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Habitat: Tips & Trends

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Seek and Find

It’s a movement that has slowly infiltrated every room in the house, fueled by homeowners’ obsession with hiding all appliances and other functional objects from view.

Walk into most high-end kitchens designed in the last decade and you play the “where is” game. Where is the refrigerator? Where is the dishwasher? Where is the microwave?

Typically, nothing of necessity is in sight. Refrigerators are stowed inside massive, wooden armoires that look like they belong in a living room rather than a kitchen. You think you’re pulling open a cabinet drawer and—surprise!—you find a dishwasher—and there may be microwaves and warming drawers in those cabinets, too.

The kitchen isn’t the only room that been taken over by this trend. In the bathroom, toilets are now tucked away behind closed doors in a private “room” away from the tub and shower. (Really, doesn’t everyone expect to see a potty in the bathroom?)

And all of the sudden, it’s not even proper to have a television on display unless it’s wafer thin hanging on the wall.

Since its inception, the TV has been the focal point of the family room. Then, a few years back, it became fashionable to tuck it way in an armoire. These days, plasmas are displayed like a prominent piece of art—for those who can afford a plasma, that is.

For everyone else, there’s a gorgeous new invention from Ethan Allen, the Tuscany Marquetry Video Lift Cabinet. It can accommodate most 50-inch flat-panel TVs without speakers or 42-inch flat panels with speakers. Push a button on the remote control, and the TV rises from the top of the cabinet—and disappears just as easily. Very Jetsons-like, with a not so out-of this-world price of around $3,000.