Before the trend towards stainless-steel appliances, high-end refrigerators could be accessorized with replaceable door panels that matched kitchen cabinet paneling. Recently, this visual treatment has been reappearing, as it is becoming an integral component of what’s sometimes referred to as the invisible kitchen. The concept involves choosing elements such as flooring, wall coverings and lighting with similar or identical decorative surfaces. This provides seamless uninterrupted sight lines across the kitchen, dining room and living areas to create the illusion of more space.

For example, imagine cupboards with floor-to-ceiling doors that match the wall panels and have no visible handles. Or, consider extending the finish of the kitchen or island countertop (e.g., granite or marble) to the side walls of the cabinetry and onto the floor, presuming the material is compatible for multipurpose use. To help deflect the visual evidence of appliances, many kitchen designers now select reflective oven doors and smooth-surface cooktops with recessed knobs.