The kitchen Germans dream of: survey shows trend materials, colours and appliances

Every kitchen is based on a customised plan; because virtually no room is the same as another and the personal taste of the consumer above all ensures that kitchens are real “one-off creations”. Guided by the development expertise of the suppliers to the kitchen furniture industry and by general trends, the producers of kitchen furniture offer models with new colours, shapes, materials and functions with each updated collection. But what do German kitchen buyers really want? What do they consider important when buying a kitchen and what features must the relevant equipment have?

“House and More”, the customer magazine of Schwäbisch Hall with a print run of almost 2.2 million copies per issue, wanted to know precisely this and worked in collaboration with the new international kitchen event “LivingKitchen” to produce a questionnaire with 15 items. This was enclosed in the November issue of “House and More”, in which the readers were invited to send in their completed forms. The response was tremendous; more than 12,000 submissions or online questionnaires were received by the editors.

Marecucina by Alno: the yacht among the kitchens

Marecucina. (photo: Alno AG)
Marecucina. (photo: Alno AG)

The name itself already gives the design away: The Marecucina by Alno is clearly nautically inspired. The worktop made of solid walnut veneer with narrow maple inlaid work is reminiscent of the deck of a boat, and the LED lighting panel of a sail. A special three-dimensionally milled edge defines the bow. On request, a mast with storage space and a chrome-plated railing can add further accents typical of ships. However, the Marecucina is not only a design object for individualists but also a functional kitchen. How it made its way from drawing board to series production is explained by Alno product designer Ulrich Dahm-Wachsmann, who played an important role in conceptualising and designing the Marecucina.

How did you get the idea of creating a kitchen like the Marecucina?
The design of kitchen furniture is heavily influenced by the architecture of living rooms. And from architecture, we know that nautical and maritime elements possess a very high degree of attractiveness. Virtually everyone connects positive memories with the sea and journeys on board ships and has sailed himself or herself or would like to do so. As such, we saw the opportunity, from a marketing aspect too, of being relatively sure of tapping into a certain basic sympathy with our design innovation. Even the very first sketches that I drew and which were not least inspired by the precise observation of beautiful yachts were greeted with great enthusiasm by the marketing and development team. As a result, the project more or less ran itself – through to the serial production stage.

New Kitchen Trends at LivingKitchen 2011 in Cologne

Modern kitchens are masterpieces of technology that have turned into living rooms for the whole family. (photo: AMK)
Modern kitchens are masterpieces of technology that have turned into living rooms for the whole family. (photo: AMK)

By combining kitchen and dining room, people are placing new demands on their kitchens – a wishlist that kitchen appliance and furnishings manufacturers have gladly picked up. Nothing is left to chance in the modern kitchen. Each area is custom-adapted to the individual needs of the residents and regular kitchen users.

Today, the kitchen as it can be seen at LivingKitchen (18.-23.01.2011) in Cologne, is a fully emancipated living area: a zone in which people can spend a pleasant evening with family and friends, as a matter of course. The past decade gave rise to sensational ideas developed by kitchen planners. As a result, compelling new innovations are arriving in the market as „complete kitchen packages“ that merge a wide array of preferences, demands and requirements. The innovation starts with detailed planning of light installations in the kitchen and the space; continues to the ergonomic and process-optimized placement of the various work and rest zones; and finishes with a myriad of open and closed storage space arenas.