6 Ways to Hide Kitchen Appliances

Modern machines are the anachronism in a period kitchen—here are 6 ideas for disguising them.
double-drawer dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel

Handsome cabinets in a 1920s Tudor hide modern intrusions, like this all-but-invisible double-drawer dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel. 

Old-house owners have come up with ingenious ways to maintain the illusion of another time, even in a functioning kitchen. Some keep the big fridge in the back hall or pantry; others use a reconditioned or reproduction stove. Many simply hide or disguise modern appliances. A refrigerator may disappear into an “armoire”—or behind an icebox façade. The dishwasher can be faced with a faux drawer front or antique lumber. A “hutch” attached to the wall can include electrical connections for the small appliances it hides.

Built-In Fridge & Freezer

Built-in fridge and freezer

Built-in fridge and freezer. 

More convincingly hidden than most, a very modern Liebherr unit disappears into a floor-to-ceiling bank of cabinets in the kitchen of a 1908 Tudor. Bin-style drawers below mask the pull-out freezer; well-chosen hardware furthers the idea. The old woodstove draws all the attention.

Appliance Garages in a Hutch

Appliance garage in an old-house kitchen

Appliance garage in an old-house kitchen. 

Microwave ovens, coffee makers, and blenders (and all their plugs) are even more distracting than one big appliance. Here they’re hidden but readily accessible in a custom hutch built by Kevin Ritter of Timeless Kitchen Design. This new kitchen went into an existing addition to an 1816 house.

The Icebox Disguise

Modern refrigerator, fake icebox, vintage kitchen

Modern refrigerator disguised as an icebox in an old-house kitchen. 

Here, the modern refrigerator is not hidden in a cabinet, but rather disguised as an icebox. The homeowner built the paneled façade for a new French-door refrigerator with bottom freezer. Icebox hardware is antique.

Refrigerator in a Drawer

Refrigerator drawer in an old-house kitchen

Refrigerator drawer in an old-house kitchen. 

Several appliance manufacturers offer pull-out refrigerated drawers, which may allow the use of a smaller main unit. They are easy to disguise behind drawer faces, as in this cabinet by Crown Point.

Customized Storage

Custom appliance storage, old house kitchen

Custom appliance storage in an old-house kitchen. 

Small appliances may be kept out of sight—not in the pantry, but right in the kitchen. In a Craftsman-style island by Crown Point, a generous storage area hides behind a door panel disguised as drawers.

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