The trend in modern kitchen design for the last decade or so has leaned toward a clean minimalist aesthetic, aiming to hide as much clutter as possible from view. Nearly all cookware, tableware and even appliances are rendered virtually invisible with the use of floor-to-ceiling cabinets, camouflaged refrigerator doors, storage islands and other disguises. The effect is undeniably orderly, but it can feel a tad institutional at times. Are we headed toward a backlash?
“If we imagine everything is transparent clear and clean, doesn’t it mean that the only thing that is colorful and visible is our food?” says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “I see this as part of a wider dream, this kitchen. It is part of an environment, if not a city, that is transparent and therefore accessible. Imagine if not only our kitchens were transparent, but the walls through to the neighbor and the next neighbor even. This would create infinite perspectives in our cities.” infinity kitchen
Inhabitants using the kitchen will be forced to constantly evaluate their food choices, say the designers, not to mention how well they stay on top of keeping their homes in order. One practical benefit would be instantly being able to see how much you currently have of any particular type of food, discouraging waste and potentially shaming you into choosing healthier items instead of junk your guests can clearly spot right through your cabinet doors.
The dream kitchen-diner ideally looks neither like a kitchen nor a dining room. To effectively fit out a multi-purpose living area that can incorporate a kitchen without it seeming intrusive is some skill. SieMatic goes further – and turns a kitchen unit into a thing of domestic beauty.
But despite the fact that the space wasn’t exactly move-in ready, they saw potential for an affordable apartment close to all the shops, restaurants, job opportunities and other perks of inner Stockholm. They hired Karin Matz Arkitekt to envision a new interior setup that would keep the space one big open room while fitting in a full kitchen, living room, dining area and bedroom with plenty of space for all their clothes.
Opposite the built-in, the other side of the room is left open, with plenty of space for free movement, but it’s easy to imagine this setup working for even smaller apartments lacking that living and dining area, so long as you don’t mind looking down on your partner as they cook. The glass pane gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘breakfast in bed,’ but a curtain panel could always used to provide privacy when desired.
In some of the world’s most famously tiny micro apartments, like a $300K closet in London and a 12-by-7-foot hole in the wall in New York City, creative division of space is just a given. Shortages of affordable accommodations in desirable cities often mean house hunters and renters have to work with less square footage than they’re used to, especially when the ‘apartments’ available are literally former walk-in closets, laundry rooms and storage areas.
Trying to fit everything into your home in an efficient and space-saving way can often be a tricky business especially in this day and age, when space is such a a hot commodity. Every inch counts, and that’s why we rely on architects and designers to come up with innovative solutions to help take the hassle out of everyday life.
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