April 10, 2024 at 10:08am | Angie Cody
Kitchens are moving away from eye-catching appliances and extravagant details. Here's how to blend the space with the rest of your interior.
By Sharon Greentha

While kitchens started out as a purely functional space to throw a meal together for guests behind the scenes, they're now seen as one of the main gathering spots of the home: Open floor plans became must haves and kitchen appliances got more impressive, with designers and homeowners alike coveting massive professional-level ranges and cooktops and multi-colored countertops that dazzle the eye.

But after years in the spotlight, trends have changed (as they always do)—and now there's an amplified desire for invisible kitchens, transitioning cooking spaces from standing out to blending in seamlessly to a home's design scheme.

How to Get the Look of a Transitional Kitchen for Timeless Style

An invisible kitchen (also known as hidden kitchen) removes the visual distraction of functional kitchen elements and gives the rest of the home's decor the chance to shine. By blending a kitchen into an extended living space, homeowners can expand their living area without clashing against the kitchen's utilities.

While minimalism seems to be the obvious style for an invisible kitchen, this low-profile layout works with any interior. Millwork-trim cabinetry fits right into a traditional-style home and resembles a paneled wall that conceals functional items. A more contemporary kitchen might boast flat-paneled, smooth-finished doors for a sleek look. Either way, the style intentionally creates a feeling of continuity with the rest of the home.

Cooktops are flat, without distracting dials or knobs; ovens are simple, smooth-front surfaces that seem to disappear into cabinetry; and refrigerators and dishwashers are hidden behind paneled doors in a material that matches the cabinets. Keeping flooring and wall colors the same enhances the cohesive look, and ideally, the wall color also blends with the cabinetry.

In an invisible kitchen, countertops are clutter-free, including small appliances, spice racks, spoon rests, and anything else used to prepare a meal. To achieve this, deep drawers, appliances garages, and plenty of lower cabinetry are essential.

And this doesn't mean you have to move away from maximalism—if your living room boasts open shelving, there's no reason your kitchen shouldn't either. If you opt for no upper cabinets though, display plenty of artwork and hanging plants to take up the space. For a super blended invisible kitchen, design your upper cabinets to resemble a paneled wall with simple hardware (or none at all). Floor-level toe-kick drawers are another way to add storage if you don't have upper cabinets.

Unlike open kitchens of the 2010s that stole the show with dramatic decorations and extravagant appliances, invisible kitchens minimize their impact. Everyone needs a kitchen, but we don't necessarily want to be reminded that the cooktop needs cleaning or the dishwasher emptied while enjoying good conversation or a favorite TV show. Those tasks can wait—and an invisible kitchen makes it easier to put them off until morning, guilt free.


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