Appliances and millwork come together in this sleek approach to kitchen design
The term "integrated" means that many individual parts combine in a way that makes a unified whole. Kitchens are one of the hardest-working rooms in a home, and good design makes the room efficient and pleasant to be in. The goal of an integrated kitchen is that the appliances are invisible elements; they are either made to appear to be cabinetry or made to be flush with the cabinets, with the visible controls removed.
Wall pantry or refrigerator? This integrated refrigerator has the same frame and panel face as the rest of the kitchen cabinets. It is considered fully integrated.
Flush surfaces are also used in an integrated kitchen. Appliances don't stick out or sit in recesses; they are in line with the rest of the cabinetry.
For some sticklers of integrated design, integration means that the appliances are completely hidden and unidentifiable. The small controls on this dishwasher drawer give away the fact that it is not a cupboard, but it is a small detail that most could live with. This dishwasher would be considered partially integrated.
Technically this refrigerator is not integrated, since it has controls on the outside and does not have the same millwork face as the cabinets. Incorporating it into an armoire of sorts was pretty clever, though.
Having an integrated kitchen is very desirable in an open-floor-plan home, as the kitchen can be viewed from many rooms, and mismatched appliances and finishes are not very attractive. Stainless steel appliances tend to be most expensive; adding a cabinet face to an appliance can be a cost-saving measure.