Despite the mysterious moniker, invisible kitchens are not taken directly from a futuristic movie set – but that doesn't make the idea any less enticing. Yes, invisible kitchens, though not entirely invisible, are far more inconspicuous than conventional spaces.
You may have already incorporated elements of the look into your kitchen without noticing the gradual shift to a more sleek and discreet space.
But what exactly does this most subtle of kitchen trends involve, and how to take the best elements of it for your kitchen? Here, experts offer their interior design tips.
What is an invisible kitchen?
According to London-based design studio Millier (opens in new tab) and kitchen designers Lauren Nicholas (opens in new tab), invisible kitchens are those that camouflage into the rest of your interiors – where the conventional parts of a kitchen are 'gathered together and housed out of sight.'
These spaces remain as functional and practical as a conventional kitchen – but with one key exception – they are more discreet.
How to make your kitchen more invisible
The trend offers an ultra-modern twist on the traditional heart of the home, and whether you experiment with invisibility or you aim to make your kitchen ideas as camouflaged as possible, these experts reveal everything you need to know.
1. Continue your interior scheme throughout your kitchen
Instead of viewing your kitchen as a separate space from the rest of your home, deVOL (opens in new tab)'s Creative Director, Helen Parker, recommends blurring the schemes to create one larger space – where the line between your kitchen boundary disappears.
'No longer do people want to fill their kitchen with matching wall-to-wall cupboards and shiny granite surfaces that often seem so far away from their usual taste and the look throughout the rest of their home. They want their kitchen to feel soft and almost indistinguishable from the other rooms in their home,' Helen explains.
She suggests continuing the same color palette into your kitchen and filling the room with vintage pieces that 'sit alongside the necessary worktops and appliances in a much more subtle way.'
'Being able to furnish this room with antiques, art, and beautiful old chairs and cupboards makes it so much more exciting as a space and so much easier to change around and freshen up as the seasons or your tastes change,' Helen says.
2. Choose your kitchen island strategically
'Sometimes, when kitchens form part of a larger open-plan space, there are clever ways of making your kitchen stand out less. One way is by having a kitchen island totally wrapped in the island worktop stone,' explains Gunter & Co's (opens in new tab) Director, Irene Gunter.
Kitchen island ideas are also useful for concealing kitchen hardware, including taps, which will make the island feel more like a table or social space instead of a workstation. Irene suggests implementing a pop-up socket in the kitchen island, which will allow the tap to live out of sight until needed.
3. Use discreet storage to your advantage
Designing a discreet storage system is one of the most impactful ways to hide appliances – to make your kitchen feel less like a practical zone and more like an extension of your home, as Helen suggests.
To further achieve this, Kitchen Designer Tom Howley (opens in new tab) suggests using a 'mix of deep shelving behind closed cabinetry and pull-out units' to optimize storage in your island – which will ensure your appliances and accessories are hidden. 'In terms of space-saving with cabinetry, the rule is pull-out. Fit deep cabinetry and pull-out drawers or a cage system for a multi-layered, discrete, and effective storage system,' Tom adds.
4. Hide your kitchen with wallpaper
When considering wallpaper ideas, it can feel easy to overlook the kitchen, but as Senior Interior Designer at Millier, Tanyth Withers explains, wallpaper may be the secret to embracing the invisible kitchen trend.
Tanyth recommends concealing the space behind a 'wallpapered' feature wall,' which distracts us from the space's practical features and continues to ensure it feels more like another room in our home. When the kitchen is occupied, she recommends finishing cupboards in 'specialist veneer such as marquetry,' which will create the desired effect and leave your kitchen hidden away.
5. Tidy away your kitchen in a cupboard
While this statement seems impossible at an initial glance, Tanyth suggests it is easier than we might expect. She suggests concealing all appliances and equipment behind large-scale cupboards that pull back and store as pocket doors, revealing a full-service kitchen.'
These cupboards span across the living areas to 'seamlessly merge the two spaces into one.'
While it may be hard to physically witness this trend, in reality, we expect to see this invisible trend shape our kitchen ideas for a long time into the future.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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