Trend Watch: Hiding Kitchen Appliances Within Cabinetry

Stainless steel, bright colors–today’s appliances are certainly as eye-catching as they are functional. And in some cases, certain appliances can serve as a trophy of sorts; a state-of-the-art refrigerator, perhaps, or my personal holy grail: the KitchenAid artisan stand mixer.
Yet an emerging trend is producing an interesting result in regards to the visibility of appliances. More and more homeowners are opting to house refrigerators, microwaves and other appliances in custom-built cabinets. The functionality remains, but the result is a more streamlined, elegant look that places an emphasis on the kitchen materials such as stone or wood.
One of the key drivers of this trend is a desire to create a clean, minimal space. Plus, disguising some of the more prominent appliances can allow another part of the kitchen to take centerstage — maybe it’s a dramatic sink, countertops made from an unusual material or a piece of antique furniture.

If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, this is certainly a trend you could incorporate. You’ll need to plan to have custom cabinetry built to cover the appliances you’d like to integrate. Of course, ranges and ovens can’t be completely obscured due to safety reasons, but most other appliances can easily be stashed in their own cabinets.
One key thing to keep in mind with this trend is functionality. You’ll want to ensure that the appliances can still be easily accessed, even though they’re out of sight. The kitchen is arguably the most productive space in a home, and even if the look and design changes, you’ll want to maintain a sensible workflow, or even improve upon an existing design.
What do you think about hiding common appliances? Do you prefer a cleaner, more minimal look, or do you feel that visible appliances are a necessary component of any kitchen?

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