into a hole specifically cut out of the worktop.

There is a wide window in front of the wash basin, for ventilation purposes, and also to allow plenty of natural light to come through, making it a pleasant place to work in. A frilled green curtain enriches the window. A mineral water dispenser was set next to the washbasin.

Keeping in mind the specific needs of the Bangladeshi housewife, ready kitchens are now built with ample storage space. The long silver sections are for storage. These can be used to store dry fruit, biscuits and other items, and the compartments provided in the storage sections can be modified according to the needs of the user. The tops of the lower cabinets are made of black granite. Granite is the best material to use as kitchen worktops, being easy to clean. They are also important for the installation of electrical appliances. Mrs. Sinha placed a beautiful stainless-steel microwave oven on one side, and a blender next to it. A huge refrigerator was placed in the corner punch space. Careful consideration must be given to the placement of kitchen appliances, to best suit the needs of the user.

Crockery plays an important role in any kitchen or dining room. Ms. Sinha had a good collection, and an arrangement was made to display some choice pieces, to give the area a dressy look.

The décor in the kitchen, as in any other area, is characterised by a consensus between formal and informal styles, to arrive at a beautiful co-ordination of style, colour and texture. Bearing in mind the overall dé
cor, the walls were painted in green and lemon stripes, which in contrast with the solid green cabinets, look very dramatic.

Lighting in the kitchen should specifically fulfil the requirements of the users. A chandelier was set over the dining table to give focus on the eating area. Accent lights were placed in front of the oven.

The door is the reception point for the kitchen-cum-dining area. Previously, a black double Thai aluminium door existed, which was replaced in favour of an ornamental wooden double door with eye-catching glasswork. This changes the total view of the place.

A slightly expensive option is to arrange some green plants, paintings, photographs or decoration pieces to dress up the place. We used small paintings, collection pieces and photos in every available corner to give the place a personal touch.

There you have it, a cosy area with an unusual colour scheme, and plenty of personal items. Who could ask for a more pleasant place to cook and dine in?

Nazneen Haque Mimi
Interior Consultant
For further details, contact: journeym@citechco.net
Photo Credit: Hasan Saifuddin Chandan



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