botanical bathrooms

Creative concealment

Integration is reshaping the modern kitchen layout and manufacturers are offering more variety to help designers and homeowners achieve its intended understated look.

integrated appliances black kitchen
More Australians want beautiful kitchens – without the clutter of appliances breaking up the design.
Image: Winning Appliances

Integration is one of the latest buzzwords in interior design and it’s a concept that’s redefining the kitchen arrangement. While the fundamental work triangle remains unchanged, and happily so for functionality’s sake, integration is all about discreet appliances.

According to Colin Jones, category expert at Winning Appliances, the trend has taken off as more Australians want their kitchens to have an aesthetically pleasing look, without the clutter of appliances which can break up the design. 

‘Integrated appliances, such as the Fisher & Paykel Column Fridge, have been hugely popular, as well as integrated dishwashers, which are also in demand,’ Colin says.

‘Integration is extending to cooking appliances as well. The Qasair Foldaway Executive Under Cupboard Rangehood allows for total integration in the kitchen. The rangehood can be operated with the panel either open or closed, making it a unique and stylish addition.’ 

Colin says the integrated natural gas cooktops from PITT provide a good solution to integrated gas cooking.

‘Unlike traditional cooktops they enable consumers to tailor their cooktop layout as they see fit, providing a sleek, contemporary look in the kitchen.’ 

Integration however doesn’t necessarily mean concealment. Many homeowners opting for the ease of integration but might want to showcase particularly luxe appliances such as the modern response to the cellar – the wine fridge. Climate-controlled wine cabinets can be built into kitchen cabinetry – equipped with wooden sliding shelves, UV-treated tinted glass and dim LED lighting – and given there’s a sliding scale price point among manufacturers, their popularity with entertainer enthusiasts is on the increase.

Further along the spectrum is the semi-integrated appliance, although for the time being it is only available for the dishwasher. Barely visible, the semi-integrated dishwasher maintains a streamlined appearance except for the control panel. Offered by a number of different manufacturers – for example, Siemens, SMEG or Bosch – the advantage of semi-integration is easy use, while it also takes the guesswork out of which cabinet door the appliance lives behind. 

Since it’s also a well-known fact that Australians have a love affair with coffee, it’s unsurprising then that the home coffee machine is the latest appliance to be integrated into the kitchen. Colin says it not only save consumers bench space, but they’re also designed to be integrated into a complete kitchen renovation. 

‘Coffee machines, such as the Bosch Series 8 built-in, are a functional and flexible lifestyle appliance, providing an aesthetic and minimalist look,’ he says. ‘With the increasing trend for a more freed-up, less cluttered kitchen, this is a great space-saving solution for those not willing to compromise on bench space.’

botanical bathrooms
Climate-controlled wine cabinets can be built into kitchen cabinetry – equipped with wooden sliding shelves, UV-treated tinted glass and LED lighting
Image: Winning Appliances
botanical bathrooms
Built-in coffee machines are proving to be a popular and functional lifestyle appliance.
Photo courtesy GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens

One project showcasing the trending kitchen arrangement is a recent renovation of a Victorian federation home by HIA member GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens. Olivia Cirocco was one of the interior designers on the project and says for the kitchen in particular the client was intent on a highly functional and cutting-edge space. 

‘The growing family required lots of storage and the kitchen to be user friendly for their heavy everyday use. Clean lines and a sleek aesthetic was essential,’ she says. 

Integrated appliances, a minimal handle design and clever storage solutions went a long way in achieving the brief. A large central island bench, intended as a gathering space for entertaining purposes as well as a preparation and work space, strategically incorporates a flush-mounted Bora hotplate with integrated extraction, eliminating the need for a rangehood which would close in the space and line of sight. 

‘Integrated appliances are becoming increasingly popular and create the seamless look most designer kitchens achieve,’ Olivia says. ‘I believe people will be swaying towards integrated appliances more and more.’

botanical bathrooms
This kitchen included an integrated fridge and wine fridge, dishwasher, coffee machine, flush-mounted hotplate and integrated extraction fan.
Photo courtesy GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens
botanical bathrooms
‘The integration of appliances plays a big part in ensuring the kitchen is still useable, but also aesthetically an extension of the living or dining space’
Photo courtesy GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens

The black joinery clad in a 12mm black Dekton benchtop delivers a dynamic industrial vibe to complement the light timber and white joinery, which includes an integrated fridge. Perpendicular to the island is the utility space, with both an integrated wine fridge and dishwasher, and large sink within the kitchen area. Past this point into a scullery/laundry is a second sink, washing machine and additional storage.

But there was one item for the kitchen the client was especially interested in: an integrated coffee machine.

‘It was a major draw card for a machine, which is used as frequently as it is, to be easy to use and match the rest of the appliances so nicely,’ Olivia says, adding that below the coffee machine and steam oven are warming drawers, which are used to keep coffee cups and plates warm and ready for use.

Olivia believes the lure of integration is that it complements the open plan layout that is still hugely popular with modern families.

‘The integration of appliances plays a big part in ensuring the kitchen is still useable, but also aesthetically an extension of the living or dining space,’ she says. ‘This is why integrated appliances are more popular now, and there are plenty of great options on the market, depending on your requirements.’ 

Integration is much more than just hiding away appliances; it has some very real practical benefits too.

‘They’re a great inclusion within kitchen designs for cleanability purposes,’ Olivia explains. ‘The way integrated appliances are used in order to create a consistent stream of cabinetry can ensure there are no awkward gaps between appliances and cabinetry which are hard to get to.’ 

This article was compiled with contributions by Winning Appliances and GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens.

botanical bathrooms

What lies beneath?

 Colin Jones, category expert at Winning Appliances, says there are an increasing number of kitchen manufacturers now offering appliances for integration or semi-integration.

 

‘Unique to the Australian market, and handmade in Holland, are the PITT gas hobs which integrate directly into the benchtop,’ he says. ‘Other products available include a variety of fridges, rangehoods, dishwashers, wine fridges and coffee machines.’

 

Colin adds his product picks to look out for include:

  • Fisher & Paykel 383L Integrated Column Fridge
  • Qasair 60cm Foldaway Executive Under Cupboard Rangehood
  • Bosch Series 8 built-in coffee machine
  • Sub-Zero 819L Built-In Side By Side Fridge.

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