ARTICLE

How built-in and integrated kitchen appliances create a seamless kitchen design

August 13, 2021 - 4 min read

There’s nothing quite like coming home to a neat and tidy kitchen, though it never stays that way for long. Opt for built-in and integrated kitchen appliances when you’re renovating and you can hold on to that feeling a little longer. The flush finishes and clean lines make for a sleek, seamless clutter-free zone. But what is the difference between built-in and integrated, and what are the big considerations at the planning stage? Read on to find out.

Couple are trying out using their new smart lights. The woman is controlling the smart phone and they are both looking up as the lights go on automatically.

Built-in kitchen appliances vs integrated kitchen appliances

“When we refer to appliances that are built-in, it means that the joinery is designed around the exact specs of the appliance,” explains Naomi Nimmo, Interior Designer and Co-Founder of Nimmo Nielsen Collective. The facade of the appliance is still visible, though it sits flush within the wall or cabinetry. Built-in appliances can sit beneath the benchtop or among other cabinetry. “Fully integrated appliances, on the other hand, are completely concealed by cabinetry,” says Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys.

The benefits of built-in and integrated appliances

The aesthetic appeal of integrated and built-in kitchen appliances is the biggest selling point. “They give your kitchen a streamlined, seamless appearance and can even make it look bigger,” says Geraldine Gillespie. Wall-installed appliances are also beneficial for maximising space in small kitchens and awkward corners, freeing up bench space and under-the-counter storage. “By keeping everything concealed behind joinery doors, it makes a kitchen feel cleaner and less cluttered,” adds Naomi Nimmo.

Design advice

Opting for built-in and integrated appliances in your kitchen means you’ll need to plan ahead. Instead of simply allowing space for standard-sized stand-alone appliances, your cabinetry, and sometimes electrical outputs, will need to be custom-built and designed to accommodate your appliances. If you haven’t already enlisted the help of a designer, now could be a good time to do it.

Start by choosing your big-ticket items. “The most popular appliances to integrate are the fridge and the dishwasher,” says Naomi Nimmo. “Integrate those appliances, then look for designs with minimal visual impact when you select your oven, microwave and any other wall-installed appliances, such as coffee machines.”

“By keeping everything concealed behind joinery doors, it makes a kitchen feel cleaner and less cluttered,” say Naomi Nimmo, Interior Designer and Co-Founder of Nimmo Nielsen Collective."

Stylish appliance solutions

While fridges, freezers, rangehoods and dishwashers are easy to hide behind cabinetry, ovens and cooktops can be more difficult to conceal. The secret? Colour-matching your appliances to your cabinetry. Many modern appliances such as the Miele 60cm Steam Microwave Oven White have been designed with this dilemma in mind – so even their control panels are subtle enough to blend in.

Installation and servicing integrated and built-in appliances

Both built-in and integrated kitchen appliances require more time and effort to install. “Generally speaking, built-in appliances require installation by a plumber and/or electrician,” says Geraldine Gillespie. “Integrated appliances will need front panels to be attached by a cabinet maker or kitchen installer in addition to the installation by a plumber and/or electrician, making them slightly more expensive to install.” For the same reason, built-in and integrated appliances can often be more expensive to service and replace.

Budget

Premium products come with a premium price tag, and built-in and integrated appliances are considered high-end. Be prepared to invest more – especially for fully integrated appliances. The good news is, if you are looking to create a sleek and seamless kitchen on a budget, that’s absolutely achievable. You’ll find entry-level built-in ovens such as the Technika 60cm Electric Oven for as little as $515, and a semi-integrated dishwasher such as the DeLonghi 60cm Semi Integrated Dishwasher for $799. By choosing your appliances before finalising your kitchen design, you’ll be able to select a cohesive colour palette and create the kitchen of your dreams.

Visit The Good Guys in store or online for more advice on creating the kitchen of your dreams.

Trends In Kitchens & Cooking