Rise of the now you see it, now you don’t kitchen

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Want your kitchen to look like it has never been used before? You have a chance to make your dream come true with the new device that conceals taps, sinks, and kitchen appliances. This creates an image of uninterrupted workspace, which is a good option to have when there’s no time to clean up before guests come.

Kettles, knife locks, and a number of other kitchen appliances can be hidden to a special cabinetry in your kitchen, and you only need to push a button for that. Such a system was included into specially designed kitchens, but now it’s possible to purchase them on the market. If you ask at Ikea, you may get a spice rack, three power sockets, and a knife block that will pop up when necessary from beneath the workplace. Magnet Kitchens also have such motorized storages for kitchen appliances. You need to push a button and a part of the kitchen will lower from the upper cupboard, or go back when not used.

A Hub Kitchens design with the features hidden . . .

A Hub Kitchens design with the features hidden . . .

Appliances are also on the hit list when it comes to kitchen aesthetics. Ideally they should neither be heard nor seen, and this includes the kitchen sink. To overcome this Magnet has the Illusion sink, from £895.83, where you can push down the tap and slide a panel over the sink to create a continuous benchtop.

 . . and visible. Hub Kitchens specialises in creating minimalist kitchens, from £20,000

. . and visible. Hub Kitchens specialises in creating minimalist kitchens, from £20,000

Those with bigger budgets are getting designers to hide their kitchens. Danieli Brutto is the co-founder of Hub Kitchens, which specialises in creating minimalist kitchens, from £20,000. One kitchen he has designed features a wall unit housing knives, spices and oils, that appear and disappear, controlled through an app on a phone. Another is a kitchen that resembles a dining table with cupboards behind it — when the cupboard doors are opened, a microwave and storage cupboards are revealed, while the table transforms into a sink and a hob. Once everything is cooked and put away, it returns to being a dining table and cabinet.

Brutto first came across the concept of the hidden kitchen at a design fair in Milan in 2000. Today he says up to 80 per cent of his clients choose to conceal something; or in some cases everything, such as the clients who opt for a galley kitchen that can be hidden behind bifold doors that resemble part of the wall.

“The demand for hidden kitchens has come about because open-plan living has become widespread. Kitchens are more on display and the things that aren’t attractive need to be hidden,” Brutto says. “Concealing used to be reserved for top-end kitchens, but it’s filtering down; it’s becoming easier to do.”

Levels of disguise

  • Mild where homeowners opt to integrate appliances into the walls (no ugly microwaves on the work surface or bulky coffee machines hogging space). Another version of this is larger kitchen cupboards, where the toaster and blender stay plugged in on a waist-height bottom shelf.
  • Moderate the sink is concealed, replaced by a piece of worktop that fits the shape of the sink; a hot-water tap is installed to remove the need for a kettle.
  • Major this is the “now you see it, now you don’t” look that homeowners with modernist interiors strive to achieve. This is when a beautifully designed table becomes a hob and a sink. Or when the entire kitchen is hidden behind bifold doors that act as a false wall. You can cook dinner before guests arrive and, on hearing the doorbell, close the folding doors so no one need see the dishes. This is unlikely to be a feature in family homes.


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