1. Make your kitchen invisible
Inspired by a young wizard named Harry, we started our magic by throwing a cloak of invisibility across the kitchen space. At first glance there’s nothing to see here. Well, nothing that resembles a kitchen anyway. You’d probably assume the five-metre-long island bench is a gorgeous piece of furniture. A table perhaps, with a giant, low-hung rattan pendant overhead. Take another look and you’ll see that this concrete creation is actually a fully functional and totally practical kitchen bench, complete with a moulded concrete sink. But where are the appliances?
What’s not to love about a minimalist kitchen that’s actually functional? Picture: Three Birds Renovations
2. Hide your fridge
We chose a commercial-sized double-door fridge/freezer and banished this baby straight to the butler’s pantry. Why? To free up space in the kitchen and to ensure the pantry is used to its full potential.
The homeowners love to entertain so we created this kitchen with that in mind. The semi-rural property is nowhere near a corner store, so a really big fridge was a necessity, especially when guests arrive en masse. Food preparation takes place hidden away in this second mini kitchen to keep the main event free for entertaining, sans dirty dishes.
Some may call a fridge-free kitchen controversial, but when it’s hidden only a few steps away, we call it a little piece of kitchen magic.
The commercial-sized fridge is located in the butler’s pantry. Picture: Three Birds Renovations
3. Integrate the dishwasher
Integrated appliances are always a great idea but hiding a dishwasher in concrete cabinetry was a first for us. When your guests open your bin, your pot cupboard and check your butler’s pantry before finding your dishwasher, you know you’ve done a great job of integration.
All the joinery in this kitchen, dishwasher door included, is a chalky coloured concrete with a real earthy, organic feel. To offset the white and to bring some personality and bling to the room we chose oversized handles in aged brass. Their shape may resemble tacos, but this house is more Mediterranean in style than Tex Mex.
The integrated dishwasher is on the left of the microwave. Picture: Three Birds Renovations
4. Install a glass splashback
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Yeah, yeah, you’ve seen it all before… or have you? Just when you thought that glass splashbacks have been done to death, we’ve created this one with full height windows, without an overhead cabinet in sight. No overhead cupboards mean nowhere to hide a rangehood over the free-standing cook top, but that’s no bother, with so many windows and doors to vent cooking smells.
To put the Mediterranean into this farmhouse kitchen, decorative white mullions were added on all the splashback windows. Picture: Three Birds Renovations
5. Go wild with storage
Maximising storage is a top priority in any kitchen and when you’ve said “nay” to any overhead cabinetry, you’ve got to find it somewhere else.
This is where the five-metre-long island bench comes in handy, for more than just looks and entertaining. It’s super practical for storage too, with drawers on the utility side and cupboards the entire length where the bar stools are, for big platters and items that aren’t used as often.
The five-metre-long island bench doubles as mega storage. Picture: Three Birds Renovations
We were faced with the niggly problem of having to enclose some unsightly plumbing in an alcove in the corner of the kitchen. Rather than despair we chose to throw some magic at it and turned the eyesore into feature storage. The niche shelving, deep enough for even the biggest cookbook, looks like it was meant to be.
A modern, minimalist, Mediterranean kitchen? Yes it’s possible! Picture: Three Birds Renovations
So, there she is… our first invisible kitchen. As functional as she is beautiful in her own magical way.