Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Kitchen

Despite the delays waiting for the house sale to finalize we have been busy trying to locate contractors for a number of jobs we need to do on the house. The house has not been occupied and does not have an existing kitchen, so in order to move into the house as soon as possible, we need to get the kitchen started first.

Traditionally Malaysian homes tend to have two kitchens: a Wet Kitchen and a Dry Kitchen. The Wet kitchen is located outside the house and usually has a roof covering but is not totally enclosed. The sink is in the wet kitchen as well as the gas cooktop (Malaysians use hobb cooktops more than ovens, some homes don’t have an oven). We were told that the reason there are two kitchens in Malaysian homes is because Malaysian cooking is done mostly via a wok with high heat so the open space eliminates the smell and heat inside the house. The Dry kitchen is historically located inside the house and has the refrigerator and counter tops for placing serving dishes, sometimes there might be other appliances or another sink in here too. We were told that this is where the food is ‘presented to guests’ and it is always clean. More on wet and dry kitchens here:

This set up seemed very awkward to us especially having a refrigerator separate (in another room!!!) from the stove and sink. Not to mention having took cook ‘outside’ with all the pests (don’t get me wrong I love to bbq once in awhile, but I don’t want to cook outside all the time). We were looking for a house that would allow for the entire kitchen to be inside. One of the reasons we chose the house we are purchasing is because it has a large dry kitchen (it also has a wet kitchen outside). So we will be able to create a fully functional interior kitchen. Currently there are only tiles on the floor and walls. As we are on a very tight budget, we will have to use the tiles even though we wouldn’t have chosen them.

the Kitchen

We met with a number of kitchen companies, some in Seremban and some in Kuala Lumpur. While most houses still have wet and dry kitchens, modern kitchen design is quite sought after in KL and so we were seeing more fully integrated kitchens (as one space) and very modern kitchen cabinets which are similar to European kitchen design (although the quality of the products here is unknown to us). See the largest kitchen company in Malaysia for an indication of what current Malaysia kitchens look like

While the house we are buying has a very modern feel, we decided to go with wood cabinets yet still try to give the kitchen a modern 'asian' feel with stainless steel elements. We have found a kitchen contractor in Seremban who will be custom building the kitchen design my husband R and I designed. The contractor will be using local Naytoh wood to make the cabinet doors. At this time, we think we will be using marble for the counter tops, a color/product called Vietnam White Marble. The center island will be stainless steel to keep the cost down. More on the Kitchen as it progresses. For now, here are a couple photos of the kitchens which have inspired us designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen...

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