How to design an affordable modular kitchen?

Natasha Kurien Natasha Kurien
homify Modern Kitchen
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Modular kitchens are the latest trend in most modern Indian homes. They refer to ready made kitchens that come in standardised units or modules. They usually have a fixed price range, which enables homeowners to invest in the design or remodelling of the kitchen based on the funds available, without having to burn a hole in their pocket owing to unexpected expenses and cost overruns. The cost of a modular kitchen typically lies in the range of Rs 50,000 for small modular kitchens to Rs 8,00,000 for more spacious ones. The price varies depending on the type of finishes, materials and colours chosen. However, their overall price can be extremely affordable if due attention is paid to careful planning of the kitchen to suit the requirements of the person using it.

The choice of each of the modules of the kitchen should be made purely on utility as several elements such as the cabinets, accessories, countertops, and appliances contribute toward the overall cost of the kitchen. With the help of a kitchen planner, you can work to make the vision of your kitchen a reality. Here are some guidelines on how you can design an affordable modular kitchen for your home.

1. Keep in mind the size and the usage of the modular kitchen

The size as well as the layout of the kitchen, whether U-shaped, L-shaped, parallel or straight, is directly proportional to the price of the kitchen. Although larger kitchens will require a higher number of modules, they often come at a high price. The usage of the kitchen determines the modules that need to be incorporated. For example, a full-time baker would require an average-sized modular kitchen design and would make use of all the modules. A frequent traveller, on the other hand would go for the bare essentials in his modular kitchen design. Thus, the number and type of modules can vary significantly from one home to another, depending on the usage.

2. Pay attention to the finish and material of the cabinets

The cabinet material and the finish contribute toward the cost of a modular kitchen. A good part of the budget will go in the buying and installation of modular kitchen cabinets. There are many finish options available such as polymer, laminate, member foil and acrylic. Cabinets made of acrylic are the most expensive as they are scratch-resistant and glossy, but they are also durable. Laminates are ideal for anyone who is on a tight budget.

A budget of Rs 50,000 allows for materials such as pre-laminated particle boards and MDF to be used. You can invest in laminates with PVC membrane or post-forming for achieving the desired finish. PVC membrane shutters cost around Rs.250 per sq. ft and post-forming shutters cost around Rs 650 per sq. ft. They have the advantage of offering a wide range of finishes.

3. Accessorise your modular kitchen wisely

Selecting the accessories for a small modular kitchen is prime to ensure the proper utilisation of space. It is essential to pick accessories that complement the design of your kitchen. For example, if you are someone who takes pride in collecting and preserving your crockery, then plate holders should be an essential accessory in the modular kitchen storage. A double bin holder near the sink, on the other hand, is ideal for larger families.

Accessorizing also includes planning the kitchen cabinet accessories such as drawers, pull-outs, door knobs/handles, trays, etc. The minimum number of accessories depends on the space available and the size of the cabinet modules. Typically, steel knobs cost around Rs 100-Rs 600 per piece, nickel knobs Rs 100-Rs 300 per piece, glass and wooden knobs Rs 25-Rs 50 per piece, and stainless-steel carousels from Rs 1,600 onward. Therefore, it’s easy to find accessories to suit almost any budget.

4. The material of the countertop of the modular kitchen is important

The natural, high-end finish that quartz and polished granite offer make them a favourite for kitchen countertops. Eye-catching materials such as glass, metal or even natural stone have been making their way into modular kitchen designs. However, keep in mind that countertops should be functional, in addition to contributing to the aesthetics of the modular kitchen design. The commonly used materials such as quartz, ceramic tiles and granite can be quite expensive. If your budget doesn't allow for these materials, you can opt for wood, limestone or slate. Alternatively, you can consider laminate countertops that cost around Rs 500-Rs 5,000 per sq.m. However, in most Indian kitchens, hardy natural stones such as black granite continue to be a favourite because they can withstand heavy usage and are relatively scratch and stain-resistant.

5. Choose built-in appliances based on utility for your modular kitchen

Modular kitchen prices tend to increase with every additional appliance that is included in the design. Most modular kitchen ideas feature built-in appliances such as dishwashers and ovens in addition to storage cabinets. To keep the kitchen design within budget, ensure that you only opt for appliances that you will regularly use so that you don’t invest in an expensive built-in appliance that is rarely used and takes away from precious storage space in the kitchen.

The reason why modular kitchens are so popular is that they are available in a wide range of prices and designs. With the right vision and planning, you can design a kitchen that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also budget-friendly.

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