The Power of Integration
Renovating your kitchen is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time for many people. With the ever increasing desire to have a clutter-free and streamlined kitchen, integrated kitchen appliances are forging ahead as a popular design choice.
Integrated kitchen appliances are appliances with fronts or control panels that match the look of your kitchen cabinetry. For example, instead of your refrigerator, refrigerator/freezer combination or dishwasher having a stainless steel or white look, each of these will have an exterior door that matches your other cabinet doors. The kitchen appliances are cleverly concealed for a sleek, smooth and minimalist kitchen style.
We spoke to interior designer Justine Money, an architect with 15 years’ experience and the founder of Money Design Studio in South Sydney, about the power of integration.
What are your thoughts about integration? Is it the popular choice for your clients?
I tend to specify integrated appliances for nearly all my projects. Joinery is easily built to house it; the appliance finishes sit well within the aesthetics of the design and cleaning is much easier than freestanding appliances. Integrated appliances are a popular choice for most clients, especially if space is limited or the kitchen is open plan.
How do integrated appliances work from an aesthetic angle?
Integration of appliances aesthetically moves today’s designs away from the more traditional closed kitchen space. Today’s kitchens tend to open into the adjoining spaces, usually the dining room, living room and/or garden. Aesthetically the kitchen requires a fluidity of design that allows it to complement the surrounding spaces. Integrated appliances sit seamlessly within the kitchen.
What about the practicality of integrated appliances, does that also come into play?
Cleaning! I remember renting houses back in the UK in my younger days and dreaded the thought that the freestanding cooker ever broke down and a serviceman would have to pull it out to fix it. Today’s integrated appliances make it so easy for cleaning inside and out. Integrated appliances are so easy to clean and maintain that brand-new look for longer.
Are integrated appliances the popular choice for 2017?
Yes. Kitchens are now the hub of the family home and most clients want a harmonious space for family activity. The kitchen bench is no longer solely used for food preparation; it is the communication hub for the entire family. From schoolwork to cocktails, the flexibility of space is paramount and integration keeps the spaces neutral and flexible.
Why do people choose the integrated option?
Generally, most clients come to me with images of kitchens that they like and want that specific look, which is a good starting point in developing up a brief. In some cases, clients believe that the location of the integrated appliance is key to the design and want to make it the focal point of the kitchen. When working with the client to design the kitchen, we look at function, aesthetic and connection to other spaces. Through this process, the client gets a better understanding that the design is tailored to their needs and not a cookie-cutter design based on appliance location.
Integration at Miele
Miele offers an extensive range of integrated kitchen appliances from dishwashers, refrigerators, fridge/freezer combinations and rangehoods. Click here to learn more about Miele’s integrated appliances.