Kitchen Trend Alert! Seamless Storage and Appliance Integration is the Next Big Thing
Our fave new kitchen accessories are hiding in plain sight.
Our March kitchens issue is always a research-intense affair; it’s the result of a year-long hunt-and-gather mission to find incredible projects across the West. This year, highly customized spaces dominate (think living walls, niches for displaying personal collections and layouts that accommodate elevators) but if there’s a single unifying theme—and you’d have to look hard to spot it—it’s one of integration. The trend started years ago with panel-ready appliances and has expanded to include elements like seamless, framed-in cabinetry—see Andrea Rodman’s View Royal project (#7)—and walls of concealed pantry and small-appliance storage—like designer Adam Becker’s aluminum-panelled space (#3). It’s a sharp turn away from the highly visible, high-tech gadgetry that emerged in the dot-com-driven 1990s.
Looking to the future, expect elegant, integrated designs and accessories to reach further and further into every aspect of kitchen design. The latest concepts, many not yet available in North America but rounded up here, include everything from stow-able trolleys to tote-able drawers to hidden ventilation systems. The look is neither cold nor necessarily minimalist, but, paradoxically, a reconsideration of unadorned, hard-working kitchens of the past.
What’s Old is New Again
Remember Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen on Downton Abbey? The cream-coloured cabinetry paired with a long wooden prep table? Its streamlined functionality and traditional craftsmanship is being served up by a number of ultra-high-end British companies like Plain English and deVOL. This spring, Plain English opens their first North American showroom in New York City; expect the aesthetic to travel north.
Lanserring, yet another British company, takes detailed craftsmanship to new heights. Drawers double as removable baskets for collecting outdoor produce; leggy table-style islands incorporate glass spice and seasoning jars.
Dada Kitchens, a division of Molteni&C (available through Livingspace in Vancouver), are similarly focused on providing smart storage solutions. In Vincent Van Duysen’s award-winning design for the company, a trolley is stowed under the countertop, providing storage and an additional prep area on wheels; its top two trays are extractable.
Taking seamless kitchen appliance design one step further, Gaggenau‘s 400 Series flex-induction cooktop sits flush in the counter without a frame and incorporates down-draft ventilation, eliminating the need for a hood fan above. The design was recently launched in Europe and is expected to be available in Canada next year.