The new kitchen storage trend that we're hailing as 2023's stand-out design moment

This kitchen feature caught our attention at the world's biggest furniture fair – here's why we think it will shape kitchen design in the future

Lift up pantry designed by Poliform
(Image credit: Poliform)

Kitchen trends, like most other trends, come and go, but every so often we come across a design that we truly believe will shape the kitchen of the future, and that stand-out design moment took place at EuroCucina in Milan in June 2022. 

Today, the contemporary kitchen is not only a purely functional environment that simply involves preparing food but it’s also become a convivial space for entertaining; a transitional space that seamlessly merges into the rest of the home. So, it comes as very little surprise that a statement 'hidden' storage feature like no other would set the agenda for kitchen trends in 2023. 

'Clever kitchen planning is all about maximizing every inch of space for storage, and designers are getting cleverer and more imaginative about this all the time,' says editor-in-chief of Homes & Gardens, Lucy Searle. 'Possibly the most inventive I've seen in the past year was at EuroCucina in Milan – a huge European kitchen show that showcases new products, materials, ideas, and innovations that then filter through into our kitchens, and this is the hydraulic, lift-up pantry by Poliform.'

The hidden retractable countertop pantry 

Kitchen trends from Salone del Mobile 2022

(Image credit: Future / Sarah Spiteri)

Italian kitchen manufacturers Poliform, are renowned for their ability to create a stunning kitchen with exceptional functionality. Their latest innovation is a retractable, pop-up pantry like we've never seen before. It showcases how to use a kitchen to its fullest potential. Making staple ingredients accessible to the cook without sacrificing an aesthetic design. This is a feature of the kitchen that will revolutionize kitchen storage ideas in the future to come.

'Deep Shaker Move, as it is named, is a modular retractable system for the top of the island,' says Poliform. 'It can be equipped with shelves and containers, as well as an integrated hood. The upper surface bears the same finish as the top of the kitchen so as to be invisible.'

Our editor-in-chief, Lucy Searle, was one of the first to witness the unveiling of the new design concept, which she believes will change the way some of the best kitchen designers will incorporate 'invisible' storage into small kitchens this year. 

'The design is hidden at the back of a countertop and because of the quality of the craftspersonship, not only is it invisible when retracted, but it also rises up silently to reveal itself,' says Lucy. 'Because the mechanism is so smooth, you can happily store items you need to access all the time on top of it, and less used pantry items within it, then it only needs to be activated when you need to access them. There are shelves within it so it effectively triples the amount of storage space that a section of countertop can provide, while also hiding away clutter you might once have stored there.'

Kitchen trends from Salone del Mobile 2022

(Image credit: Future / Sarah Spiteri)

The unsung hero of the home, a pantry plays an important role in taking the pressure off the kitchen. Where once this multi-functional space would only grace the most spacious of homes, Poliform has made it accessible to the small kitchen too. This pantry, however, appears at the flick of a switch, as if out of nowhere, from your kitchen countertop; truly transforming the way small kitchen storage works. The secret to a truly successful hidden kitchen is all in the pantry storage and the lift-up functionality is one of the best ways to deliver high-volume storage space in the smallest footprint.

This was without a doubt the stand-out piece at EuroCucina – and was garnering much attention. What we love about this retractable pantry is that its discreet, sleek nature allows you to hide away appliances and clutter at a moment's notice. When not in use, it fits almost seamlessly into the kitchen countertop to create a streamlined finish, making it a wonderful addition to the modern kitchen, and a design feature for 2023 and beyond. 

With the rise in popularity of the invisible kitchen, we expect this 'trend' to stick around for the long haul. 

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.