Turning the Tables on Two Surprising Design Trends for Stylish Homes

Wait, designers want open closets and hidden kitchens?
Disappearing Kitchen


To bring home the latest in design trends to her Honolulu clients each year, Shari Saiki Kitashima heads to Europe. Halfway across the world, she attends Salone del Mobile (say it sah-lo-nay del mo-bee-lay if you want to sound legit), an annual international home furnishing show.


There she finds inspiration for the latest in everything from colors and textures to home-design concepts for her business, Shari Saiki Design Studio, which moved recently to 677 Ala Moana Blvd. (once the Gold Bond Building).




In 2018, she discovered two trends that seem to have traded places. While kitchens with open shelving are still popping up in local renovations and new builds, Saiki Kitashima says truly trending kitchens are heading undercover. Countertops slide closed to hide sinks and work spaces, while cabinets cover appliances and nook spaces to tuck smaller kitchen items away. The result of these hidden kitchens is sleek, but might leave your guests wondering if you cook or live on takeout.


Open closets


A second trend, master suites with open closets, feels more like a high-end retail experience. Gone are the walk-in closets big enough that we can all swear we’ve all lived in apartments of similar or smaller size. Instead, Saiki says expect to see closet spaces that:

  • Open to the master bedroom with seating areas similar to what you might find in the private shopping area of Saks Fifth Avenue.

  • Have beautiful shelving and drawers that are meant to be seen, not hidden.

  • If you’re a clothing collector with pieces that say art all on their own, this trend totally works. If you haven’t made a donation to Goodwill in 10 years, maybe not so much.




Want to learn more? Saiki Kitashima can be reached via her website at sharisaiki.com