As I blog on kitchen trends, I continue to see the impact of global tastes and demographic changes on kitchen design. One trend which started in Europe but is gaining traction here is the ‘furniturization’ of the kitchen. No longer looking at kitchens as dedicated cooking spaces, we increasingly expect our kitchens to multi-task and their attendant appliances or fixtures to discreetly disappear when not in use.
I call this the ‘Stealth Kitchen’ as the slim profile and faceted planes remind me of the Stealth Bomber. Created by i29 interior architects, the elegant island looks more like a piece of furniture than a cook center.
While this is the design antithesis of Aster Cucine’s monolithic kitchen island both are awesome examples of kitchen furniturization. Fold back the white paneled doors and you’ll see a wall of storage, appliances and even a computer work station!
The induction cooktops, which are popular in Europe, blend seamlessly into the work surface. I’m not sure deep the sink is, but it’s obviously not intended to be a pot scrubber… I imagine certain concessions have to be made in pursuit of an invisible kitchen!
Another factor influencing kitchen design is the burgeoning population of retiring boomers. Their inclination to age-in-place within their own homes demands kitchens that can adapt to their physical abilities and needs over time. Easy maintenance, clean lines and curvilinear designs are not only popular but practical.
Italian manufacturer Fiamberti offers a wide range of components and materials to meet every cooking and aesthetic style.
Unlike their American counterparts, European homes are generally smaller and the kitchens tend to move with the owners. Kitchens and appliances are therefore more flexible, mobile and built to last. Whether it’s the rise of a more nomadic lifestyle, the downsizing of American homes, or the desire of eco-conscious consumers to reuse their kitchens, interest in modular kitchens is slowly catching on.
Created by Dirk Biotto, the ChopChop kitchen’s counter height is adjustable and comes with a perforated back board that allows easy access to frequently used utensils. The sink’s extendable hose makes filling pots a cinch and its sloped side eases removal of heavy pots and pans.
Some nifty features inspired by the traditional wood working bench include vice for holding jars, milled slot for slicing bread, worktop with inset grater and a handy drawer underneath to collect the grated cheese & veggies as shown.
Although curved cabinetry can be inefficient, Italian kitchen manufacturer Pedini offers fully functional storage units that are designed to work as well as they look. The kitchen comes in a riot of colors: aside from classic white, there are 40 standard lacquer colors with matte, glossy or textured options, as well as cherry in matte or glossy finish. The possibilities are endless…
Fitted with casters, Arredo Italiano’s Mare collection has a table that can serve as a nook or be moved around as an extension of the kitchen work surface.
It’s the premise of Mette Schelde’s award winning kitchen design that if fresh ingredients are used, only 3 elements, chopping, water and fire are essential to the making of a good meal. Her AKitchen comprises of 3 circular stations: a butcher block on wheels for food prep, a round sink for hook ups to indoor or outdoor plumbing, and a propane powered stove to provide fire for the cooking. Kitchen tools handily hang off a metal rail on each station to create a truly movable feast!
Designed like an Erector set for the kitchen, the Meccanica system can be ordered pre-assembled or as a DIY project. The storage components fit easily in other areas of the house and can be added to or re-configured as needed in the future.
The eco-friendly kitchen avoids formaldehyde-emitting glues and promotes open storage solutions to minimize material consumption & waste. The product is designed to be 90% reused and 100% recycled with the manufacturer pledging to take back the kitchen at the end of its life.
The hi-tech material is resistant to stain, steam, water and heat so performance is comparable to its metal and wood counterparts. Of course the ethereal look created by the translucent panels is uniquely distinct from that of traditional kitchens.
Made of stainless steel, ash and cast iron, this eight foot long modular kitchen boasts a sink, 2 burners, under counter storage for cooking utensils, and a disposal system that hooks up to indoor drainage or a 50-liter waste storage tank. Taking only 8 screws, the components are interchangeable and can be moved around to suite personal cooking styles.
Designed and made in the UK, the Chop & Change kitchen is a bespoke creation of lightweight stainless steel bases replete with a plethora of interchangeable surfaces, storage and accessories. The wide variety of finishes and materials make personalizing this kitchen fun and easy.
The basis of the system is a series of cooking modules on wheels connected via ‘bridges’ of wood or metal work tops. Finishes include stainless steel, stainless steel with long & end grain hornbeam, and stainless steel with Corian. Mix in induction and/or teppan yaki cook tops, chopping boards, kitchen carts with storage drawers and accessories, this will make any serious cook happy indoor or out!
The sensuously undulating Fiamberti Butterfly kitchen counter blends seamlessly with the wall cabinets. The bejeweled Elica range hood above the curved induction cook top adds a touch of glamour to the space.