I thought that now would be a good opportunity to rethink all that I saw at Eurocucina and in Milan and try to encapsulate that within a few themes. It's very interesting talking to the variety of people within the travelling group as all have picked up on different aspects of the show, depending on their experience and interests. So it makes for some great conversations as everyone expresses their impressions and ideas.
From my perspective, there were a few things that stood out straight away.
- Repeat of the cantilevered benchtops that were seen 2 years ago but more natural wood tones being used
- Hidden work spaces - areas allocated for prep or work space that are designed to be hidden behind doors which open then slot back into the cabinetry to keep them out of the way (and can close to hide the mess)
- We saw lots of cupboards with stainless steel interiors, giving them an industrial appearance that was hidden behind the door. Saw this particularly behind lift-up units
- Cube systems - lots of boxes of different widths and heights used together to make a feature of a space
- More soft boundaries - using pieces to create a border between the kitchen and the adjoining room but making it a "soft" boundary ie. a more open structure to allow light and air to flow through (not a solid wall or structure)
- Plenty of custom hoods that integrate the same materials used in the kitchen such as benchtop or door finishes
- Some lovely curves - particularly on island benches to soften what is sometimes a very bulky item
- More handles than I would have expected to see and, when used, very chunky
- Lots of lighting features, particularly within cabinets with LED lighting strips and similar
- And some lovely use of pressed stainless steel units that incorporate a sink, cooktop and drainer in one piece.