What is an appliance garage and does your kitchen need one?

grey green full height kitchen units with larder unit
(Image credit: deVOL)

Ever heard of an appliance garage? Sometimes it can seem as though there is a never-ending slew of kitchen trends being thrown our way — from the more obvious downdraught extractor hoods, matt black brassware and massively oversized appliances to the less easy-to-interpret ‘spa kitchen’ and 'kitchen jewellery’. 

Some of these trends are most certainly worth sitting up and taking notice of and may well deserve a place in your kitchen design — others, not so much. But how about the appliance garage?

Here, we take a look at this kitchen feature, explaining what it is and how it could benefit you — trust us, this is one element of kitchen design that could just make your life a whole lot easier. 

Just what is an appliance garage?

An appliance garage really is not as odd as it might sound. This is basically a kitchen unit that is designed to house all of those work surface appliances that you use regularly but which you might not necessarily want on show.

There are a whole host of appliances we have come to rely on these days — but finding somewhere to store them all can be a real headache. Aside from the more standard toaster, kettle and microwave, we have to find somewhere for the now essential air fryer, the slow cooker, milk frother, coffee machine, bread maker and juicer. The appliance garage means you can have all of these and more but still enjoy a sleek, beautiful and clutter-free kitchen. 

Think of how your standard garage means you don’t have to put up with your bikes, multi-tools, Christmas decorations and gardening tools littering your garden or driveway — this is the same thing, but for your kitchen. 

This kitchen unit – which can either be fitted or freestanding – can be closed up to conceal appliances, along with other kitchen essentials, dried goods included. Unlike larder units, an appliance garage should incorporate electrical sockets so that appliances can be operated from within them, as well as shelving that is at the right height to accommodate bulky pieces of equipment. 

It is common for appliance garages to feature a work surface area that is deeper than any shelves in it so that the steam from a boiling kettle can rise, unimpeded, to the ceiling. 

appliance station in kitchen larger unit

This modern shaker kitchen pantry with 'breakfast station' from Brayer Design features space-saving pocket doors, a Quartz worktop, automatic interior lighting and power supply for small appliances.  (Image credit: Brayer Design)

What do appliance garages look like?

Appliance garages come in all shapes, sizes and designs, from those designed to run from floor to ceiling, to designs that span from the worktop upwards. They can be classic or contemporary in their looks and are usually designed to tie in with the other kitchen units in the space. 

“Hiding items you don’t want on display behind closed doors helps the overall kitchen space remain clean, clutter-free and more pleasing to the eye," adds Melissa Klink, Creative Director at Harvey Jones

"We are seeing clients putting away more of the appliances and electronics. Kettles, coffee machines, toasters, food processors and microwaves are often now housed in a pantry or a dresser, creating a handy breakfast or prep station whilst freeing up space on the countertops for either a minimal aesthetic or cherished decorative items."

While the majority of appliance garages rely on standard hinged doors for opening and closing them up, others really do embrace the garage idea and come fitted with up-and-over roller doors.

kitchen unit with stainless steel roller doors

This unit has been fitted with 'tambour doors', from Eastcoast Kitchens. Standard tambour doors simply fit within the carcass and have fascia pieces that conceal the carcass edges. (Image credit: Eastcoast Kitchens Ltd)

Can I buy an off-the-shelf appliance garage?

Absolutely — many kitchen companies offer standard and off-the-shelf kitchens are very switched on to the fact that more and more people want appliance stations that can accommodate electrical goods, charging points, lighting and so on.

Buying standard – as opposed to bespoke – is a great choice for those after cheap kitchens. On the downside, the units won't be exactly tailored to your needs, but there are usually way of modifying units to suit.

white gloss kitchen unit

The Lastra Double Larder unit, shown here in white gloss, from Mereway Kitchens features handy side opening doors.  (Image credit: Mereway Kitchens & Bathrooms)

Can I have an appliance garage in a small kitchen?  

There is no need to have a massive kitchen in order to fit in an appliance garage — in fact this is the perfect solution for those after small kitchen ideas, making the most of every inch of space.  

"Most dressers and pantries these days can be fitted with plug sockets, to make sure you can use your appliances without having to move them over to the worktop,” explains Melissa Klink. This is great news for those with existing units that they want to adapt to house their appliances too. 

It's a good idea to ensure standard shelves are strengthened too if hosting bulky appliances such as microwaves.

Five of our favourite appliance garages

We've rounded up some of the smartest appliance garages to have caught our attention to give you a little inspiration. 

1. Dedicated breakfast unit

grey kitchen larder unit with pink interior

This beautiful charcoal unit from Harvey Jones features an unexpected muted pink interior and space-saving bi-fold doors to give appliances, crockery and prep space a dedicated area.   (Image credit: Harvey Jones)

2. The all-in-one larder unit

cream full height larder unit

It is hard to think what else you could need in the kitchen with this gorgeous cream Shaker unit from deVOL. With space for dried goods, kitchen equipment and small appliances, the whole thing can be closed off when not in use.  (Image credit: deVOL)

3. A ready-made clutter solution

green larder unit

The Durham Pantry Collection from LochAnna Kitchens includes this bi-fold dresser, featuring lighting, a wine rack, useful roomy drawers and space for all kinds of freestanding and built-in appliances.  (Image credit: LochAnna)

4. A place for everything

grey full height larder unit

This beautiful full-height larder unit from deVOL offers so much more than somewhere to store dried goods. Incorporating lighting, power sockets, door racks and a selection of drawers and pull-out storage space, the unit ties in perfectly with the rest of the Shaker kitchen.  (Image credit: deVOL)

5. Perfect for a cohesive look 

full height larder unit

Don't forget that the interior of an appliance garage is likely to be on show just as much as the exterior. This stylish design from Harvey Jones features a solid wood interior and a painted tongue and groove back panel in a shade that co-ordinates with that used on the island unit.  (Image credit: Harvey Jones)
Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.