Eurocucina is the trendsetting kitchen show held in Milan every two years. Here I pick out the top trends from Eurocucina 2018 that are shaping the look, feel and functionality of the kitchen.
There is nothing I like better than wandering around a trade show. The way I write that implies a certain amount of drifting along and going with the flow. In actual fact attending a trade show requires detailed planning and deep reserves of determination and energy. One show that ranks No.1 on my list of the most tiring tradeshows in the world is Salone del Mobile, especially on Eurocucina years. It’s so vast and there is so much I want to see. At this year’s 22nd edition of EuroCucina, the biennial International Kitchen Exhibition at Salone del Mobile, the crowds were clamouring to see what was hot in the leading European kitchen showcase. Over the show’s six days, more than 430,000 people passed through its doors to see the 165 exhibitors for Eurocucina 2018 and FTK (Technology For the Kitchen), let alone visit the other 1676 exhibitors showing at Salone. The world’s top kitchen brands revealed their vision for the future of cooking, dining and hosting in the kitchen. I took a look and here’s my pick of the top trends from Eurocucina 2018.
The hidden Kitchen 2.0
When is a kitchen not a kitchen? When it’s hidden, of course. The hidden kitchen movement was in full swing again at this edition of Eurocucina. Blurring the lines between the kitchen and living spaces was the overarching theme and not an entirely a new one, its been building momentum since the 2016 edition of Eurocucina and was hinted at, at KBIS in January. Simplicity and minimalism seemed to be the watchwords with ever more refined work surfaces, seamless joints and almost disappearing appliances and hobs. The hidden kitchen movement was tucking the whole kitchen away into ‘boxes’ (Sanwa Company) and just about every vendor showed modular systems. Some examples of ‘hidden kitchens’ were not unlike walk-in closets or old-fashioned pantries – except of course they fully kitted out and in exquisite finishes – the Inside System by Ernestomeda and Box Life by Scavolini.
Minimal and customisable
Hand in hand with the hidden kitchen was its natural bedfellow minimalism. Brand after brand showed sleek lined minimal designs, many of which when you slid panels or pushed pop-ups unveiled all manner of customisation – functional recesses for stainless steel pots, spaces for herbs, built in knife blocks and places for other tools. All cleverly hidden away when you’re using your kitchen as a social space. The king of this was Valcucine. There were sleek handle-less kitchen island and wall cabinets, recessed openings, pocket doors and super fine legs and fully cantilevered worksurfaces. Even a minimal space age design was given an airing in Snaidero’s Vision Kitchen. Functionality and aesthetics weren’t always best buddies though, in more than one kitchen I spotted panelled base cabinets (that aesthetical gave a streamlined, slick look) that when you opened them had drawers inside. Nothing wrong per se with that except, it’s really awkward to reach over a pullout panel to then open the drawers. Customising your space however you want, at the drop of a hat, is apparently what every consumer wants with height-adjustable K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 and surfaces that slide to hide sinks and hobs at Rossana and TM Italia.
Techno, Techno, Techno
Just as I had seen at KBIS in January, there was a lot of Wi-Fi enabled appliances and home technology supported by connected home apps and using hubs like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Samsung made its first-ever appearance at EuroCucina debuting its full built-in product line-up, which included the Dual Cook Flex™ oven with its innovative “flexible door”. Also on show was their latest generation of Family Hub™ that is integrated with SmartThings, their internet of things (IoT) solution. Practically every vendor in FTK showed a Wi-Fi enabled product. But there were other technological advancements, particularly in relation to ‘downdraft’ extractors or the ‘air treatment systems’ seen at Bora and Falmec. Noise limiting and energy efficient technology was the name of the game at Miele, Smeg and Liebherr. Miele also showed off its Dialog oven, which cooks with electromagnetic waves, allowing the preparation of fish on a block of ice for example – the kind of things everyone knocks up for dinner every day really. You’ll remember I wrote at length (here) about large refrigeration at KBIS and for the first time I started to see this at Eurocucina too. Rather than seeing multiples of extra large 36” columns that were prevalent at KBIS, here in Milan column refrigeration was shown as three columns or pillars – a refrigerator, wine storage cabinet and a freezer. Will this be the new standard for premium renovation projects? Probably not in urban city dwellings but it might catch on where space isn’t an issue. Another straight from sci-fi but now a reality was voice or foot activation. That’s right we don’t even need to use our hands anymore, water was conveniently hands-free in Sieger Design’s Connected kitchen for Dornbracht. The other technology building momentum was integrated photo LED lighting for growing herbs seen at Poliform, Grundig, Smeg, Arclinea and Comprex.
Upping the worktop game at Eurocucina
The profiles on work surfaces and worktops were undergoing a revolution, razor thin, shark nose and exaggerated marine edge abounded with everyone from Poliform to Lottocento. There was a significant amount of dark marble, like the dark brown Emperador (spotted at Poliform), Ferragamo Marrone and black and gold Portoro. All of these have lots of veining, striation and movement, a world away from the Calacatta and Cararra that have been prevalent. Work surfaces in man-made/composite finishes were seen even in premium kitchen designs especially at Porcelnosa, Doca, Neolith at Comprex and the Diner by Cosentino. The theme of mixing work surface materials isn’t new in kitchens; however many brands showed sections in stone giving way to wood and metal of differing heights and widths. The new trend has a dining table physically attached to your island so that you can save space by not having a separate breakfast nook or dining room. Poliform showed a circular table attachment that was made from the premium material of Bog Oak and had a central Lazy Susan. Representing a complete departure away from the bright polished stainless steel, dark brushed stainless steel was having its moment. Metals were, on the whole changing, less bright, less shiny, in darker hues and with ‘metalescent’ lacquer (at Snaidero) and wired brushed metal at TM Italia and Xera.
What do you think? Will these trends be making their way into your kitchens? Do you think the brands captured the feeling of the interior design and renovation markets correctly? I’d love to know your thoughts.