Hidden or exposed appliances?

Hidden or exposed appliances

Whether you have an old or modern kitchen, you must make the same choice with integrated appliances: are they going to be covered by a cupboard door, or exposed? The answer is about personal taste and your current kitchen scheme.

Those with warmer-feeling kitchens, perhaps with unpainted wooden units and fixtures, might find the metallic finish of certain appliances jars with their design. It could be better to blend the appliances in by hiding them behind matching cupboard doors.

Those who own painted wooden kitchens could find exposed modern integrated appliances suit the layout. Adding stainless steel or glass appliances to the kitchen will allow light to bounce around the room, and be reflected by any white undertones in the paint.

Largely, it's down to personal taste. You could even maintain a traditional look by blending integrated appliances in painted kitchens by concealing them behind cupboard doors, and unpainted kitchens can be given a touch of modernity with exposed appliances.

How to integrate cooking appliances

Cooking appliances

Cooking appliances include the oven, hob, microwave and cooker hood. Each is able to blend with different levels of subtlety, giving you a few different options when it comes to designing your layout.

Integrated cooker hoods are the easiest to hide away. Integrated hoods blend into the ceiling or wall, and are only exposed during cooking by lifting the hood. Many of them are designed to appear like a cupboard above the hob.

An integrated microwave and integrated oven are excellent choices for those with an older kitchen. Saving space on the worktop, integrated microwaves look far more natural in a traditional kitchen design than their bulky counterparts do. Meanwhile, an integrated oven is a practical choice, with many sizes available to suit the volume of cooking you need to do.

A stainless steel, built-in microwaves and ovens will blend well with a light kitchen colour scheme, whereas black, glossy designs will suit darker units.

There are all sorts of integrated hobs available: gas hobs are an excellent choice for traditional kitchens, as they are designed like a traditional range cooker, without taking up as much space as the original.

How to integrate washing appliances and dishwashers

Washing appliances and dishwashers

Washing appliances such as a washing machine and tumble dryer would ideally be hidden away in a utility room, but for those who only have the kitchen to work with, how can they been blended in?

Dishwashers are available with false fronts that match the rest of the kitchen cupboards. They are also available with kitchen handles that can be chosen to match the rest of the kitchen design, helping them to blend away seamlessly. Check out our guide about integrating a dishwasher into a small kitchen for more advice.

Washing machines and tumble dryers are harder to hide away. The best way to fully integrate your laundry appliances is to hide them behind a door that matches the rest of your cupboards. To do this, choose a washing machine or tumble dryer with a flat front, rather than one with a rounded door.

How to integrate a fridge, freezer, and wine cooler

Fridge, freezer, and wine cooler

Few appliances have as much variety in style and design available than the fridge and freezer. Integrated fridges and freezers are ideal for making the most of the space you have, so you just need to decide on the size and layout of the appliances.

Individual fridges and freezers sit snugly beneath a counter, which is great for kitchens that would rather not have worktop space. These can be easily integrated by adding a false cupboard door in front of the appliance.

Tall fridge-freezers, whether white or stainless steel, could look out of place in an old-fashion kitchen. It's possible to also install cupboard doors across these, though this will look best if it's part of a tall cupboard kitchen unit, so the appliance doesn't appear inappropriately placed.

For those who have a discerning taste in wine, an integrated wine cooler is a practical and elegant choice. These don't often come with a false cupboard option, but designs are available that will fit in with the wider kitchen scheme. Consider a wine cooler with wood-effect shelving, as these are styled to blend in with a traditional kitchen.

Integrated kitchen appliances are a fantastic option for those with old or traditional kitchen designs, and who don't want their appliances to clash with the room's styling. For other kitchen appliance ideas and advice, take a look at the full range of kitchen accessories guides.