The most unorthodox modern kitchen idea of the century has appeared – but you're going to have to look carefully – because this craze is missable with a fleeting glance. Yes, designers at the top of the industry have noticed a sharp increase in the demand for 'invisible' kitchens, and this unusual trend is as fascinating as it sounds.
Thoughts of 'invisible' kitchens fill us with Bond-esque visions of disappearing worktops and sci-fi gadgets, but what exactly does it involve?
According to London-based design studio Millier and kitchen designers Lauren Nicholas, invisible kitchens are those that camouflage into the rest of the home – where the conventional parts of a kitchen are 'gathered together and housed out of sight.' These kitchens are just as functional and practical as a regular kitchen – only with one exception – they are entirely discreet.
With the usability of a traditional kitchen but a wholly different aesthetic to the conventional space, invisible kitchens are set to shape the future of our interiors. Here, experts share why invisible kitchens are trending and how to get involved.
Why are invisible kitchens trending?
Tanyth Withers, Senior Interior Designer at Millier, suggests the biggest benefit to an invisible kitchen is its ultra-stylish aesthetic value – which can transform our modern homes.
'The kitchen is traditionally the most functional space in the home, meaning it is usually flooded with appliances and fixtures that are necessary for use but are often not the most aesthetically pleasing,' Tanyth begins.
'With the majority of us living open plan, there is a move towards hiding all the visual noise without compromising on functionality, meaning that we can comfortably host without the need to tidy up in a last-minute panic – or relax in the living room without feeling like you're sitting in the clutter of the kitchen,' she adds.
How can we help our kitchen feel more invisible?
1. Use your kitchen island strategically
Perhaps the most dramatic way to camouflage your kitchen is through a versatile kitchen island that looks chic but has a concealed ability.
'Large monolithic stone islands with concealed storage space are a great way of elevating your kitchen from ordinary to a work of art. A series of discrete hinges and joinery disguised which, when closed, transform the island into a contemporary sculpture,' Tanyth suggests.
2. Hide your the kitchen sink
Making our sink disappear is easier than we ever initially thought, as Tanyth talks us through the straightforward process. 'Install pop-up plug sockets and extractor fans and pop-down taps that fold into the kitchen sink. Sinks and hobs can then be concealed with a sliding cover, ideally made from the same material as the work surface, to create one pristine, flat top surface,' she explains.
Similarly, Designer & Director at Lauren Nicholas, Emma Bice, recommends designing the kitchen as if it were 'one single piece of furniture with the technical parts, such as appliances, sinks, and taps, made from either the same materials as the furniture or colored-matched to the furniture.'
'All you see is one continuous arrangement of beautiful shades and surfaces; it's not a kitchen rather a really relaxing living space,' Emma adds.
3. Tidy your kitchen away in a cupboard
… yes, really. Hiding your kitchen is not as impossible as it initially seems – if you have a big enough cupboard. Tanyth recommends hiding 'all appliances and equipment behind large-scale cupboards that pull back and store as pocket doors, revealing a full-service kitchen.' These cupboards span across the living areas to 'seamlessly merge the two spaces into one.'
4. Conceal with wallpaper
We've already discussed wallpapered kitchen appliances, but this trend takes this craze to new heights, as Tanyth suggests hiding our entire kitchen behind a "wallpapered' feature wall.' When the space is in use, she recommends finishing cupboards in 'specialist veneer such as marquetry,' which will create the desired effect and leave your kitchen hidden away.
5. Maintain your scheme in your kitchen
If you're falling for the allure of a hidden kitchen but don't want to fully commit to the trend – then fear not. You can still enjoy elements of invisibility by experimenting with accessories that you would use in other parts of your interiors, which will detract from the 'functional nature of the room' and make it feel more noticeably more hidden.
Tanyth recommends using decorative objects, including mirrors, that will all contribute to making the kitchen feel less like a kitchen and more like the other spaces in your house.
See: Small kitchen ideas on a budget - how to go big on style
We have a feeling we're going to see (or not) this trend continue to increase long into the future.
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Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, well-being stories, and celebrity-focused pieces.
Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.
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