Choosing the right equipment:
After having placed the triangle on the layout of your kitchen, try to decide about the rest of the appliances. If you want your washing machine in the kitchen, try to separate it from the main cooking area and allow enough space for all the necessary items around the washing machine.
I decided to remove my washing machine from the kitchen, although my architect did not like this idea at all. Instead of building a huge kitchen with an island in the middle, I opted for a smaller kitchen with an adjacent laundry room. This laundry room houses my washing machine, an extra fridge and plenty of storage space for cleaning utensils, tools and other things which I don’t want to have around in the kitchen. It also has a huge stone sink for heavy duty cleaning which comes very handy. In my laundry room I can make all the mess I want…in case of chaos I just close the door and my kitchen looks all neat and tidy.
If you decide to purchase a dishwasher, try to place it directly next to the sink. I own a dishwasher which has greatly improved my life. I used to leave all the dirty dishes in the evening in the sink. The cleaning lady normally did the dishes first thing in the morning. This attracted a lot of ants and other pests and the cleaning lady never did the dishes to my full satisfaction. Now I just rinse all the dishes in the evening, load the dishwasher, switch it on and my kitchen remains clean. Additionally I know that all my crockery has been washed perfectly.
In the west we have plenty of options for cooking ranges, wall mounted ovens and integrated cook tops. In India you can get everything you want but you will have to pay a hefty price for imported items. Furthermore it can be problematic to get them repaired and you have to consider frequent power cuts. Otherwise you can easily get left without heat in the middle of preparing a dish.
Choosing electric ovens and cooking tops only makes sense if you are the happy owner of a big generator or if you live in an apartment building with 24 hour electric supply. If you are wealthy enough for this, you might consider purchasing an imported kitchen. There are several options available nowadays and the companies also offer to design your kitchen. If you are on a limited budget though, you can save a lot of money by designing your kitchen yourself.
Even if baking with a gas oven can be tricky, I am quite happy with my gas cooking range. It offers five burners, a quite big oven with a grill and automatic ignition. It is a common brand in India and servicing is not a problem. If you can, try to place the gas bottle for your cooking range outside the kitchen. My cooking range stands in a corner of the kitchen and the gas pipe goes through a hole into a small structure which houses the gas bottle. This greatly improves the safety of my kitchen.
On top of my cooking range I have a vent hood which gets rid of the cooking fumes. When choosing a hood consider the suction power, easy cleaning options and the way the fumes have to take to reach outside. My hood is located at an outside wall, so the fumes can be blown directly outside. If the way is too long or twisted, a hood will never be able to work properly.
The fridge is one of the essential appliances in a kitchen and especially in India you never can have too much fridge space. As a rule of thumb you need half a cubic meter (500 liters) for the first two family members and another 0,04 cubic meters (40 liters) for every additional family member. This may seem a lot for Indian conditions but it is very useful to have this amount of fridge space. I have a big fridge located in the middle of my kitchen and 2 more fridges for extra storage: One in the laundry room next to the kitchen and one on the first floor of the house.
What you absolutely need in a kitchen in India is the best water filter you can get your hands on. The water filter should be located next to the sink and the filters should be easily reachable for maintenance. Reverse-osmosis-filters nowadays are quite affordable and I believe they deliver better water quality than any water bottled in plastic. Plastic bottles tend to ooze solvents into the water and you never know what you buy.