Hide and Seek

With an ever-increasing number of appliances or technical gadgets in our homes and space at a premium, designers are coming up with creative ways to integrate, hide or have devices perform double duty.

Hiding your washing machine and dryer behind bi-fold doors, investing in a fridge with a door that seamlessly matches your joinery or a TV that acts as art when turned off are some of the current ways to integrate technology into streamlined interiors.

Mostly born out of the heavy shift towards open plan and apartment living, there has been a growing demand for appliances to be less visible in living spaces. Here are a couple of ways to embrace this trend now, with a quick glance into the future…


Most European appliance companies have embraced the direction of appliances receding into the background instead of standing out. In fact, many appliance companies already offer dishwasher, fridge and oven configurations that fit behind cabinetry doors or provide colour options to help them blend into the kitchen.  This trend runs alongside the ‘no-handles’ trend, to give kitchens a sleek, uncluttered look.


Extractors have been an (often) ugly necessity in the kitchen, essential to ventilate the buildup of steam, smoke and smells created by cooking. But the designers have been at work creating extractor fans that can be easily integrated into over-hob cabinetry. But some of the latest hoods go a step further, making them either a feature or totally camouflaged. Italian extractor hood company Elica has seen the future of extractor fans and it is breath-taking… creating island hoods that look like stunning clear glass pendant lights or suspended shelves and even downdraft hoods that rise out of countertops.


Speaking of cooking, designers are moving away from the standalone stove, preferring the cooking surface to be entirely integrated into the benchtop. With induction cooking making it possible to make an area a cooking element one moment and a tabletop the next, that chic, seamless kitchen dream can become a reality. But what’s next?  In 2014 Whirpool predicted that appliances will be personal, interactive and connected… to the web.  They believed that by 2020 you should be able to buy a countertop that features cooking elements and a computer, so you could control the heat for different burners, look up your favourite recipe, and watch Netflix all while you cook on your countertop.


Many of us try to blend our microwave into our kitchens by choosing door colours that match cabinetry or simply hiding it in a cranny out of sight. But there is soon to be another option available – because Sharp has already created the microwave drawer with a flip-out control panel for seamless integration into your kitchen. Get your microwave off the counter or above the fridge and into the wall, stat!

If it’s kitchen inspiration you’re seeking or any home improvements for that matter, come and visit the Christchurch Home Show, 22 – 24 March 2019 at Horncastle Arena, to get FREE expert advice and solutions from more than 140 leading industry experts and suppliers.  See www.christchurchhomeshow.co.nz for more info!