What is a kitchen without a sink? Well, in the eras gone by there were no sinks. The kitchen was simply one room in the home, designed with storage for the utensils and food stuff, along with the cooking corner, which was in the form of a fire place. And since a dining room was not something that really existed, the family would gather in the kitchen for their meals while the woman of the house would serve them hot chapattis, just as she cooked them on the tava.
As for the washing of utensils, it was done outside the house. There was no drainage system in the house as such. In fact, even the toilet and bathroom were placed outside the house. According to the experts, who have been studying Indian cultural development, the washing, toilet and bathing area were situated outside the premises in order to maintain the sanctity of the home, which was regarded as a temple.
This was convenient as long as the homes were single storied bungalows or row houses and huts. But with the development of apartments, buildings and skyscrapers the architects had to create home designs with the washing area within the house. However, in the earliest buildings, known as chawls, the washing area and the bathrooms are outside. The residents have kitchen for cooking and eating, along with a drawing room and one or two bedrooms. Some of them do have toilet. However, the washing area is a common one where the ladies wash the clothes and utensils.
However, certain chawls have been modified with an area in the kitchen to wash the utensils. They have stainless steel kitchen sinks. This is because apart from being rather inexpensive unlike the marble and granite sinks, these are also preferred for hygiene reasons. They do not corrode or rust; and are easy to maintain.
The designers have created some interesting sink patterns that do not require too much space, and yet provide a drying area for the utensils. Before putting back the utensils in their respective places, they need to be dried out properly in order to prevent cockroaches and mosquitoes. Some stainless steel sinks are designed to have a flat or corrugated surface where one can place the utensils straight after being washed. Some also have spoon, knife and fork holders.
To make it all the more convenient and occupy less space, interior designers have come up with the concept of the stainless steel corner kitchen sinks. These are placed in one corner of the kitchen, where the common drainage pipe of the building runs through. And some of them are uniquely designed with a stainless steel utensil holder for all types of utensils.
So, instead of the utensil cabinets and cupboards, one can place the dishes in a way that they dry, and yet do away with the mosquito and housefly problems due to storage of wet utensils in closed cabinets. While the larger cooking dishes can be wiped and placed inside…
Most builders provide already fixed kitchen stainless steel sinks in the homes. However, during the time of construction, the builders and architects allow the home buyer to make any changes in the sink placement area, which would be compatible for the person in terms of Vaastu or Feng Shui. However, one needs to make changes to sink placement during the construction activity because of the placement of the drainage pipes. Also, the type of stainless steel sink can be changed. Some people prefer the double sinks – one for soaking the utensils and the other for washing them.
All said and done, the choice of sinks is a matter of convenience and helping in maintaining better hygiene standards. And the stainless steel one’s may not have an aesthetic appeal, but where hygiene is concerned, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, etc., have these placed, as decided by the public health commission. So then why not at home?