Discreet Luxuries

Do an online image search for “luxury kitchen” and you’ll see that there is an even bigger design decision homeowners have to make when choosing a refrigerator. It is not Sub-Zero or Liebherr but rather whether or not to hide the biggest kitchen appliance behind a custom panel matching the cabinetry.

Pictured is a recent application of the Bakes Appliance Pull (BB-1) in action.  This traditional kitchen outfitted in white cabinetry flawlessly integrates a twin refrigerator and freezer set into the overall kitchen design. Just imagine how such large pieces of kitchen appliances would change the feel of the space if the exterior finishes were not wood cabinetry but stainless steel. By using the Bakes Appliance Pulls, the kitchen design disguises industrial sized appliances with furniture-like panels. Thus, maintaining a warm, homey aesthetic that would otherwise be undermined by professional grade refrigeration.

Different factors will contribute to the decision making process.

Are coordinating panels in the budget?

Whether you are planning a $1,000 remodel or a $100,000 remodel, everyone is working with a budget. That means certain things on the wish list may go unrealized. While refrigerator door panels used to be associated with custom cabinetry, more middle grade cabinet lines are offering this option. Still, this finish choice for your refrigerator is an added cost; the finished cost will increase once you add matching appliance handles.

What is your design aesthetic?

Matching appliance panels contribute heavily to the clean, integrated look modern design enthusiasts seek. Kitchens with old–fashioned aspirations benefit from the look of custom panels, disguising appliances that would detract from a period look. Traditional kitchens also reap style rewards when appliances are hidden behind cabinetry, blending the kitchen seamlessly into the now ubiquitous open floor plan.

Are there appliance handles that match your cabinet hardware?

Most people choose to hide the refrigerator behind matching panels to create a serene, suited look. Don’t undermine this by neglecting to match your appliance pulls to your cabinet hardware. When beginning the cabinet hardware selection, save time by seeking out hardware lines that have knobs, pulls, and appliance hardware.

This past year, Horton Brasses increased appliance pull offerings and now includes 5 different appliance pulls that coordinate with the other kitchen hardware. Whether you are interested in seductively clean curving lines for a modern kitchen, historically accurate Macintosh pulls for an Arts & Crafts restoration, insanely elegant handles for that classically bespoke British affect, or really want to make a statement in your kitchen with hefty bin pulls or barn-like iron grips, Horton’s got it.

What did you do in your kitchen? Did you put that big fridge on display or did you integrate it into the look of your cabinetry? Was appliance pull selection a factor for you when choosing your kitchen cabinetry hardware?

Hiding the Kitchen in Plain Sight

The Wall Street Journal’s Anjali Athavaley article, Kitchens Play Hide and Sleek, highlights the move away from in-your-face status appliances to a subtler, more covert aesthetic. Instead of placing that $10,000 fridge on display for all to see like a pair of Jordache jeans circa 1983, Athavaley reports, people are requesting panel-ready appliances that mask their appearance and blend into the cabinetry.

Well, I don’t know exactly how new a trend it is, but I have definitely seen an uptick in panel-ready appliances available even at  the mid-range level from retailers such as Sears. Apparently, this has been going on for years in Europe, dating back to the very un-fashionable 1970’s. While Americans were busy scaling up, clearing square footage for the biggest and most industrial looking stainless steel appliances they could get their fingerprints on, the quietly understated Europeans were discreetly camouflaging their dishwashers. Tastes evolve and now Americans are also trying to minimize the presence of big appliances. Especially today, at a time when the open floor plan dominates, people don’t necessarily want to stare at their fridge while casually dining with friends. Instead, the focus is on more furniture-like cabinetry that blends with the decor of the house. “Minimalist” and “streamlining” were the kind of words Athavaley used to describe this new aesthetic.

Chicago based designer and master of the kitchen, Mick  de Giulio states that “every great kitchen has a hook,” referring to a feature of visual interest that centers the space. There are different elements that can draw a person’s interest to a room, such as a great sink, a bold work of art or a antique piece of furniture are examples of this. Visual statements that define a space are important. But concomitantly, hiding appliances behind cabinet-like fronts is also important. This creates serenity in the living space by extending the living and dining area into the kitchen by eliminating the usual visual clues–refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. 

The Bakes Pull is a stylistically versatile hardware line, available in a range of sizes. Compatible across design genres, the Bakes Pull transcends time. A new classic is born


Whether or not this is a new trend, Horton Brasses is happy to help out by expanding our line of kitchen appliance pulls. Previously we carried just two appliance handles: AD-4000 and AD-4020, 14″ and 8-3/4″ brass handles as well as AD-4060, our 14″ Macintosh appliance handles. Available for pre-order, however, is our new line of kitchen hardware, including the 14″ Bakes Pull, perfect for appliances, as well as our large Queslett Pull. Like our original appliance pulls, the Bakes and Queslett are part of a larger series of hardware, providing a continuos suited look throughout your entire kitchen. Classic design and exception quality, the Bakes and the Queslett are certainly poised to become the new standard in luxury kitchens.

Prior to the Queslett, there was only one manufacturer of larger sized bin pulls available in America. Not anymore. The Queslett raises the stakes with superior craftsmanship, sublime details and a tactile beauty unavailable elsewhere. Use the largest pull on a paneled appliance and forget that you are even in the kitchen. Until someone asks for help washing up the pots.

Interested in the Bakes or Queslett lines? Give Orion a call to pre-order for your new kitchen.