Hidden functional design

How To Incorporate Functional Items Into A Design

It can be challenging to place some of the everyday, unsightly objects into your shiny new design. People who dream of clean, open, minimalist homes rarely envisage them with plug sockets. Your bookended marble bathroom might be marred by the inclusion of a toilet brush and spare roll holder. All the floating toilets and vanities will give you a lovely undisturbed floor Рuntil you place a bin in the room. Sadly there is no clean cut solution to remove the everyday functional items from your home. You have 3 main options.

Make Them Invisible

Try to build them in and make them invisible. You can do this for most, but not every unsightly item. You need a larger space for this, as you’ll be accommodating a lot of extra storage. In this Knightsbridge kitchen, 2 pull up socket boards produce a total of 8 sockets. We’ve removed the need for a bulky kettle by including a Quooker tap and storing the tank for it in the void under the window bay (hot taps are very popular, but many people are unaware of the size of tank (or tanks if you are in a hard water area and require a softener). The unit by the hob has 2 full sized bins inside. The wall unit houses a large extractor hood as well as providing lots of storage. The look is sleek and uninterrupted, but it’s a fully operational kitchen, with plenty of amenities. It’s pretty, but unfortunately this solution is rarely cheap.

Hidden functional design

This kitchen is full of hidden features

Style It Out

Make them part of the styling. If you have an industrial edge to your design, think about pairing a concrete bowl sink with a cement toothbrush holder and bin. Mix the built-in with the accessories. Then they contribute to the overall look – not clutter it. Repetitive colours/textures or surfaces is key with this approach, so it’s not for those who dislike the matchy-matchy look (and it’s worth noting, it’s easy to go overboard when matching, so keep it to key items. If you are going with the cement example above, always go for clean white towels, not a grey shade). This should make them either highlight features or meld into the background. It can’t always be possible to go for matching materials (you are unlikely to come across a calacatta stone laundry bag), so you will need to carefully consider the required styling.

Accept It

Accept it. Your home is somewhere you live, not an image from a magazine.¬†Editorial images you see on Pinterest have been styled. That usually means in the bedrooms half the contents have been carried out and piled up in the hallway whilst the shot is being taken. Don’t try to recreate an image too closely. If an item really bothers you (we have a client who really can’t stand loo brushes), work out if it’s the actual piece or the concept. It might be because it’s chrome and glass it looks cheap and tacky and if you got it in brushed brass it might look quite impressive. If it’s the item itself, look at alternatives (said client is going for a powerful douche spray to pro firm the same function) or look at building it into a niche that is only visible from certain (minimal angles).

secret storage mirror

This bathroom looks sleek and clutter free, thanks to this hidden storage mirror

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