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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Open Shelving
Open shelving has made a comeback.
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.
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.
Open shelving against backlit walls also made a show in at this year’s fair.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- Mixing Surfaces & Thicknesses
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.
Thin countertops were juxtaposed with chunky, thick countertops, helping to create a dynamic food preparation area.