Chennai Cucina

I’ve written previously of our plans for a Tuscan style kitchen in our Chennai apartment with Tuscan style hood, farmhouse sink and wood beams on the kitchen ceiling.

I’ve also written about difficulties you can run into trying to find this kitchen style from vendors and working remotely. Indeed, even the title “Chennai Cucina” looks funny, like a clash of things that aren’t usually together. Indeed!

Although our team can create the Tuscan hood with wood trim, it will be the first time doing it. So we’re seeking examples of looks that will give clear direction. I was recently flipping through design magazines from our 2002 trip to India. In the October-November 2002 issue of Indian Design & Interiors, I found an ad for Veneta Cucine — “total kitchen solutions” in traditional Tuscan styles and contemporary styles. Access to the company is available all over India, including Chennai. You design a kitchen, it’s produced overseas and imported into India. Here’s a company that’s done this Tuscan style in India thousands of times! They are high end, and their prices are not in our current budget for a second home that we’ll visit only occasionally. But we can certainly get inspiration from the photos for our kitchen.

Check out their traditional Tuscan modular kitchen designs — all images from Veneta Cucine’s U.S. website:

Where are those stairs going?

You can see these are simple cabinets (or, carcasses and shutters as they’re often called in India) and the Tuscan hood lends the distinctive style. Certainly these hoods are prefab and as we want wood trim on the hood too, I wonder if it’s possible to get just that element from this company. The kitchen doesn’t have to be dark, though — there’s plenty of light options too:

(mmmmm … green tomatoes …. )

Considering our kitchen is about 10′ by 10′, we may opt for a lighter finish. See the kitchen space to the left in the photo below (please excuse the mess, I haven’t swept or dusted in awhile, ha!) — a dark finish could make the space feel like a dark cave:

To end on a prettier note, here are close-ups of modular kitchen details from Veneta Cucine. Where hood and its wood trim meet the wall:

Little cubbies and drawers to store essential things within reach:

I really like the lattice detail. But wonder what would be involved in keeping all the edges of those little holes dust-free:

Detail showing partially-frosted glass:

All the designs by this company I’ve seen online have ranges and ovens integrated into the cabinets and counters, but I am also wondering about free-standing oven/range units:

If you bake frequently, elevating the oven is a great idea. In our Chicago kitchen, we have a microwave/oven unit that’s set into cabinets and elevated to a comfortable height, similar to the photo below, so you don’t have to bend over much. It makes it easier to insert and remove things from the oven:

My husband thinks we don’t need an oven in the Chennai kitchen. He says if you want cake or cookies, you can walk down the street. But it’s fun to bake!

Here’s a stainless steel Tuscan hood, great look for a more modern or contemporary kitchen:

We could have a blast designing a “Chennai Cucina” (or is it Cucina Chennai?) with all these choices!

3 Replies to “Chennai Cucina”

  1. Hi,
    Lovely details of kitchen, even I loved their lattice work cabinets, but, more than the cleaning up, the price was too much. Any kitchen according to me, needs to be cleaned by the person using it, for if we leave it to others it will not be clean at all.
    I couldn’t help reading about your husband’s comment about oven in Chenai kitchens, I somehow felt he was joking, when he said that, keeping in mind the heat of Madras, for the whole place is like an oven only: you can bake and get baked without any trouble.
    Hey thanks for your comment about our garden in Colours deckor.
    Have great day, Rama.

  2. Yes the price is too much for us too, particularly as this is not a primary home. Although I’m well-aware the price would be a bargain in our U.S. neighborhood! Yes I agree it’s best to clean kitchens ourselves. I have never had a regular cleaning lady. I do grumble about having to clean with precious free time hours, but it’s my house, my mess, and I would probably wind up cleaning up for a cleaning lady anyway!

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