High gloss, bright colour and sleek minimalism combined with super functionality.
High-end modular kitchens today are as much about aesthetics as they are about efficiency. “People are going in for an ultra-modern and contemporary look for their kitchens, classy and sophisticated,” says Kasturi Sawhney of Alno. “These kitchens are now lifestyle spaces, created in keeping with the design theme of their homes.” Among those with large, independent homes, this can mean building two separate kitchens, says Ranjith Bohra of Aran Kitchen World — the ‘wet' kitchen, where the messy cooking and washing happens, and the ‘dry' or showpiece kitchen which is more of a social space.
“They spend a lot on the dry kitchen, which is used for light cooking or as a place for guests to hang out during parties,” he says. “These are often open kitchens, leading into the dining or living room, and may have a bar attached to them.” But it isn't just people with palatial homes who're going in for fancy kitchens.
“More and more people are willing to spend on kitchens — it used to only be the very wealthy, but not anymore,” says Bohra.
“They want to go in for glossy lacquer finishes, glass cabinet doors, high-end appliances and accessories, even if space is a limitation.”
The biggest aesthetic trend would have to be the incredibly vibrant palette of colours people are experimenting with. Bright orange, blood red and mango yellow, brilliant purple, deep magenta and hot pink… the list is literally endless.
“People are getting increasingly adventurous with colour, the kind of colour we'd never have dreamt of using in a kitchen in the past,” says Hema Prakash of Cookscape.
If it's not vivid splashes of colour, it's usually gleaming whites, graphites and champagnes.
And then there are those who still prefer their kitchens traditional and classic, with wood and maybe even a touch of gilt on the handles. But one thing that all these high-end kitchens have in common? They're all optimised for efficiency, with numerous ‘pullouts' (smoothly sliding shelves attached on the inside of cabinet doors) that use even the most hard-to-reach corners for storage, and fully-organised drawer systems.
“It's all about ergonomics and utilisation of space — there are a whole range of offerings that allow you to store everything and access them conveniently,” says Sawhney. “German accessories, especially, are sturdy and ideal for withstanding Indian usage.”
The space-saving doesn't stop there. “People are also increasingly going for appliances such as microwaves and fridges built into their kitchen systems, rather than having them freestanding,” says Ira Dwivedi of Donna Rossi. Take that a step further, and you even have cabinets coming with built-in televisions.“It's just entered the Indian market — and people are willing to spend on it,” says Bohra. And then you have new technologies that seem like something out of The Jetsons cartoons — drawers and cabinet doors that slide open and close at the touch of a finger, for instance.
“The trend has been towards doors with no handles but just recessed grips for some time; now electrically operated doors that open when you touch them are being produced,” says Sawhney.
That includes lighting as well — instead of plain ‘ol tiles, you can have scallops of coloured LED lighting shining through glass shelves to light up the backsplash of your kitchen for a surreal, stylised look.
Today's high-end kitchens have it all — the aesthetics and designer attitude of any other room of your house, with superb functionality and advanced engineering thrown in for good measure.