When it comes to luxury kitchen design, there’s a trend toward spaces that look less like a kitchen, especially in open-plan homes. Obviously they are still kitchens, but sleeker and simpler, and the ‘nuts and bolts’ elements you need for cooking are hidden away.
We’ve seen ‘invisible kitchens’ – a kitchen trend that sees these cooking elements fade into the background, often hidden behind doors – but more and more people are opting for ‘invisible stoves’ too.
But is this just a passing trend, a short-lived wonder, or does it signal a shift in modern kitchen design? To answer these questions and more, we reached out to the experts.
What are invisible stoves?
An “invisible stove” refers to a type of appliance in which there is no base for the stovetop – the burners are built directly into your kitchen countertop and emerge directly from it. Traditionally, the burners sit atop a large base, either black or stainless steel, that takes up a significant chunk of your work surface.
With an invisible cooktop, the gas burners and controls float on your countertop, allowing for a simpler, more streamlined space, and the countertop stone takes center stage.
Besides gas hob systems, there are also invisible induction worktops, which appear to have no cooking surface at all, until you need to know where to put your pans. These are real invisible stoves.
Where can I get one?
Invisible fireplaces are usually sold and installed by professionals. Pitt Cooking is one of the leading manufacturers in the USA, but other brands like Novy have integrated burner systems.
Italian kitchen brand Infinity has had an invisible induction cooktop for a while, but luxury appliance brand Gaggenau has just released its own offering, which brings this super-simple choice to a wider market.
The Gaggenau basic induction hob is designed to integrate exclusively with Dekton stone tops. The front-mounted design has a smart central light within the cooking zone that shows the user where to place cookware, warns of residual heat and disappears when not in use, transforming the stove island into a multi-use area suitable for preparing, serving, eating, working and socializing.
What are the advantages of an invisible fireplace?
An invisible stove can revolutionize the kitchen scene. “It’s about blurring the boundaries between setting and living,” says Sven Bakke, Head of Design at Gaggenau. “It provides absolute freedom in kitchen planning, and is a revolutionary concept for designers and planners.”
“In small kitchens especially, invisible induction cooktops allow you to expand your work area above the stove when you’re not cooking, as they only heat the metal pans without heating the surface itself,” says Jane Lockhart, founder of Jane Lockhart Design. “Induction cooktops also boil water in 90 seconds, making them perfect for quick meals on the go.”
These blend nicely into the work surface, maintaining their shape and texture. These allow the kitchen to look smooth, clean, sleek and modern.
How do invisible stoves save more counter space?
This clever, high-tech addition is especially ideal for a small kitchen layout where the space can easily and quickly seem cluttered. The need is always to have a design that blends in with the rest of the space.
“Invisible cooktops eliminate the visible ‘clutter’ of appliances – which is especially attractive as kitchens become a larger part of the overall living space,” says Dennis Hall Montgomery, founder of DHM Architecture. ‘When not in use, the invisible stovetop transforms into a clean surface with little indication of a utilitarian function, such as an appliance. Seamlessly integrated into an island or countertop makes it easy to clean (i.e. no edges or gaps to fill with crumbs).’
Weiman stovetop and stove top cleaner
Use this liquid to remove food residue, dirt, oily residue and water marks. Polish with a paper towel to shine.
Is this trend here to stay?
Does this kitchen countertop trend have a long life? Or will it be just a “moment” and soon forgotten?
“Yes, it is a big trend and I think it will continue to grow because it saves energy, is safer than gas or electric in a traditional fireplace style, and allows for a clean looking stove,” says Jane.
“The interest of many customers is moving away from the fossil fuels required for gas appliances, as well as some municipalities’ restrictions on gas hookups in new construction,” says Dennis. “Invisible cooktops are a great option for minimalist interiors as well as kitchens with a design language that isn’t just utilitarian.”