After six intensive days the EuroCucina 2016 at the Salone del Mobile drew to a close on 17 April – with a new visitor record and abundant design inspirations for kitchens. Two megatrends dominated the many innovations of kitchen manufacturers in Milan; kitchens and living areas are increasingly merging with living areas, and they are also becoming more individual. It is not surprising that the ranks of manufacturers who use GRASS movement systems in their furniture are constantly growing, as the elegant, linear and convenient products can be flexibly integrated into a wide range of design concepts. Visitors to the EuroCucina 2016 were able to experience this quality first hand at the stands of almost 50 exhibitors.
More than 370,000 were registered at the Salone del Mobile, which makes Milan the international hub of the furniture world every year. The trends of years to come are defined on the exhibition grounds and in the various showrooms as well as at special exhibitions in the city centre. Even if the EuroCucina 2016 did not reveal any great surprises, innovation was expressed in the details and clever designs on show at the stands of the more than 120 exhibitors.
Kitchens and living areas are becoming one
For some time now kitchens and living areas have been merging together. This development was omnipresent at the EuroCucina. It was demonstrated in the colours, materials and the way that kitchen furniture is integrated into its environment. Dark, warm, earthy tones are combined with accessories in copper or gold. Shelf elements break up the rows of kitchen units. The cooking areas are either prominently displayed or discreetly concealed. The German manufacturer Leicht Küchen, for example, had a kitchen on show that was only recognisable as a kitchen when the doors were opened. Otherwise the Leicht exhibits stood out from those of other suppliers, whose stands mainly featured dark colour schemes, and light and lively niches were the themes that hallmarked the design of the Leicht products. Inside the furniture, the GRASS Nova Pro Scala Crystal comprehensive drawer system continued this approach.
Linear, geometric forms were the distinguishing features of Dada that used several GRASS products for its varied presentation. The elegant Tiomos hinge was also used as well as the cubist Vionaro drawer system, which is based on the Dynapro concealed slide system. One highlight of the Dada show presentation was the Armani kitchen that combines solid materials such as marble and metal in surprising filigree designs. Convenient GRASS drawer systems were also on show at the Euromobil stand, where open and glazed cabinets created a living area feel.
Trend theme no. 1: Individualisation
Stosa virtually perfectly demonstrates how individual kitchens can be, as the exhibits featured almost every kind of style, ranging from contemporary hipster kitchens with a rustic style to neoclassical models. At the IBK stand visitors were also able to see for themselves the perfect options which the GRASS products offer kitchen manufacturers for developing flexible and individual furniture. The Italian manufacturer offered individualisation in its purest form; a cabinet with different, exchangeable surfaces that creates a comprehensive range of aesthetic components. Inside the furniture the individualisation options seamlessly continued with Nova Pro Scala – IBK showed how the drawer side of the drawer system can be customised to suit individual preferences in seconds.
One system, flexible but easily customised – this concept that GRASS implemented with the greatest artistry with Nova Pro Scala was also on show at the Valcucine stand. The fronts and drawers of the models made by this Italian company can be replaced with minimum effort. Individualisation was demonstrated here with four different style worlds that appeal to different customer types. A special, convenient solution was developed in collaboration with GRASS for innovative kitchen users; it was possible to operate the Sensomatic damping system by foot with a motion sensor, a feature which is extremely practical when the chef’s hands are both full.
Individuality was also the dominating theme at the GAMADECOR stand, which focused on a material collection – various drawer sides and stoneware of the parent company PORCELANOSA. The Spanish company demonstrated how these materials define the character of the kitchen with different kitchens grouped around the material collections, and in which Vionaro and Dynapro as well as Tiomos ensured smooth, high-quality movement.
At its stand, the German manufacturer Häcker Küchen showed how individualisation is possible in series production. The company exhibited a completely handle-free kitchen in which the GRASS Sensomatic permits opening of regular and pot drawers with a gentle push. With the branded drawer sides, GRASS was also able to demonstrate on the Häcker exhibits how GRASS can respond to the requirements of its customers.
Haptics: A feast for the fingertips
Different surfaces and a combination of a wide range of materials are an excellent way for customers to create the kitchen of their dreams and express their personalities, and they are also an expression of the new touch-and-feel trend. The surfaces at the EuroCucina 2016 were not simply rough or smooth – they were finely structured, coarse or ribbed. This new sensuality was to be found, for example, in the material mix of the Italian kitchen furniture manufacturer Arrital – one of the four new GRASS customers exhibiting at the EuroCucina. With its clear, defined designs, Arrital is ideally suited to the GRASS product portfolio. Nova Pro Scala and Tipmatic Soft-close were included in the high-quality kitchens to the great satisfaction of the company: “For us, GRASS is a unique selling point, especially as we can offer solutions that have been modified especially for us.”
The Tuscan wood specialist Toncelli provided another tactile sensation: In hall 11 a EUR 380,000 kitchen was on show which was made of fossilised wood that is 2,500 years old. Toncelli fully equips its kitchens – working “only with the best supplier”. The luxury kitchen, which wonderfully combines craftsmanship with art, features Vionaro with an aluminium profile.
Anyone wishing to see a completely new kitchen concept had to travel to the city centre. In the Brera designer quarter bulthaup found an ideal backdrop for its exhibits in a former church and challenged all previous concepts of kitchens as we know them. The kitchen can be individually reconfigured with a plug & play design in one working block – and constantly modified to keep pace with changing life circumstances. The basic principle: Simplicity. The GRASS movement systems also provided the required flexibility and quality in this case, effectively demonstrating how the design principle “form follows function” can be turned around by means of great craftsmanship and comprehension of the use of space and movement. The GRASS movement functions are so flexible that they can follow the form anywhere it goes – for example in the bulthaup design visions, the fossilised luxury kitchen by Toncelli, the new openness of Stosa, and also in the direction of the Häcker Küchen series production.
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