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I spy: Undercover Kitchens


It’s no secret around the office that I love James Bond movies. There’s just something about the fabulous clothing, fast cars, and smart gadgets. But the thing about Bond is that nothing is ever quite what it seems: watches have lasers, rings can take pictures, and cars are never just for driving. Bond’s world may be fictional, but that same concept of hidden utility exists in modern design, too! It’s one of the things I love discovering about the kitchens we photograph.


Sometimes the ideas are small and practical, like pop-up outlets, stealth cookbook storage, or cleverly (and prettily) hidden spices perfectly at-hand next to the range.



But there are also the more elaborate cover-ups, too. Who would have thought that this marble backsplash actually lifts to reveal an extensive beverage bar? It’s perfect for entertaining: easy to access when needed, but out of the way for everyday.



Then there are the seriously guilty pleasures (which I think James Bond would totally approve of). How about this integrated wall of cabinetry (left)? When the door is closed, you’d have no idea that it opens to a walk-in pantry—it simply looks like standard cabinets. A custom-paneled refrigerator to the  left of the pantry also gives the space a sneakily seamless design. This furniture-style piece (right) certainly looks like an old icebox cooler… would you have guessed it opens to a walk-in pantry?

The cool thing about undercover kitchens is that the concepts can fit any design style, from the tried-and-true traditional—the Sean Connery of kitchens—to the ultra-modern sleek styles a la Daniel Craig.



-Kristina McGuirk, Assistant Editor, Kitchen and Bath Ideas

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