There’s nothing like a remodel to give a kitchen design new life. One trend that’s become popular is known as the hidden kitchen, also sometimes referred to as an invisible kitchen. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you may wonder, what is a hidden kitchen?
Hidden kitchens have everything you’d expect to see in a kitchen, such as a stove, refrigerator, and sink, but they are hidden in the room, giving it a look that blends with the living room and the rest of the home. So, instead of appliances taking center stage, they are hidden with panels that match the kitchen cabinets so they can blend into the background and create a clean and sleek appearance that looks more like any other room in the house.
As open floor plans have become a popular option in choosing a home, hidden kitchen remodels offer homeowners design ideas to streamline their living space.
One thing that makes it so popular is the idea of adding some creativity to the space using bold pops of color and textures without breaking up the look with black, stainless steel, or white appliances. If you prefer a less bold look, keeping color schemes more neutral and within the same palette can offer a calming atmosphere.
While the kitchen has traditionally looked and felt separate from the rest of the home, the hidden kitchen allows homeowners to keep the symmetry of the home’s decor and cabinetry by continuing it through the kitchen, so it doesn’t look different from the rest of the living space.
Despite the term trend, designers are re-focusing their attention as more clients request a hidden kitchen remodel in their plans. So, if a remodel is on your radar, and you’d like to know how to make your kitchen invisible, read on for some tips on the hidden kitchen trend.
Keep It Functional
While having a kitchen that blends with the style and decor of the house creates a clean and clutter-free space, it still needs to allow you to use it for preparing food and cooking all year long. So when redesigning the kitchen, it’s important to keep functionality in mind.
Go Handle Free
One way to get an invisible kitchen is by ditching handles on cabinets and appliances and using a push-touch mechanism. It streamlines the look and keeps it uniform and balanced. To avoid fingerprints and smudging, use a matte finish on panels and cabinets.
Add Matching Panels
Adding panels to appliances that match the cabinets makes the appliances disappear. If you have a pantry, hiding the door the same way can add a sleek look while still remaining functional.
Hide the Stovetop
The stovetop can look like part of the countertop by matching the colors or by installing a sliding door. You’d slide it back when in use, and then after it’s cooled, hide it again.
Make the Sink Disappear
As with the stove, a cover over the sink can keep it looking clean, even when dishes are sitting in it waiting to be washed. This can take the stress out of dinner parties and keep dirty dishes from becoming a focal point.
Depending on the design and space in the kitchen, cupboards can hide appliances all on one wall. Tall floor-to-ceiling cupboards can give extra storage space and still be hidden away. Creating a linear design helps it to blend into the home and disappear.
Maximize Walk-in Pantry Space
One of the best things about a walk-in pantry is the storage space. While you won’t want certain small appliances that are used frequently on your counter, you’ll still want easy access to them, and the pantry offers just that. Easy access and hidden away add more functionality to the streamlined design of a hidden kitchen.
Keep Utensils Out of Sight
One of the perks of redesigning the kitchen is the opportunity to add more space-saving features. For example, since the hidden kitchen focuses on keeping things behind cabinets, adding a slim drawer next to a stove where large cooking utensils can hang saves counter space while keeping utensils handy.
Kitchen Island Storage
The kitchen island is a focal point in the kitchen space where we gather and socialize when entertaining, where kids eat a snack and do homework as mom prepares dinner, and where we sit for a meal when dining alone. They’re also a great hidden storage space, providing a place to put the items we may usually keep on the counter.
Pay attention to details
When designing a hidden kitchen, details matter. To keep your workspace as unobtrusive as possible, using composite materials like marble countertops that blend together can control the flow of the area while not bringing attention to it.
It’s also essential to use paint colors wisely. Choosing colors that complement each other seamlessly can add a dramatic and sleek look to your kitchen space, and using rugs and other decor can help to tie it all together.
The Popularity of Hidden Kitchens
The last few years have had many of us spending more and more time at home. Between homeschooling the kids and couples working from home, our spaces have needed to be more functional than ever.
While open floor plans continue to add more open space to our living area, a mess in the kitchen and countertops that look cluttered can take away from the purpose and enjoyment of the room. But hidden kitchens done right can give us back control of our living area while hiding the things we need to live our lives.
Hidden kitchens can work in any size kitchen area as designs can vary. For example, for a small space, such as a condo, a kitchen can be hidden behind one wall that opens up to a fully functional kitchen. At the same time, larger homes may have a large pantry that contains a second kitchen with all the appliances you’d have in your traditional kitchen but can hide food prep and cleanup behind a door.
The popularity of the hidden kitchen is growing, with more families making the decision to jump in and renovate their own kitchen space. If you love the look and plan to renovate, you may be considering your financing options.
Under the right circumstances, a home equity loan may be the best option. Tapping into your home’s equity gives you the funds to complete your hidden kitchen renovation using the equity you’ve built up in your home.
Any type of loan will have positives and negatives attached to it, and a home equity loan is no different, so it’s important to consider your personal situation and weigh your options.
Fixed monthly payments
Possible return on investment
Lump sum available
Home used as collateral
May have closing costs or other fees
Additional loan payment
If a home equity loan isn’t right for you, other loan options include personal loans, cash-out refinancing, and a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that may work better for you.
Hidden kitchens are designed with space savings in mind. Although they are fully functional and practical to work in, they hide the things that separate the kitchen from the rest of your living space and keep clutter and messes at bay.
The Walker Woodworking Showroom is located at Greenbrook Design.