Lifestyle

Siemens and the Great Minds in Kitchen Design



Siemens teams with five Hong Kong kitchen designers for its booklet Great Minds in Kitchen Design

The kitchen has arguably undergone the most dramatic progression in comparison to other rooms in the home. German home appliance brand Siemens recognised the kitchen’s evolution by inviting five leading local kitchen specialists to participate in a booklet about current trends. Titled Great Minds in Kitchen Design, the booklet was launched at an exclusive event held at Siemens’ Central showroom on 10 November, with guest celebrity chef Jacky Yu providing culinary insights. Tommy Fong of Kitench, Sunny Chan of Elegant Kitchen, Almas Lam of Bokuchen, Gilbert Tam of Pro-Kitchen and Davis Ng of Euro Cucina participated in a round table discussion to share their visions for the hottest room in the house. In addition, Siemens demonstrated how the ergonoMeter device could assist in ensuring that counters are the ideal height for users, to prevent unnatural postures that may lead to health problems in the long run.



Fong explained in his chapter The Asian Kitchen that open kitchens may not be for everyone: “Even with a fabulous exhaust system, you can get rid of smoke and grease, but the thing you cannot prevent is smell, and in an open kitchen, smells pervades everywhere. This is especially true in Hong Kong where we rely heavily on air conditioning.” He has seen the rise of induction hobs, with up to 70 percent of his customers opting for this cooking option: “I love cooking Asian food, and slow braising in particular is actually helped by induction hobs. (They) distribute heat very evenly as opposed to gas stoves, where the heat source is centralised.”

In the chapter titled The Entertaining Kitchen, Chan believes that Hong Kongers have embraced western lifestyle kitchens even within the city’s restricted square footages: “If I’m designing a kitchen for entertaining with limited area, I would heighten storage cabinets vertically rather than horizontally, using every inch from floor to ceiling while staying clear of the entranceway.” He advises for appliances to be conveniently located: “It’s about where (they) function best in the overall scheme so that multiple people can use different appliances simultaneously without hassle. Europeans prefer to hide appliances but Hong Kongers like to show them off.”



Lam’s chapter The Relaxation Kitchen takes the approach that the kitchen can be a place to de-stress: “Colour in a kitchen should integrate gracefully into the rest of your home décor. (They) should be simple and without distraction so you can focus on cooking.” For example, warm lighting helps to promote comfort and stability, while natural materials add chilled vibes, she notes: “Wood and brick surfaces create a soothing, positive and relaxing impression.”

Meanwhile, Tam believes that as the kitchen may be a laboratory for private kitchen demonstrations or classes, good planning is critical. He explains in The Demonstration Kitchen: “The triangle links storage zones with preparation areas and the stove for cooking. It is always in a smooth progression with adequate distance between each point. Too short a distance and we waste valuable preparation space. Too far, and we lose efficiency.”

Lastly, Ng feels that kitchens today accommodate work and play, and many are integrated into living spaces to flow seamlessly between the two, as he explains in The All-Purpose Kitchen: “Today’s clients see its potential in affording them more time at home without giving up the little luxuries of going out. It’s not just about having a place to cook meals. Today’s lifestyle arena in kitchen design is no longer for one primary user; it has to involve every single person who might use it from the homeowner to every guest that comes through.”

>> Issue 260: Designing Rooms for Kids

>> Issue 262: Designs on Coupling