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Why include hidden design features in your kitchen?

Functional 'wow-factor'
   Luke Arthur Wells  |  written on: 15-08-2019 08:00am

At one point, the kitchen was all about showing off the latest gadgets and it was usually the domain of the cook of the house and nobody much else. However, now, with the kitchen transforming into a multi-functional space for doing pretty much everything, the way we want them to look has changed too.

A kitchen no longer really has to look like a kitchen so to speak, and it’s something that’s been reflected in modern designs of both cabinetry and kitchen tech that our best assets in the space are now the ones we can hide away.


Integrated appliances are, of course, the simplest way to do this. Integrated fridges, freezers and dishwashers mean that you don’t need to have another visual break in your design, and appliances are the dead giveaway that a space is a kitchen. While integrating these isn’t likely to blow anyone’s mind in this day and age, there’s a few that need to be kept outwards facing, namely the oven and the hob, which are venturing more and more into ‘hidden’ territory. Integrated handles made of the same material, and mirror-like finishes that don’t show the appliance’s interface until you need to use it are making ovens blend in more than ever, and I’ve seen hobs in some high-end kitchens even integrated into the worktop entirely.

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture

However, it’s the cabinetry that offers really exciting options. Breakfast or coffee stations behind pocket doors, for example, give you an easy space to hide away your countertop appliances, creating a more streamlined look overall. But it’s not just all about aesthetics, it’s about practicality too. These hidden spaces allow you to enjoy your space when not preparing food too, and hiding everything that needs to be out of sight and out of mind. It’s about allowing you to prioritise your time - yes of course you’re going to sweep up those crumbs and finish those dishes, but when you can hide these areas away, you can focus on the task at hand, whether that’s getting the kids ready for the day, or entertaining friends.


When talking about hidden assets in a kitchen, I couldn’t not mention these ‘space steps’ from Blum to which I was introduced recently. They’re housed in a draw-sized kickboard, which actually has a drawer underneath too, but gives you a sturdy step that you can stand on to reach high-up cupboards. Such a clever and surprising idea!

And let’s be honest, there’s a real sense of child-like wonder that someone gets when you show them a hidden design element in your space, which just means that the ‘wow-factor’ you’re looking to achieve is something that occurs more slowly, giving you more time to enjoy it as you explore the functionality of your space.

Also read:
Our 5 favourite examples of using natural light perfectly

NEXT! Feel like secretive storage space is hiding from you? Click any image below to begin browsing our image banks of hidden space...


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Luke Arthur Wells

Luke is an interior designer, stylist and blogger at www.lukearthurwells.com. He’s a believer in understated interiors that don’t have to shout to be heard, and he’s currently practicing what he preaches renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, where he lives with his partner and two pampered pups. When it comes to his design style, he loves new and interesting building materials, a carefully chosen white paint and he also has a weakness for coffee table books and a fresh bunch of eucalyptus.

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