With the rise of food delivery companies and our endless appetite for going out to eat the kitchen is often relegated to being used just occasionally. That’s not to say that it doesn’t still occupy a central position at the heart of any home, but simply that in some homes it’s more decorative than others. The hidden kitchen is an increasingly popular trend where all the functions of the traditional kitchen are gathered together and housed in a single or double volume. Rather like a piece of furniture, a large cabinet with folding doors that can reveal what’s behind when required. But when closed it becomes a piece of contemporary joinery with a series of clever hinges and sliding mechanisms used for the doors and panels. The hidden kitchen is no less functional nor is it any less practical than the regular kitchen, simply more discreet.
Layout and appliances
The hidden kitchen contains everything a normal kitchen would normally have: a worktop for preparing food, a sink, storage cabinets, drawers, a hob, ventilation extract, an oven and fridge-freezer. The difference is everything is collected together within simple compact volumes that are generally linear or cubic. Sometimes configured pantry style with everything assembled within a tall linear volume. The Emotions 6.90 Roble Alba kitchen by Porcelanosa is an example of this approach. The hidden kitchen can also be configured as an island with surrounding shelving as stand alone elements. The Evolution series from Porcelanosa’s Gamadecor designs are an example of how the kitchen transforms into a collection of furniture items. Folding or sliding doors allow the entire kitchen to be hidden out of sight.
Hinges, rolling mechanisms and sliding panels
The pristine design language of the hidden kitchen is made possible by sophisticated ironmongery and joinery. Given that the folding doors that camouflage the installation are the most visible element these normally feature a premium quality finish. The sliding rail or folding hinges allow the doors to be accommodated in a pocket at either end of the kitchen in such a way that they disappear when open. Or the work surface slides over the more mechanical elements to the kitchen to disguise them. Other design approaches allow for a roller shutter that is housed in a bulk-head above.
The design of the hidden kitchen
Nowadays people no longer consider the kitchen as simply a utilitarian place where food is prepared. The kitchen is a designer element and can indeed be one of the installations where consumers are prepared to spend most of their budget. The finish material should be considered in the context of the overall space and the desired effect. Wood tends to be warm and organic while metal is more raw and industrial. Alternatively lacquered panelling can be slick and complement other finishes and furniture within the space.