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More than meets the eye… Ken Crosson on integrated kitchen

Over the past few years, the trend towards seamlessly integrated kitchen appliances has been picking up momentum. At Crosson Architects we’ve been designing kitchens with concealed fridges and integrated dishwashers for many years, so it’s been fantastic to have an increasing range of options at our fingertips. Integrated design doesn’t compromise the performance of the appliances, but allows the architectural details to shine through – a definite bonus in the eyes of the design team!

For those unfamiliar with the term, integrated kitchens are designed with the appliances hidden behind cupboard doors, resulting in a seamless aesthetic. This helps to save space along each side of the appliance, and allows a lot more flexibility when planning the layout of the room. As an added benefit, integrated dishwashers and washing machines are often quieter, as they’re hidden behind doors and held in place by the cabinetry.

We recently completed the Recrafted Art House, a beautiful early 20th century Arts and Crafts home with views over Auckland city and Rangitoto Island. As well as undertaking extensive restoration and refurbishment work, we designed a contemporary living wing that complements the existing historical dwelling.

The kitchen and scullery are tucked into a lower link space and positioned at one end of the open plan living area, creating a social and functional space in which to gather, eat dinner, and help the kids with their homework. The appliances and kitchenware are all hidden behind lacquered oak cabinetry, with an extensive scullery behind a large marble door to create a minimal, streamlined look. It’s a simple aesthetic that works well with the built-in furniture, including a ledge that runs along the length of the extension, varying in height and serving as a desk, seat or shelf.

Appliances available on the market today can be fabulous design objects in their own right, and the innovation and sophistication of these products feed into the design of our kitchens. We’re excited about the introduction of flush finish cooktop units, along with concealed downdrafts that seamlessly raise from the benchtop, disappearing when not in use. These moves allow the kitchen to sit more harmoniously within the spaces we create and work sympathetically with the architecture.

By Ken Crosson.

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