Flair and functionality: Indian kitchen design ideas that inspire a culinary adventure

[] Here is a comprehensive guide to set up an Indian style kitchen design for your home.

Indian kitchen designs are far different from their western counterparts, generally visible on the silver screen. Yes, although we may fantasise about those architectural wonders that impart minimalism and functionality within the living space, the fact is, Indians require something far more adapted to our cultures, traditions, food habits, and overall utilities kitchens in India offer. 

You are reading: Flair and functionality: Indian kitchen design ideas that inspire a culinary adventure

Every ‘desi household’ should have a kitchen setup that accommodates all the requirements of the members of the family and caters to the culinary habits, experiments and even misadventures – without disfiguring or destroying your interiors. 

Let’s check some of the essential features of every kitchen in India.


Essential features of a standard kitchen size in India 

You cannot pick a kitchen setup concept from anywhere in the world and place it against the Indian landscape. Indian culture, food habits, culinary styles, etc., are unique. Hence, a kitchen in India should have specific characteristics that stand out even if it is a modular kitchen. 

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Closed kitchen layout is ideal for an Indian kitchen design

Although open kitchen designs are enjoying much attention these days, closed kitchen layouts are ideal for Indian culinary habits. Although it means that the delicious flavours of authentic Indian cuisines will stay trapped within the kitchen and not spread across the house, it is often a boon in disguise, especially when guests are invited. 

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But the most important reason for choosing a closed layout for a traditional Indian kitchen design is because it arrests all the smoke and oil, which are some of the most common occurrences during cooking. A closed Indian kitchen design complete with a door helps prevent your interiors from getting disfigured with all the grimy walls that result from the excess oil, soot and smoke. 

Proper ventilation to keep the kitchen smoke and odour free

Shallow frying, deep frying, sauteing – Indian cuisines require a lot of processes that involve tempering the food, which leads to a lot of smoke, strong fumes and odour. As a result, cooking can become a painful process. Often, it will lead to suffocation due to a stuffy ambience within the kitchen setup. 

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To avoid all these inconveniences and enjoy cooking, every kitchen in India should have proper ventilation. The requisites for ideal ventilation include airy inlets and outlets or windows, exhaust fans and chimneys. Even if a high-end chimney is not affordable, the other two must be there to ensure a seamless cooking experience. 

Also read about kitchen sink design and sizes in India

Readymade or custom-built cabinets with all the provisions for accessibility

A kitchen in India is one of the busiest spaces in the entire house. Multiple ingredients, appliances, utensils, etc., need to be accommodated inside the kitchen space. Therefore, having accessible provisions for your kitchenware and components is a must. 

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Kitchen cabinets should meet these accessibility criteria. Whether custom-built or readymade, they should include a special rack to keep the plethora of spices that find their usage in almost every Indian cuisine. The racks can be built outside the kitchen cabinets for increased access. 

Another vital thing that should find its place inside your kitchen is to have a designated space with hooks to hang the variety of spoons, spatulas and other cooking tools that are quintessential for your cooking. The kitchenware should always be highly accessible, and hence it is best to have a hanging space outside or inside your kitchen cabinets for them. 

Double sinks or utility areas to increase the functionality of the kitchen setup

In India, it is almost customary to have house helps do the dishes in kitchens. Often, we stack dishes and crockeries in the sinks or baskets to be washed the next day. The presence of two sinks or dedicated utility areas for cleaning and washing kitchenware and utensils minimises inconvenience. Keeping the cooking and cleaning areas separate also reduces the potential mess that can occur in the Indian kitchens. 

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Robust countertops to aid in heavy-duty cooking 

Authentic Indian cuisines require a lot of effort to prepare. Heavy-duty cooking is one of the most significant features of the Indian cordon bleu. Thus, every kitchen in India should be ideally designed to accommodate the high-intensity cooking processes that will occur in that space. 

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The countertop is one of the essential components to weather the storms of spillage, stains, etc. A countertop in a kitchen in India should be robust and resistant to stains and spillage. Thus, it is best to go for a quartz or granite countertop as they are non-porous and highly resistant to adamant stains. 

Indian kitchen design ideas that evoke a sense of wonder 

Now that we have a primary idea of the essential features to be included in every Indian kitchen design, let’s find some design inspirations. The following design ideas are curated for every Indian kitchen of standard size. 

Traditional Indian kitchen design with blue accents

A traditional Indian kitchen design has a timeless appeal to it. If you want to increase the charm of the traditional Indian kitchen design, you can try imbibing a blue colour palette to the kitchen setup in a myriad of ways. 

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A blue accent on the white-tiled kitchen walls creates an illusion of space, making it appear like the vast sky or the expansive blue ocean. You can also use it as a primary accent colour against white or as a secondary colour behind black or white tiles. 

Classic old-fashioned kitchen with antique oak design

Every standard kitchen size in India will be ideal for handling this traditional, alluring kitchen theme. You can turn your kitchen into a classic, old-fashioned one by imparting a few elements to your kitchen setup. Amongst those, the quintessential oak finish stirs up an antique charisma.

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You can have the antique oak finish in a variety of hues and can apply it on the window treatments, floorings and even the cabinets. You can also add matching stools and chairs to accentuate the classy kitchen decor. One of the most significant upsides is that they require little to no maintenance. Antique oak finishes are pretty robust and don’t need sealing or frequent varnishing. 

Dual-toned kitchen cabinet for a compact modular kitchen 

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Although western countries have modular kitchens by default, this kind of kitchen setup is relatively new to the Indian market and has already created a stir! A kitchen in India could imbibe a modular design as it increases the efficiency of the kitchen space while enhancing storage. Modular kitchens can be installed faster and therefore is quite a hit with people shifting their abodes. 

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There are no such restrictions when it comes to the standard kitchen size in India. A kitchen space can be as compact as 6X6 sq. feet and even massive. However, a 10X8 sq. feet kitchen is the standard kitchen size in India, where you can go about with your daily activities seamlessly. 

Remember, you can always opt for a dual-toned kitchen cabinet for your modular kitchen setup. Since white kitchens are trendy these days, you can keep the element on the cabinet to elevate the classy appeal of your space. However, one of the most significant downsides with white is that it is highly susceptible to stains and spills. Therefore, you can balance the white out with a dark tone, brown or black. A dual-toned kitchen cabinet spells glamour and functionality in one go!

French flamboyance with patina accents and copper elements 

If you want to infuse an air of French elegance and artistic aura to your Indian kitchen design, you can do so by selecting copper and patina compositions. Copper has been one of the go-to elements of neoclassical and modernist architecture and will breathe finesse and durability into your kitchen setup. 

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You can choose antique copper and bronze or copper with multicoloured swirls and even opt for black and white patina accents. Pair these elements with copper shelvings, stainless steel appliances and a granite countertop to stir up an antique charm. 

Indian kitchen design with green colour scheme to inspire calmness 

Green has been traditionally linked to nature, and therefore it has the quality to stimulate calmness and tranquillity in any ambience. Using natural and earthy colour schemes such as green will alleviate rigidity and breathe timeless elegance into the kitchen space. 

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A traditional Indian kitchen design in a calming green and purple palette can add a retro flair to your residential premises. You can keep freshly-picked fruits, fresh herbs and a bunch of lavenders in a basket to create an aroma that goes in tandem with the kitchen decor. You can top off the mood with some wrought iron candle sconces, ceramic wall art and even a rustic spice rack. Remember to have an open spice rack or shelf as Indian cuisines employ multiple spices, and you always need to keep them handy. 

Rustic and country-side vibe with wood finish

You can successfully pull off a rustic decor with country-side vibes if you incorporate wooden furniture and accessories in your traditional Indian kitchen design. They exude the whiff of a bygone era and combine that with mystery and comfort. 

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However, incorporating solid wood can increase the expenses by a great deal. Solid wood kitchen cabinets also need a lot of maintenance. Instead, you can go for plywood with a range of finishes. Using BWR (boiling water resistant) plywood for the wet zones of the kitchen is a wise idea. 

You can always use the recommendations above and improvise to create a classic Indian kitchen design that is unique. 


What are some of the considerations for designing your kitchen?

Layout, storage, floorings, ventilation, and lighting are some of the critical considerations for your kitchen design.

What are traditional style kitchens?

Traditional kitchens generally incorporate painted kitchen cabinets with or without glass doors, traditional hardwood flooring, granite or laminate countertops and other classic elements.

How do I plan my kitchen cabinets in India?

Planning your kitchen cabinets for an Indian kitchen design involves choosing the design style, materials, layout, functionalities like storage, budget, and finally hiring an interior designer.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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