Why Closed Kitchen Layout Works Better For Indian Cooking
Until a decade back, Indians had only one option when it came to kitchens – closed kitchens with a door. However, in the past few years, global design ideas have permeated the Indian market like wildfire. Open kitchens where there are no barriers between the cooking space and the living/dining spaces have fascinated Indian homeowners and several home and apartment owners have come to experiment with them, for obvious benefits.
Open kitchens are those which are not separated from the rest of the house with a wall. It can give an illusion of space in the case of small kitchens and allows light and air into the cooking area. Open kitchens also work well for families who entertain a lot informally, as people inside the kitchen can interact easily with guests in other parts of the house. The person inside need not feel cooped up either as they can watch the TV in the living room or listen to music from the system as they cook. It also works for busy couples who can keep an eye on kids while they’re cooking or washing the dishes, and allows easy movement to and from the kitchen.
Grime on the Walls
However, open kitchens have drawbacks as well in the Indian context. Unlike in western cooking where baking and grilling is the norm, Indian cooking involves a lot of sizzling and frying, and there will be some smoke and spluttering of tadkas even for a simple breakfast. When the kitchen space is open, all the sounds, smells, and smoke would spread across the house, and add to the grime on the walls everywhere.
It can also be inconvenient at times when guests are in the house and the host is cooking strong-smelling foods like garlic, or in instances when there are vegetarian guests and non-vegetarian cooking going on. All these factors need to be considered when you opt for an open kitchen.
Less Storage Space
Also, open kitchens mean one wall less, and consequently less space for shelves and storage. It also means a lot of work for cleanliness freaks, as the mess in the kitchen would be visible for the entire world to see.
No Sense of Privacy
Some people like their space when cooking, plain and simple, and don’t want to be watched by guests and family all the time. An open kitchen means there is no such option, as there is no scope for doors.
However, if you have your sights set on an open kitchen, there are several workarounds. Install a good chimney that will take in all the smoke instantly. Consider screens made of non-inflammable material which can be removed according to one’s convenience, for privacy as well as to lessen the encroachment of smoke into other areas.
You can also consider something between the two, where there is a half wall between the kitchen and the rest of the house, or a large door space which goes up to the ceiling.