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While they’re known for leading the world in the fashion arena, Italians have also captivated us with their penchant for interior design – and the kitchen is no exception.

Attending Eurocucina at Salone del Mobile in Milan is the best way to predict future kitchen design trends in South Africa. Over 500,000 people attended Salone del Mobile in April 2016, with four, massive exhibition halls dedicated solely to kitchen design. This is what we saw. 

  1. The Emergence of the Artisan

While we’ve seen the rise of convenience food and instant meals over the last decade or so, at the same time there’s been a reactionary move back to honest, organic, authentic ingredients and food preparation in the home.

Old-world materials like marble and metallics help to capture the artisanal flavour well.
Old-world materials like marble and metallics help to capture the artisanal flavour well.

Marble is associated with kitchens of the past, but with the advent of engineered quartz surfaces like Caesarstone, you can get the look of marble without any of the hassles.

Semi-professional kitchen designs have become the norm, but now they reference healthier, ‘slow’ food preparation methods.

Natural materials such as timber, stone and metallics help to create an authentic, artisanal look and feel to the kitchen.

This move back to ‘handmade’ and ‘homemade’ is also reflected in this year’s Eurocucina kitchen designs overall. Raw materials such as timber, marble, quartz and ceramics as well as metallics have made their way back into the kitchen, which helps to create a sense of authenticity and ‘old-world’ warmth for the chef and her guests.

Artisanal, old-world and slow food were themes that cropped up at the show across many designs
Artisanal, old-world and slow food were themes that cropped up at the show across many designs.

 

  1. Open Shelving

Open shelving has made a comeback.

Open, backlit shelving is a fresh way to showcase a beautifully curated display area in your kitchen.
These elegant, timeless crockery, baking and cooking items could be mistaken for pieces passed down through the generations.

We like this trend because it helps to create a more inviting, personal space in the kitchen – a contrast to the cold, austere, high gloss designs from a few years ago. While some open shelving was installed in amongst the cabinetry, we also spotted stand-alone, open shelving units used as room dividers in open plan spaces.

Practical and aesthetic, open shelving can be incorporated into cabinetry or used as a stand alone design element.
Practical and aesthetic, open shelving can be incorporated into cabinetry or used as a stand alone design element.

Shelves were adorned with curated styling items, carrying through the artisanal theme with ceramic, organically shaped pieces, kitchen implements and, more often than not, greenery housed in pots.

Personalised styling can help to create a unique kitchen space that showcases your personality and design preferenences.
Personalised styling can help to create a unique kitchen space that showcases your personality and design preferenences.

Open shelving against backlit walls also made a show in at this year’s fair.

 

  1. Atmosphere
Carefully placed lighting is the quickest way to create atmosphere in the kitchen.

The kitchen is a multifunctional space. Cooking, entertaining, homework and relaxing are a few of the activities the modern kitchen supports. With this in mind, we saw designers paying particular attention to creating atmosphere in their kitchen designs.

Contrasting and complementary textures can contribute to warming up the mood of a kitchen interior.

The use of textured materials and lighting played a big part in helping to create mood in each kitchen. Stage lighting, LED strips in strategic spots and even lamps helped to create a versatile space for any social occasion or cooking requirement.

Intentional use of colour can help to create a bright, welcoming feel to your kitchen design.

 

  1. Variation of Materials

Mixing materials was a huge trend at Eurocucina this year. Designers opted for combining textures and materials to create a high level of visual interest.

Create visual interest by using a variety of materials such as a Caesarstone surfaces, ceramics, metals and even glass.

Marble-inspired stone countertops, raw timber, stainless steel and sometimes laminate veneers on cabinets were combined in unique and interesting ways, making this year’s kitchen stands in Milan a comfortable, warm space to inhabit.

Marble countertops paired with raw timber and metallics make for a gorgeous kitchen with lots of potential for longevity.

 

  1. Mixing Surfaces & Thicknesses
Juxtaposing thin countertops with chunkier ones was a prominent trend at Eurocucina this year.

The hardest working area of the kitchen, innovations in surfaces are always in the spotlight. In line with a variation in materials used throughout the kitchen, even countertops have been mixed up by using several materials on the same plane, such as Caesarstone, timber and stainless steel.

Ultra-thin countertops are in fashion. Check out Caesarstone's 13mm tops to get the look.
Ultra-thin countertops are in fashion. Check out Caesarstone’s 13mm tops to get the look.

Thin countertops were juxtaposed with chunky, thick countertops, helping to create a dynamic food preparation area.

Combining different surface materials at different thicknesses creates an eye-catching contrast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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