THEY live on an acre of history. Delhi's Civil Lines was the first residential area that was chosen by the British when, after the Mutiny, they moved out of the Walled City. And the colony continued to grow between the late 19th and early 20th century. From the terrace garden on the 2nd floor, one can see the Yamuna in the distance and catch a glimpse of the house in which historian Percival Spear lived. Built on a plot of land earlier housing a bungalow, Vinod and Chinna Dua's home is one of 14 residential cottages in the complex. While the interiors are still in the process of being designed, the 12 by 10 kitchen is fully functional, put together painstakingly by Chinna Dua. The rest of the house promises to be plush and one-of-a-kind, but the very utilitarian kitchen is every housewife's dream and is, moreover, not difficult to replicate.
Done up in granite, prelaminated board and wood, the peninsula with a granite top—intended for quick breakfasts and snacks—balances a small cabinet with Chinna's collection of cookery books she has gathered through the years. The space below has been utilised for storing crates, garbage bags and other such essentials which usually end up cluttering most kitchens. The wall opposite has a display cabinet at one end with assorted contemporary artifacts. A copper chimney, the frame of which can be taken out and cleaned, rises over the cooking range, the gas cylinders placed ingeniously outside the house and the connecting pipes are concealed. Counters run along three sides with the area under the two stainless steel sinks utilised for the garbage bin, detergents, mops and so on. Next to it stands the dishwasher. An interesting feature is the design of the corner units of each set of utensil cabinets running along under the counters. They are revolving units which swing open at an angle of 180 degrees, allowing the maximum use of corner space.
Adjustable shelves make the storing of essentials easier. Cupboards along the fourth wall hold provisions and condiments. However, the piece-de-resistance is the slim broom cupboard, made to size and concealed neatly behind the door. No space has been wasted in the making of this dream kitchen, every single inch has been utilised and the several cheerful touches turn cooking from a chore into a pleasure.