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“Kitchen is no more a secluded part of a household. It is an integral part of your living room,” says Ahmedabad-based architect Mr. Anand Tatu. Having worked with several high profile national and international clients, Mr. Tatu enjoys a great stature in his field. He speaks with Kitchen Desire, shedding his most insightful information on modern day kitchens and its designing features.

   Modern kitchens are nowadays becoming a synonym of well-regulated and organised spaces in households. How do you look at it?

Earlier things were pretty different when it came to kitchens. Women would spend most of their time in kitchens. But, now the things have changed as they have other important works to attend to. Now, that does not mean that kitchen works are not given that much importance. For example, there are working women, who would quickly like to do their cooking chores and leave for their work places. So, the things have to be convenient where everyone wants to perform his or her best.

   So, in your opinion, which are those things that kitchen should offer?

If you can save your valuable time and hassle in your kitchen, nothing can be better than this. Kitchen has to offer certain facilities allowing the person to work without compromising on his efficiency.

For that, things have to be perfectly organized in an ergonomic manner. For instance, height of the platform, distance between two platforms, the position of chimney, proper integration of gadgets, etc. all require to be proper and perfect. There after comes the styling and maintenance of kitchen, which should be easy and quick. This is extremely important for hygiene purpose. The next is keeping yourself safe in the kitchen.

   How has a modern kitchen altered the designing of its area for an architect?

We are extremely thankful to the companies who are providing inspiration to us. With new products around, awareness has grown and now people are looking for quality. In Ahmedabad, clients are very intelligent. They want value for money, and do not mind spending money.

   What has exactly changed the mindsets of people regarding having a modular kitchen and prioritizing it?

Kitchen is no more a secluded part of a household. It is an integral part of your living room. Nowadays, you don't have to send someone to kitchen for troubling her. The person who is cooking in the kitchen is equally participating in the activities of the living room. A well-designed kitchen makes your job simple and less time consuming. It is almost effortless where kitchen gadgets, cabinets, and other conveniences are adding to your functionality.

   What would you advise for an aesthetically pleasing kitchen?

For this, ventilation system has to be extremely efficient so that those false gases, odour and smoke do not disperse into your living rooms. Earlier we had exhaust fans, but now there are several ventilation techniques. Chimney is one of them and it can be chosen according to your cooking style.

Designers should be conversant with what is available in the market. He should do his homework and be able to explain to the clients so that they can decide accordingly. Clients have a lot of knowledge too and know what can be right for them. They also want designers to professionally guide them how and what exactly to integrate into their kitchen space.

   What do you think that has brought these changes in the kitchen?

There are many TV channels that are dedicated to cooking. TLC, Food Food, Zee Khana Khazana and many others show how efficiently they can cook food in just three minutes. The MasterChef program shows time bound dishes, which involves not only just cooking but also presenting the dish well.

It is all very inspiring even for males. Many husbands now like to help their partners in kitchens. This helps in giving them opportunity to spend time together in kitchen. So, it has become a hub of nurturing love. To cut a long story short, modern day kitchens are very different from what it used to be before ten years. I think the change is for good. It has improved the ways of cooking and spending time in kitchen.

   What factors do you owe to functionality and ergonomics in a modular kitchen?

As a designer, it becomes our responsibility to tell clients what is correct and ensure a good built kitchen. There should be proper integration of gadgets. Designing or location of appliances should not obstruct the flow of working. It should be ergonomically designed that is in absolute accordance with human body dimensions. A designer's response should be according to the user's requirements and experience, both.

   How can opting for high-end kitchen appliances help the consumers with the flexibility and usefulness?

Modular kitchen gives flexibility. If you want to integrate new gadgets into your kitchen, it offers the user inherent flexibility to work, to move around, to be quick, etc. All these things are extremely important in the kitchen. Five years before, refrigerators and chimneys that we used have changed now, and the new products have to be according to the flow of kitchen.

   How can the kitchen designs be made cost-effective in terms of material selection and other technologies involved?

Firstly, it depends on how much time the client has as we would like the client to participate in the process. Secondly, it's important to compare the products in the market to evaluate the process, pricing, trends, and other factors.

Unlike gadgets and appliances, other things like platform, cabinets, cupboards, etc. can be considered in terms of cost effectiveness, so that more can be spent on gadgets. I believe we should give importance to brands.

   Which are the safety measures or methods of energy conservation that can be adopted in a kitchen?

Kitchen is now slowly becoming a part of living room, so there are two things to majorly take care of. The first is ventilation and the second it has to be aesthetically pleasing as the visitors can see you. With modern appliances and gadgets around in the kitchen, there are more chances of accidental injuries, electricity shocks, etc. Therefore, kitchen should be designed with a lot of safety. You can save energy in kitchen with the use of energy-efficient appliances. It can contribute greatly to a cleaner environment by simply giving preference to such appliances and gadgets. 

   What tips do you have for coping with the smaller space for kitchens?

For a small kitchen, all tasks remain the same. The number of appliances is also the same. It is important how you arrange them in your small kitchen. Small kitchen, more challenges. As compared to a large kitchen, a smaller one is much better. Everything should be in your reach, so that it becomes compact and more efficient, and the person does not get tired.

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