Interiors

Kitchen trends

December 19, 2014

The kitchen Mecca, EuroCucina, was back in full force for its turn this year as part of 2014’s Milan Furniture Fair. Annie Reid reports.

Above—Miele’s Generation 6000 coffee machine, XL Steam Combination oven and Moisture Plus oven in CleanSteel finish. Image courtesy of Miele

The stands were considerably fuller this time around, with an upbeat vibe that saw 357,000 design hunters and a 10 percent increase in visitors check in to see what the world’s leading brands have been up to behind closed doors.

Smeg launched more than 100 new and evolved products, including a new range of ovens and cooktops, Dolce Stil Novo by Italian architect, Guido Canali, as well as a new small appliance range.

The clear crowd favourites, however, were the whimsical trivets resembling feeding birds, leaves, fruit and butterflies, which sat atop Smeg stovetops. “These looked visually stunning, popping off the stainless steel,” says Jim Kalotheos, national marketing manager for Smeg Australia, who travelled to Milan to help launch the display.

As for the rest of the event, Kalotheos says the quality of the stands was amazing, with a bevy of beautiful women, chefs cooking gourmet fare and others playing music. He feels, however, that while many had a lot of interest and activity, there was an overall lack of groundbreaking product. “EuroCucina should be a platform to bring new philosophies,” he says.

kitchen trends 1

Sub-Zero’s new Integrated Column Refrigerator and Integrated Column Freezer. Image courtesy of Sub-Zero SURVEY kitchen trends

 

Another brand launching a plethora of products was Sub-Zero and Wolf, in its first international unveiling at EuroCucina. It revealed 30 new products in the refrigeration sector, plus three new ovens and three new cooktops, as well as a series of steamers and microwaves.

MultyFlex’s chief operating officer, Paul Bridgeford attended: “The designs this year were more useable for households and there was a lot more white to balance the raw materials,” he says. “And we had over 40 different specifiers visit us from Australia.”

The director of Sublime Architectural Interiors, Kim Duffin also notes the considerably upbeat mood of EuroCucina this year. “The halls were pretty much full. There was also a massive increase in international visitors this year, reflecting the green shoots in the European economy,” says Duffin.

The biggest trend, Duffin noted, was a botanical ‘back to nature’ influence, with plants furnishing many stands and a focus on understated finishes to soften spaces. Kitchens were also very minimalistic, with no handles, and raw, rustic and unfinished timber materials.

“The trend is possibly due to the economy,” he says. “People perhaps haven’t really invested in research and development, so there’s a focus on back to basics and creating a homely feel instead.”

His ‘wow’ moment was a display by Italian manufacturer, Minacciolo, featuring a copper rusted island bench standing in a pool of water, surrounded by lilies and nymphs, bathed in water that cascaded from the ceiling. “It was a real feast for the senses,” says Duffin.

kitchen trends 2

Minacciolo raining island bench features a rustic finish and greenery, favoured by many at this year’s EuroCucina. Image by Carola Merello

 

Other noticeable trends included a focus on copper, which is now surfacing in Australia, and other precious materials, including marble.

Speaking of surfaces, the Cosentino Group launched its new Dekton product at EuroCucina, reflecting another emerging trend for slimmer bench tops.

Available in eight millimetres, the ultra-compact surface is made of inorganic, raw materials suiting both indoor and outdoor use, according to Cosentino’s area manager Australia, Gary Isherwood – who attended the event.

“Having a thinner benchtop means you can be more creative and open with your designs and, with the trend of integrated living spaces within the home, people are turning toward these thinner, more versatile benchtops,” he explains.

Agreeing with our experts, Isherwood also notes the increased fervour compared to the more tentative mood of previous years. “It was incredibly refreshing to see attendees excited about what was on offer.”

Another popular brand, Miele, used EuroCucina to not only launch a series of new handles, but also to offer cooking demonstrations, using selected regional produce.

The Miele Signature collection comprises built-in appliances featuring handles with gold-plated, slate or exotic wooden inserts, providing the opportunity to further personalise each product. This range is not currently available in Australia, however.

Miele also launched new products and features as part of its Generation 6000 range of built-in appliances and these are available in Australia.

Lighting also emerged as a big trend to watch this year, according to Alicia Draper, Lincoln Sentry’s program manager. “In kitchens, we saw warm, neutral lighting on motion sensors, creating a soft glow rather than a harsh effect,” says Draper.

Highlights included single strip LED lighting behind cabinets, in the back of pantries, in bulkheads and also on kickboards, reflecting a growing trend towards universal design.

“Kitchen designers are starting to use lighting as well in drawers, which is great for those with decreasing eyesight as they get older,” Draper notes.

Turning to cabinetry, the leading trend was for wider drawers made of timber, creating a minimalist look from the outside, with more internal organisation drawers to add functionality.

Adding to the streamlined look were handle-less drawers and shark nose overheads, with electric opening lift systems. Used to create a seamless fl ow into the rest of the house, the sleek cabinetry appears to morph into the furniture, with some kitchens almost appearing as living spaces.

smeg.com.au

multyflex.com.au

sublimegroup.com.au

cosentino-group.net

miele.com.au

lincolnsentry.com.au

Leave a Reply

x
Keep up-to-date with our bi-weekly newsletter

You’ll get

  • News, insights and features from the interior design and architecture community
  • Coverage on the latest projects, products and people
  • Events and job updates

Join now!
X

Sign up to the newsletter