For the Filipinos, the kitchen isn’t just another corner or space in the house. It is not only a place where meals are prepared. It has the most foot traffic because Filipinos do everything in their kitchen. It is where they catch up, bond, and even do homework. Apart from these, Filipinos are among the most passionate cooks you’ll see in the world and the inner Filipino foodie in all of us deserves a nice kitchen setup that is not only functional but also stylish.
Cooking in a well-designed kitchen is every Filipino foodie’s dream. However, some find urban dwelling rather restrictive in this regard. The average condo size is about 30 to 60 square meters and recreating the Master Chef kitchen is out of the question.
But the best kitchen arrangement ideas and design setups do not necessarily require a massive floor space. You just have to figure out what you need and what works for you. To get you started, here are some kitchen setups for the Filipino foodie.
Simple, clean, and modern
Living in a condo has made a huge impact on how Filipinos design their homes. The contemporary look with clean lines and soft colors reminiscent of modern Asian homes have appealed to the taste of Filipino homeowners. The wall paint is usually a shade of white, the counter is marble or granite, and the cabinets are dark-colored wood. This classic kitchen setup will work for those who love to cook in a kitchen that is uncluttered, looks bright, and feels airy.
Fusion of the new and the traditional
The more Filipinos are exposed to the hustle and bustle of city life, the more they yearn for the good old days. The simplicity of the bahay-kubo or nipa hut reflects the simplicity of life back then. For Filipino cooks whose specialty are Pinoy dishes or their lola’s recipe, a modern kitchen with a twist of the traditional bahay-kubo is a great idea.
Use wood for your cupboards and capiz shells for your pendant lights. Add traditional furniture pieces such as bangko or bench to match your rugged, wooden dinner table. Traditional Filipino homes have very generous window openings so open up as much as you can.
Be creative with storage spaces
Filipinos do not throw away things easily. That empty plastic container? You can use that later on. That microwavable container? You can use that for leftovers. This is why any sensible Filipino kitchen would have lots of storage spaces—cabinets, pull-outs, baskets, bins, and pantry. A kitchen renovation in the Philippines would always mean more storage because things really do accumulate in there overtime.
But if condo size is restricting you from using any more floor space, start using hanging and floating shelves. Mount hooks, rods or pegs and use the ceiling and the wall as much as you use the floor.
Going green in the kitchen
You can never take out the probinsyano in the Filipino. Traditional homes in the provinces and rural areas usually have a sprawling backyard or a lanai with plants or a garden. You can even fix a meal with just the greens you harvest from the yard.
Living in a condo doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy looking at greens while you cook. You can start your own indoor herb garden right in your kitchen. If this is too much for you, you can start with a few potted plants that do not require much of your attention. When designing your kitchen, stick with the elements of nature to bring more of the probinsya feel in your urban kitchen.
Traditional art meets modern furniture
The Last Supper, oversized spoon and fork, and an enlarged photo of fruits in a basket are classic Filipino kitchen décors. But the Filipino foodie has gone a long way since and while those classic décors would still make you smile, there are art pieces that better suit the modern Filipino kitchen.
Modern paintings and sculptures are nice ideas for the kitchen and dining area. A huge clay jar in the corner would be a good addition. Capiz and rattan are also good materials to add some art into your condo kitchen.
Doing things manually
Filipino cooks still chop ingredients and juice lemons manually. You’re not likely to find electric choppers and juicers in a regular Filipino kitchen. It is part of the charm of Filipino cooking, preparing everything with love.
A practical kitchen setup for the Filipino foodie is one with just the right cooking tools and appliances. This works for condo spaces because there won’t be unnecessary bulky appliances such as deep fryers, dishwashers, juicers or coffee machines. This allows for a more organized kitchen with more allowance for storage than appliances. A range hood, which removes kitchen odors, are a must for small spaces.
Space for non-cooking activities
Filipino kitchens are interactive spaces. They are supposed to be uncluttered for more reasons other than cleanliness. Particularly in condo living, kitchens are where meaningful conversations happen. The open layout allows a cook to talk about her day to a partner or a housemate. There must also be enough space to move around the kitchen because every Filipino family has that one member that walks by the kitchen, leans over to a pot, and casually grabs a spoon to taste whatever is in there. If you can’t have a counter or island, it is advised to free up as much space as possible to make way for long chats while cooking dinner.
The kitchen is the heart of any home, especially a Filipino’s. Passionate Filipino cooks and foodies know that a well-designed kitchen inspires not only delicious meals but meaningful conversations. If you’re a regular Pinoy who finds pleasure in preparing meals for the family, create a kitchen setup that works for you.