The 5 key trends from Eurocucina 2018

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.

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DADA Ratio Kitchen

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Valdesign

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cantilevered worktop

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.

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Scavolini Box Life

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Ernestomeda Inside System

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Sanwa Company

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.

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The space-age Snaidero Link

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Valcucine Genius Loci Kitchen

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handle-less kitchen in brushed metal finish

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Snaidero Link Kitchen

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Hiding the kitchen sink

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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.

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Samsung Dual Cook Flex Oven

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Marine edge Emperador marble and photo LED herb garden

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.

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Brushed steel work surface leading to curved wooden eating island

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Dark marble and brass exaggerated bulbous edge

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Porcelanosa KRION® K-Life worktop photo by Alfonso Calza

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Domio Cucine smoked glass and dark striated veneer

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Poliform kitchen featuring very dark Emperador and bog oak

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Poliform worktop edge detail

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Poliform

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Xera Un Kitchen in Inox steel

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.

If you’d like to see my previous Eurocucina reports visit here and here.

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25 Comments

  1. Donna Ford
    May 14, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Wow! I’m in the kitchen zone at the minute and just loving the atmosphere and creativity of these kitchens. Feel like I should give up on my ikea kitchen these are SO inspiring. I love the dark vibes too x

    • mary
      May 15, 2018 / 11:12 am

      There were two more-affordable kitchen companies that I visited the stand of – Alno and Elam and they were still picking up on these key design ideas. I don’t think there is anything wrong with an IKEA kitchen though. Have you come across Custom Fronts who make fantastic doors for IKEA cabinets?

  2. May 14, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    What a great informative piece,lots of useful updates in what’s going on!

    • mary
      May 15, 2018 / 11:10 am

      This might be focused on high-end kitchens but it will trickle down quite quickly. The appliance companies already have some the products I mentioned already on the market.

  3. May 15, 2018 / 6:52 am

    First and thrird kitchen are my absolute favs ! What a great style and its so nice to actually go and see whats new out there

    • mary
      May 15, 2018 / 11:15 am

      It’s great to see them but the show is absolutely mobbed. I was interviewing someone at Poliform so managed a few pics before the stand got crowded and the DADA stand I snuck in just as it was shutting. But most of my photo’s are littered with people or random elbows and backpacks

  4. May 15, 2018 / 9:09 am

    Oooo, wow, so sparkly. Love what they are doing with the marble and integrated sinks – super-modern yet still with all the warmth of a natural material.

    • mary
      May 15, 2018 / 11:20 am

      Integrated sinks were the standard it seemed. I thought it was interesting how much composite worktops like Cosentino, Porcelnosa, Neolith and Caesarstone were on show in premium designs. Not just as worktops but as wall and door coverings. Actually taking marble or composite behind shelves was a big thing too.

  5. May 15, 2018 / 10:35 am

    Wow – amazing to see all these fabulous designs Mary. I love the hidden kitchen designs – just perfect for open plan living.

    • mary
      May 15, 2018 / 11:21 am

      If you have a super compact space then a “hidden kitchen” is ideal to make a place feel bigger. The furniture company Kartell showed a table that had an integrated and 100% hidden cooking surface. It was outstanding.

  6. May 15, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    I absolutely love this post Mary! There’s so much to take away from it and give thought to. Some of these concepts could easily be adapted to suit a less high-end kitchen space. I’d definitely have a hidden sink if I could as the Hubs is obsessed with cleaning ours to the point he hates anyone pouring liquid i.e., coffee dregs into it…… OCD if ever there was! It’s a sink!! 😉

    • mary
      May 17, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      There was so much inspiration. Now that would be a brilliant benefit! As long as they didn’t get hidden away with the dirty dishes still piled up inside… 😂

  7. May 16, 2018 / 9:40 pm

    I have been dying to go to Milan for years. I really have to go when the kitchens are this inspiring

  8. May 16, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    I tell thee, stepping into my little kitchen after reading this blog post made for a very sad story. I felt depressed!
    If I was in Milan though it would have been a whole different story!

    • mary
      May 17, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      The reality is these are premium brands, but it’s going to trickle down. I’m not sure how many people in the UK will opt for brown marbles, we’re still too wedded to very pale or jet black granite I think. I love all this veining though….. but maybe not in brown.

  9. May 16, 2018 / 10:51 pm

    These kitchens are simply amazing. So many new innovations and trends to discover and a real variety of kitchen styles.

    • mary
      May 17, 2018 / 5:21 pm

      I obviously focused predominately on the dark and moody kitchens (which was about 80% of them) but there were paler/lighter options. Shows like this offer such a wide variety of newest innovations.

  10. May 17, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    I love the idea of a hidden kitchen! Some of those textures are amazing! I’d happily swig on a cocktail or two in that Scavolini Box Life kitchen!

  11. mary
    May 17, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    That was on the ones that impressed me most, as I could see this being incorporated so easily and happily in urban homes. Especially given apartments in many places like London and NYC are so so small. I was opening and shutting the doors and I got them to show me how the hidden bed bit worked – the FULL demonstration 😂

  12. May 17, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    I’d love to see how these kitchens translate into a real-life domestic setting. Alas they are a bit too dark for me but the marble is stunning

  13. May 17, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    Great post! I’m in love with all the WiFi enabled appliances, that’s right up my street! I bet it’s so nice to see all these trends and designs now before they slowly start making there way through to the high street 🙂

  14. May 17, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    I can only imagine how many stands you must have visited. Thank you so much for creating this easy-to-digest guide of tomorrow’s kitchen trends. It’s interesting to read about the three-piece refrigerator set. I think it may become very popular soon. Now, I’m intrigued about cooking fish on a block of ice!

  15. May 18, 2018 / 10:28 am

    Oh Mary I am drooling over these!! I normally favour light and bright looks for my home but these are making me want to go dark. Stunning x

  16. May 19, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    Wow, wow, wow! These are certainly the kitchens of dreams! I love the brushed metal finish on those kitchen cupboard doors and the marble sink is stunning too! x

  17. May 19, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    I’m so glad you did a round up Mary. I had about an hour to walk round but it wasn’t really long enough to identify definite trends. I did notice the brown marble though. Not sure how I feel about that. Don’t think I’d want it in my home if I’m honest. I love the hidden kitchen trend though. I don’t particularly like cooking or spending time in the kitchen so I’d happily hide it all away. I liked the work surfaces that slid back to reveal hidden sinks too. Very clever use of space. I also noticed MASSIVE gas burners built directly into the work surface. They were huge. I think I’m definitely going to try to go again in 2020, but for a few days next time. One afternoon definitely isn’t enough for Eurocucina and il Bagno.

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