Saturday, 30th August 2014
Thursday, 17th June 2010
The latest kitchen trends were revealed at the Eurocucina design show in Milan earlier this year. For those who weren’t lucky enough to attend, here’s a sneak peek at what’s set to sizzle in kitchens for 2010.
The Social kitchen
Perhaps it’s in response to the popularity of shows like Masterchef or a general move towards nesting in the home, but it seems that we’re spending more time in the kitchen than ever before. Many of the designs shown at Eurocucina seemed like more a second sitting room than a kitchen, and yet closer inspection revealed that they cleverly incorporated everything a home chef could ever want.
Concealment is an important element of this new look. Appliances such as coffee machines and toasters are hidden away behind sliding or lifting panels, and pots and pans that would once have hung overhead are now stored away in specially-fitted drawer units. Cupboards are handle-free, drawers are soft-closing, and panels lift or slide with ease (Hettich and Hafele are all great places to look for these). Appliances such as ovens and microwaves offer professional standard performance, while appearing to blend seamlessly into the kitchen cabinetry.
Rather than disappearing into the background in a sea of white, the social kitchen is a true focal point in the home, combining colour, clever concealment and the occasional personal touch such as a comfortable sofa for guests to sit on or a bold artwork that might once have been hung on the living room wall.
Big, bright and beautiful
While the all-white kitchen certainly hasn’t gone away, we’re seeing a big return to bold brights this year. The colours seen at Eurocucina could have been picked straight from a paintbox - fire engine red, vivid purple, sunny yellow and orange. Here, they were exhibited in large expanses of bright, high-gloss cabinetry, but you could create an equally stunning effect with a colourful glass splashback or freshly-painted tiles (try White Knight tile paint for a high-gloss finish).
Where once ‘neutral’ meant white and beige, this year’s ‘new neutrals’ include charcoal and grey – natural tones with a dramatic impact. While most appliances still come in standard white or stainless steel finish, companies such as Smeg (famous for their Pantone bright fridges) offer playful alternatives – their new black velvet FAB28 fridge is possibly the coolest appliance around.
Hardware such as taps are getting a makeover too: the KWC EVE taps come in black and white with built-in LED lighting for a sculptural effect.
The green movement looks set to continue in the kitchen, with environmentally-friendly materials and energy-saving appliances. Cabinet makers such as Select Custom Joinery offer cabinetry made from recycled materials, while manufacturers like Poggenpohl use sustainable materials that are free of any chemical nasties.
Hardwearing, low-tox paint is a great, eco-friendly choice for kitchen walls offered by practically all the big paint companies.
The latest kitchen appliances combine energy-savings with high performance – ovens with quick heat capability and dishwashers with a water-saving steam clean option, for example. Eco-friendly hardware and accessories that make ‘being green’ a breeze are now the expected norm in any new kitchen - water-saving taps, energy-efficient lighting and clever recycling bins that fit neatly under the counter.
But it’s about an eco aesthetic too, with many of the new kitchen designs making a feature of the inherent imperfections within natural materials. Expect to see intricately-grained timbers, or even an eclectic patchwork effect that mixes different natural materials such as stone, timber, concrete and glass.
Glass has long been a standard feature in kitchen design, but it’s now being used in new and innovative ways. The uber-modern designs at Eurocucina featured coloured glass doors, splashbacks, drawers, shelving and even toughened glass countertops that were lit from below and changed colour to suit your mood.
The kitchen of tomorrow incorporates everything from flat screen televisions and discreet mobile phone chargers to internet connections that are cleverly concealed within island units.
New technology has made the kitchen a more versatile place to cook than ever before, with retractable gas burners, hobs such as Electrolux’s Maxisense that can accommodate pots of any shape or size imaginable, and covetable products such as Fisher & Paykel’s new CoolDrawer that can be fitted anywhere in the kitchen and transforms from pantry drawer and fridge to freezer at the touch of a button.
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