Kitchen confidential

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This article first appeared in haven, The Edge Malaysia, on Issue #78 April + May 2016.

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There’s no denying that we Malaysians have a passionate love affair with food. Most of our fondest moments take place around food, with certain flavours and aromas giving rise to nostalgia or triggering feelings of love and comfort. Family and friends always congregate in the kitchen, the long-time social nucleus of the home, and frankly, it’s a place that’s more fun to hang out in than the formal living room – you are not only granted a preview to the coming meal but also privy to the latest gossip. For some reason, the kitchen has also been seen as a sanctuary of truth — perhaps the comforting ambience and scents make it all the safer for the messenger or confessor, and how can you lie with mom’s laksa broth simmering on the stove? 

The importance of the kitchen can be seen more than ever these days with many homeowners now favouring open free-flowing concepts for their kitchens. No longer is the kitchen consigned to the rear, the hidden part of the home, but rather integrated with other living spaces and celebrated as the heart of the home. And the international design world is closely following this movement, offering creative concepts that inject social and ambient elements to the predominantly utilitarian kitchen. 

You’ll find this theme reiterated and expressed in the latest designs at one of the greatest kitchen shows on earth — the EuroCucina taking place in Milan this month. Open to the public on April 16 and 17, it is a brilliant showcase of the latest in the realm of high quality kitchens from 120 of the top brands from all around the world, with FTK (Technology For the Kitchen), a collateral event that presents the latest technology for cooking and “living the kitchen space”. This year the focus is on “the renaissance of a convivial space ideally suited to bringing family and friends together, welcoming guests and reviving companionability in its purest form” as states its website. Such an endeavour calls for great personalisation options in your kitchen, with a rich palette of finishes and materials — from the warmest of wood to the most innovative of man-made materials, or a combination thereof — to choose from that best reflects your taste and lifestyle. Elegance and functionality are key words here.  

The best in the game will tell you that kitchen design is a whole lot more than fitting cabinets and appliances to a grid — it is science and art, design that requires a perspective, imagination, a knowledge of human behaviour and of course, aesthetics. How you use your kitchen, your lifestyle and the colours and textures you can stand to live with every day are just some of the important factors driving the final result. And then there’s also the matter of how much you’re willing to spend. The most important advice you’ll ever receive from anyone who’s been through a kitchen renovation or two: Get it right the first time. It is about perfect style and practicality.  

This Kitchen Special celebrates the best in kitchen designs and zooms in on the current trends, technology and gadgets, and everything you need to create your dream kitchen.