The kitchen, long considered far more than simply a place to eat, has become the focal point for communication and self-expression in todayâ€™s homes. Where until recently neutral, soft colours and unobtrusive materials were called for, a trend can now be seen towards personalisation with a variety of materials and new colours. Inspiration for this is supplied by the trade fair LivingKitchen in Cologne, which, alongside imm cologne 2017, will once again attract many visitors to the city on the Rhine.
Where you previously had to choose between a modern, clean look and a cosy, rustic style, there is now an infinite range of options in between â€“ even for solid wood kitchens. And these options can be combined: wood with metal or stone, dark, high-grade woods with glass and stainless steel, smooth white drawer and door fronts with open shelving units in warm wood tones. In those places where materials are combined, a bold colour choice is made or where there are inconsistencies in terms of the shape or height of kitchen furniture, or where it is built around a corner, countertops and repeated colours link it all together to form a comprehensive whole. This way, the dining table, for example, can be given prominence over the island unit or the work surface and thrust into the space, while still being directly identified with the kitchen through the choice of colour or material: a stand-alone piece of furniture, yet one which is not isolated.
Countertops are immediately visible and create elegant transitions between different areas like cooking, refrigeration, washing-up and eating. As the connecting features, they attest to carefully considered architectural solutions. Today, many different materials are available, including natural materials such as marble, slate or wood, composite materials containing ceramic, acrylic and concrete, as well as laminates imitating natural materials.
The fashion for individual looks is also playing a major role in surfaces. For example, in its interpretation of the metallic effect, which is very popular at the moment, Warendorfâ€™s range includes an unusual rust look. Miele offers slate as a surface, a material that offers the practical feature that it can be used for shopping lists and childrenâ€™s art written or drawn in chalk â€“ for the needs and art of the moment.
For their appearance at LivingKitchen, industry professionals such as Nolte will not only be highlighting the multidimensionality of their products, which can be accessed from all sides, but also unorthodox surface effects that currently appear to be dominated by metal and metal-look finishes. And brands such as Nobilia and Alno are also driving the trend towards individualised, homely kitchens with innovative designs and surfaces in bronze (Alno), and urban-look graffiti print or the industrial chic of perforated sheet metal elements (Nobilia). The Alnostar Dur range of kitchens with their metallic-looking surfaces, for example, create completely different contrasts, depending on how the light falls on them. They are reminiscent of oxidised steel surfaces that underscore the current design trend of surfaces and metal structures that are pleasant to the touch.
In addition to their homeliness, kitchens from Leicht also feature an exceptional variety of materials and colours. This is demonstrated by the new â€śConcreteâ€ť range with its exciting combination of the both natural and select materials: concrete, glass and wood. It consists of an island unit and dining table, the length and width of which can be customised.
And even the inner workings of the new kitchen are more individual and colourful. The trendy combination of white and wood, with echoes of Scandinavian simplicity, is unveiled by the Warendorf kitchen â€śPure Whiteâ€ť only once its wooden doors are opened to reveal their interiors.
Whether in a high-gloss or ultra-trendy matt finish, grey is a popular base colour in all areas of interior design and it is seemingly endlessly variable. At LivingKitchen, Ernestomeda, for example, will be showing elegant, matt grey and mud tones, as well as integrated, highly individual tabletops in vintage-look solid wood. Neutral tones like grey also reveal their particular strengths in conjunction with bold colour accents that seem to glow as a result. Together with the product and interior designer Gesa Hansen, Villeroy & Boch has developed a colourful range of ceramic sink units, in shades reminiscent of the four seasons, which thus bring out individual accents: Green Emerald for spring, Yellow Sunrise for summer, Red Coral for autumn and Blue Midnight for winter.
Whether homely, dark walnut wood next to a sunny yellow ceramic sink, or elegant Grevillea wood with a cool concrete countertop: in todayâ€™s kitchens, the leading principle is … anything goes! Of course, that news is well received at a kitchen event like LivingKitchen, which, alongside trade visitors like planners, distributors and architects, is also attended by many end customers interested in design and enthusiastic about cooking. And thanks to the ever-growing range of products from the manufacturers, design options in the kitchen are almost limitless. LivingKitchen, from 16 to 22 January 2017, is sure to feed your imagination.