While Germany is known for their precision engineering and high performance cars, their kitchen design and manufacture has become an international bench mark. We’re here at the Living Kitchens Exhibition in Cologne bringing you even more design inspiration.   International design fairs are the perfect place to go for inspiration and education when it comes to the exciting world of kitchen design. Whether you’re renovating an existing kitchen or building from scratch, keeping up with the latest surface trends is a surefire way to add panache to your home. Be it backsplashes, cabinetry cladding, countertops, or all three, be sure to take note of these state-of-the-art trends when applying your favourite Caesarstone surfaces. Trevor King: The surfaces that I’m seeing here in Cologne are definitely thinner than I’ve seen in the past. Lots of 13mm surfaces, lots of Caesarstone, and also the absence of overhangs – they seemed to have trimmed down the surface and left out an overhang which is quite a new trend for me. Axel Brinkman: What we see here in this beautiful kitchen is that living areas really melt with the working areas of the kitchen so that the living room and the kitchen really gets to one thing in total. And the one feature in this kitchen about to create this atmosphere are these special cabinets where our kitchen appliances are really hidden when I want the living areas, but also opened when I want to cook, when I want to take the coffee or when really preparing food taking out of the storage area. Trevor King: There’s a refreshing take on kitchen islands with the sides of the islands being shaped like a trestle table, and it just gives a different appearance, it softens it up, it makes it more interesting. Bradley van den Berg: Every year I suppose every kitchen designer says what should I do different? And this year we’ve seen side tapering of the legs where it’s almost like a slight triangle in shape – we’ve seen this a lot in furniture, we’ve seen this a lot on islands, big and small, and it’s definitely kind of subtly come through in all different ways. If it’s either the tilting of the stone or using wooden legs at an angle underneath. Bradley van den Berg: Illuminated light in the background with open shelving, it forms two functions: It gives depth in the kitchen and a small space, and I think in terms of a room divider shelving creates almost a room divider between a living space and a kitchen. Modern kitchen design hinges on advancements in technology, which is why we weren’t surprised to come across these new innovations – no doubt making their way to local shores soon! Bradley van den Berg: In a space of a year we’ve seen the invention of the extractor hood being taken out of a traditional sense and being in the cooker. I’m one to think, and never liked using an extractor. And if I could get away with not using one, I am one of those guys. And it’s incredible to see every major brand at this fair and introduce it in some way that’s really exciting. Axel Brinkman: So this is the Experia projector – an introduction or pre-launch edition by Sony Mobile. It’s a product that is not available on the market yet, but quite soon. This is a combination of a standard Android tablet in combination with a beamer, with a projector – and both together offers a totally new interface of how to use smart applications in the kitchen, really to do with smart to live, smart life in the kitchen. Lisa Aspeling: Well that’s all from us here at the Living Kitchen Exhibition in Cologne. Next week we head to Maison Objet in Paris, the biggest interior design fair in the world. Thanks for watching.   For more design inspirations and to discover the beauty of Caesarstone quartz surfaces for your kitchen, visit http://www.caesarstone.co.za/en/Pages/default.aspx  

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