Hidden Charm


Abode2 talks to London based design studio Millier and kitchen design firm Lauren Nicholas, about the sharp rise recent in the demand for 'invisible' kitchens - those that blend into the rest of the home, where all the utilitarian functions of a regular kitchen are gathered together and housed out of sight. A hidden kitchen is no less functional or practical than a traditional kitchen, simply far more discreet.

Tanyth Withers, Senior Interior Designer at Millier, comments; "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. 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.

Colour-wise we’re seeing more greys and neutral tones with calmer marbles or composite materiality – often with lacquer cabinetry. The bolder designs tend to choose one of the materials and highlight only that one, for example, a feature marble island with a neutral backdrop or feature joinery with a softer marble colour.

Due to the high level of integrated technology in these types of kitchens (pop down taps, pop-up sockets, smart hobs etc) the style lends itself to those pre-installed with smart home systems and therefore often a younger demographic. Having said that, whether it's a central London space-savvy apartment to a sprawling country mansion, there is no defining group who would choose this - it’s part of a greater style within your kitchen which is so personal."

Photo Credit: Lauren Nicholas

Emma Bice, Creative Director at Lauren Nicholas, adds; "Whether a young family, working professional or retired downsizers, calm, comfort and style are regularly at the top of our clients' wishlists. The kitchen is consistently a busy, high functioning space, but it's also the heart of the home, a retreat that they want to love. If visually, space is properly considered; decluttered, well blended, with subtle and beautiful detailing, the mind is freed, a softness is achieved, and feelings of happiness and pleasure follow. To produce these results, we design the space 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 coloured-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."

Tips on how to camouflage your kitchen, by Tanyth Withers of Millier;

  • 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
  • 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
  • Hide all appliances and equipment behind large-scale cupboards that pull back and store as pocket doors, revealing a full-service kitchen. Designed behind bespoke joinery, these cupboards can run across into the living areas to seamlessly merge the two spaces into one
  • Cupboards can be finished in specialist veneer such as marquetry, transforming it into a 'wallpapered' feature wall when not in use
  • Accessorise your kitchen using items you would use elsewhere in the home, such as mirrors and decorative objects, to detract from the functional nature of the room
  • If you have the luxury of ample space, consider a design-centric lead 'show' kitchen and a more functional utility kitchen, interconnected and divided by a pocket door
Photo Credit: Lauren Nicholas




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