Breaking down the Indian Modular Kitchen Design - Part 1

13 May 2017
Breaking down the Indian Modular Kitchen Design - Part 1

Breaking down the Modular Kitchen Design - Part 1

The post intends to break down the design of the Indian Modular Kitchen so that anybody can take a stab at planning their own kitchen. Or else, they'd be better informed when discussing with other designer/vendor/carpenter.

Since there are a lot of information, the part 1 will cover the design of the floor units or cabinets.

If you are looking for what color would look better on your wall/floor cabinets, you've already wasted 20 seconds on this page. This page helps you plan the space and cabinet arrangements in a practical way.

Prerequisite: You should know how to use an inch tape, and with that, you know how to measure your kitchen in inches (mm if required)

The components in the Indian Modular Kitchen can be divided roughly into 4 parts.

  1. Floor Cabinets
  2. Wall Cabinets
  3. Tall Units

Let's discuss the Floor Cabinets here, and the discussion on Wall Cabinets and Tall Units will follow in the next post.

Floor Cabinets

These are the cabinets that come underneath the counter, and the distance between the floor and the counter is usually between 820mm and 860mm (33 to 35 inches). Let's call this Floor Cabinet Space (FCS). Since all the cabinets have to fit in FCS, the height of all the cabinets will be equal to FCS, with a few minor corrections.

Now, the trick is to come up with the cabinet widths so that they can fit horizontally without wasting any space, and in a way that the cabinets are easily accessible.

For this discussion, let's take an L-type Kitchen as given below.

Step 1: Measure the distance length of the counter from underneath on both the sides of the L.
The size of my Kitchen is Short Size (with stove top): 84 inches (7ft), Long Side (with Sink): 120 inches (10ft)

Modular Kitchen Design Measurements

Step 2: Measure the depth of the counter.
In the kitchen I have given, the depth on the both the sides are 24 inches (2ft)

Step 3: Measure the distance between start of the Sink to the end of the counter
In my diagram, the distance is 36" (3ft)

Step 4: Take a pencil and piece of paper to draw a 2D project of the counter as given below. Also, mark the position of the sink.

Modular Kitchen 2D Projection

Step 5: Cut out the corners by drawing perpendiculars from both the sides. Note that I have cut off 2ft from both the sides in the corner.

After doing this, the entire space has been broken down to different sub-spaces as given in the diagram. Now we have 4 spaces.

  1. Below the Hob: 60 inches (5ft)
  2. Right of Corner (left of Sink): 60 inches (5ft)
  3. Corner: 24 inches (2ft)
  4. Below the Sink: 36 inches (~3ft)

Modular Kitchen Design Space Planning

The idea is to fit cabinets into the 4 different spaces given above. Let's fill it up.

Before we go start filling up these spaces, a few basics on the type of cabinets.

Cabinet Types

A. Fixed Size Cabinets
These are the cabinets that will enclose the accessories such as the Kitchen Baskets and Bottle Pull out units. The size of the cabinet depends on the width of the accessory that you are going to use. A few of the commonly used accessories and the space required - 

Cabinet Type Total requiredWidth
21-inch Baskets 24 inches (2ft)
15-inch Baskets 18 inches (1.5ft)
6-inch Bottle Pull-Out 9 inches (.75ft)
4-inch Bottle Pull-Out 6 inches (.5ft)

Note that the given measurements are for the cabinets sizes, so the width of the basket, the channels, and the Ply/MDF thickness are added.

B. Variable Size Cabinets
These are 1-door or 2-door cabinets whose size would be decided once the fixed size units are decided. If the size of the space is less than 1.75 ft, we can go for a 1-door cabinet. If the size of the space is between 1.75ft and 3.5ft, we can go for a 2-door cabinet. Bottom line is that the size of a door cannot exceed 1.75ft.

C. Shutters
These are just doors which will cover below the sink. These can be either 1 or 2-door, and the same logic that we used for variable size cabinets can be used.

D. Corner Cabinets
Assuming that we are not going to use the magic corners or any corner accessories, the corner space can be used efficiently by having corner cabinets. There should be at least 300mm of the door on either side of the corner, to have a usable L-corner. Check out the image below for a sample.

Fitting the Cabinets

Let's fit some cabinets into the spaces and build our Kitchen.

1. Below the Hob (60 inches or 5ft)
Since this is the side where one will stand and cook, the ideal way is to have at least one set of baskets to store the cutlery/vessels and a bottle pull-out to store the oil etc. Since we have only a space of around 5ft we will have one basket set and a bottle pull-out. You will read below why we cannot have the entire space so that the corner space is efficiently used.

Total Space: 60 inches (5ft)
Space for a 24-inch Basket Unit: 24 inches (2ft)
Space for a 4-inch Bottle Pull-out: 6 inches (0.5ft)

After fitting the 24-inch basket

Modular Kitchen Design with Basket


After fitting the 4-inch Bottle PullOut

Modular Kitchen design with Bottle Pullout


Space remaining in inches: 60-24-6 = 30 inches (2.5 ft)

The basket and the oil pull-out has been fitted as given in the above diagram. In the remaining 30 inches, we need at least 12 inches (1ft) for the corner unit from this side. So, let's allocate 12 inches to the corner unit and the remaining 18 inches (1.5ft) to have a single door cabinet. This side looks as the given diagram.

Modular Kitchen Design with Cabinet


2. Corner Space
As mentioned in the above two sections, the corner space will have 2 doors of size 12 inches (1ft)  as given in the diagram.

Modular Kitchen Design Corner

3. Right of Corner (60 inches or 5ft)
In the 5ft space that we have, we need to allocate 12 inches (1ft) for the corner door to go with the corner door on the other side. We have around 48 inches (4ft). We split this as 2-door cabinet (32 inches) + 1-door cabinet (16 inches). Splitting like this makes the door sizes even and gives a better look.

Modular Kitchen Design with More Cabinets

4. Below the Sink

Usually the space below the sink can only have shutters as the sink will protrude below the counter. Now we have a space of 36 inches (3ft), and this can be filled using a 2 door shutter of size 1.5ft each.H

Modular Kitchen with Sink Shutters


The full kitchen looks great now.

Modular Kitchen Full Design

This post covered how you can plan the floor units in your modular kitchen design. Another post will follow on how to plan your wall units and Tall unit for your modular kitchen design.