Sanwa designs compact kitchen furniture for small homes
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Sanwa designs collection of compact kitchen units for small homes

Japanese kitchen manufacturer Sanwa has designed a set of four kitchen units tailored to those with limited living space (+ slideshow).

The Affilato Hide unit is created particularly for small apartments, and conceals a sink and cooking area behind a pair of steel folding doors. When not in use, the furniture can be closed away, much like a wardrobe.

Kitchen Furniture by Sanwa
The Affilato Hide unit is created particularly for small apartments

The freestanding Ceragino kitchen is similarly tailored to limited space, designed for open-plan living areas where it can function as either an island or wall unit.

"Ceragino is the answer to the need for creating a comfortable space according to a veritable minimalist philosophy: doing away with all that is not strictly necessary," said the company.

Kitchen Furniture by Sanwa
The freestanding Ceragino kitchen is similarly tailored to limited space

Several designers have created furniture for city dwellers who are adapting to rising house prices by moving into smaller, more flexible spaces.

Designs include beds that hoist into the ceiling, and a staircase that doubles as a huge storage unit.

Kitchen Furniture by Sanwa
Sanwa's larger Kanade kitchen includes standing and overhead units

Sanwa's larger Kanade kitchen includes standing and overhead units. It pairs worktops covered in thin ceramic panels with cupboard doors coated in synthetic leather – which has been processed with antibacterial and antifungal treatments.

Kitchen Furniture by Sanwa
Kanade pairs worktops covered in thin ceramic panels with cupboard doors coated in synthetic leather

The Zan units follow a similarly minimal design but are fabricated from stainless steel covered by thin aluminium panels with a streaked finish inspired by handmade Washi paper.

"Zan combines technological details with the cultural traditions of Japan," added Sanwa, which introduced the entire kitchen range at Milan design week 2016.

Kitchen Furniture by Sanwa
The Zan units are fabricated from stainless steel

A host of big-name designers and architects have turned their hands to kitchen design this year, including Kengo Kuma – who created a precariously balanced concept kitchen made from pots and pans – and Dutch office MVRDV, who designed transparent units that would inspire a more "sexy" attitude to food preparation.