The trend of open spaces inherent in the architecture of modern housing has not spared furniture systems either. Shelving systems and shelves that do not reduce the volume of the room at all, creating the illusion of spaciousness and at the same time solving the problem of placing numerous household items.
This trend can be seen in the kitchen as well. The architectural approach to organizing the kitchen space has formed a large, open, light-infused, freely modeled kitchen. In recent years, in this room, the place of monolithic cabinets has been actively occupied by the most open or transparent systems and elements: island blocks, shelves, racks, extended shelves, niches, free-standing cabinets. They allow you to freely design space, breaking the established traditions, familiar to many schemes. In such a convenient and practical space, everything is accessible, everything is at hand, all movements are simplified. The kitchen turns into a laboratory, a laboratory of taste in the literal and figurative sense of the word.
The main idea in open models of kitchen sets is the desire to unload and lighten the kitchen, which is manifested primarily in the liberation of the kitchen from heavy wall cabinets. Shelves appear in their place. Opened in glass, metal or wood, they adorn many designer kitchens. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of shelf options: functional wall-mounted shelves made of stainless steel, which are mounted on brackets and can even hold several heavy pots placed on top of each other. Brackets are also used for fixing glass shelves – a convenient solution where medium weight items will be placed on them. Light, transparent, made of tempered glass, as a rule, with a rough textured surface in combination with the rest of the brackets, they can become a highlight of the interior.
In addition to shelves, open cabinets with wide shelves or spacious square cells have appeared, which are often placed directly on the tabletop. Often, such designs are a more economical option, since doors equipped with modern opening mechanisms significantly increase the cost of the kitchen. Hinged doors are less expensive, but also less convenient in the cooking area.
Unloading the top, the kitchen began to flaunt the contents and basic elements. Translucent and transparent drawers and open storage systems have become widespread not only in the upper part of the kitchen, but also in the lower one. When, for example, at a traditional exhibition in Milan, an open structure made of glass and metal appeared, intended for storing utensils, dishes and even products, more like a whatnot in a warehouse, it caused shock. But practice has shown that when placed in a row, such shelves are transformed into spacious shelves that can be combined with any interior. Kitchens made almost entirely of steel or aluminum seem to be even more extreme, and resembling professional kitchens, with open lower bases, through the “islands”.
For the convenience of storing food, dishes, large and small electrical appliances, independent units have appeared in the kitchen space, including a whole series of equipped comfortable cabinets in the form of showcases, voluminous wall cupboards. Household appliances are installed in freely combinable blocks, and the shelves turn into real pantries.
There is much more glass in “transparent” kitchens than in traditional ones. This is understandable: glass, like no other material, allows the kitchen to meet the requirements of light and air – components of modern design and turn into an organic part of the living interior. We see glass on extended horizontal shelves, and in the aluminum frame of hinged elements, and large-format display cabinets, and in functional columns. Clear glass shortens search times and increases the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen. A thin matt, lightly colored coating softens the outlines of the objects filling the wardrobes. Glass is necessary for any kitchen, both spacious and small, it optically adds sometimes missing depth, brings lightness and airiness to the interior.
When the boundaries between rooms are erased, there is a need for additional transition elements that make the flowing space organic. This is how transitional dual-purpose elements began to appear, equally appropriate both in the interior and at its junction with the dining room or living room. These are transparent cabinets, showcases, bookcases and shelves that can become not only a place for storing dishes, accessories or products in the kitchen, but also turn into a decorative showcase in the dining room or living room, decorated with festive dishes, decorative vases, bottles, and antiques. More and more, individual elements in the kitchen repeat the furniture of living quarters. One of the popular solutions is a wardrobe with frosted glass doors. Functional counters, reminiscent of whatnot, are sometimes placed on the bar counter, which brings an interesting accent to the bar area, delicately and exquisitely zoning the space.
Open kitchens take on a more individual face because their elements are functional and decorative in addition to them. Even the most inexpensive facades benefit from the brilliance of beautiful dishes and utensils, souvenirs from distant countries, or vice versa, emphasized simple but stylish glass and metal products. Here they not only serve as functional elements, but also become a decoration of the kitchen, a noticeable part of the design, emphasize style with their presence, add a game element to the interior. And the lighting used in modern kitchens enhances this effect. Interestingly, a kitchen arranged in this way does not tolerate even a slight mess. It matters here, not only what it costs, but also how it costs. That is, it is assumed that the dishes and utensils will be arranged competently and aesthetically. Stacks of assorted plates and “working” pans-pans – not for these kitchens.
An open kitchen harmoniously fits into the concept of an open house, without internal doors and borders, filled with air and light. But: favorite storage places that have been equipped for decades are disappearing, and storage, as you know, is one of the main functions of a kitchen, and a place on it is almost always a topical issue. Maybe that’s why Russian housewives still prefer closed storage systems. Well, our mentality is not inherent in an open way of doing business. And yet, the idea of an open lifestyle is increasingly captivating advanced consumers. And the average buyer, who, for example, “both wants and injects”, professionals advise to turn to the combined option. For example, with a combination of closed bottom drawers and open top shelves. Products, not very presentable utensils, will go to the lower ones, and more elegant items that are constantly in use will remain open. Convenient, practical, aesthetically pleasing.