The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is indispensable as a functional room for cooking and as a homely meeting point. Today, kitchen planning has so many versatile options that it has become a “Make a wish” kitchen. That almost sounds like witchcraft, and in fact that’s what it really is. The vast offer of shapes and sizes, arrangements, colours and materials, the household appliances, the lighting, all components have always been continuously developed for your personal selection. “What began more than 90 years ago as the first functional fitted kitchen in ten square metres has now turned into a high-tech centre with a soul”, explains Volker Irle, managing Director of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Die Moderne Küche e.V. (AMK). We have just finished the LivingKitchen, the most important professional trade fair for kitchens, which ran parallel to the imm cologne in Cologne in January. New trends and innovations were presented – AMK has summarised the highlights below:
- Individual versatility is generally still the trend. This above all applies to sizes and colours, arrangements and designs. Depending taste, available space, personal wishes and financial possibilities, the modern kitchen is certainly not mainstream monotony but always an individually planned solution.
- Open kitchens are popular, because the kitchen and dining room blend into one unit and are directly connected to the open living area. A generous living atmosphere is created. In new buildings, 90 percent of all floor plans have an open ground floor. The utility room gains in significance in the architecture of new buildings – much to the disadvantage of the cellar. Sub-suppliers and manufacturers of kitchen furniture and electric appliances can also excellently equip this room. Washing machine, ironing board, vacuum cleaner and so on need room and can now even be accommodated in attractive furniture elements thanks to clever technology.
- In the modern kitchen, kitchen furniture is combined with living room furniture. Whether the bench, the suspended sideboard or an elegant wine cooler; today, such elements fit in with any surroundings and not just in a certain room. This makes kitchens more homely, which adds to their claim of being high-tech centres with a soul.
- So-called pocket doors are now back in trend, these being doors that can be pushed into the sides of the cupboard in open position and therefore do not get in the way. The advantage of pocket doors is obvious, because you can well hide things behind closed doors, particularly in smaller kitchens. And when closed, the individual kitchen elements look both homely and elegant.
- A matte lacquered front finished is top of the list in today’s kitchen furniture range. Not only real matte lacquer but also laminated lacquer are currently popular. High-gloss lacquer is on the decline, while wood, real wood veneer and stone veneer are increasingly in demand. Décor films are losing in popularity. Velvety and deep-matte soft-touch surfaces are more in demand today, as fingerprints are not visible on them.
- Dark grey and black are particularly striking. Black is also popular for household appliances such as cooker and hob, for interior fittings, ceramic sinks and as whole front panels for fridges. And again in combination with classic, warm metal tones such as gold, copper and brass. In some target groups, a concrete look in the range of grey shades plays an important role, but remains a niche market on the whole.
- Patterned décors are in demand for the rear wall. You can choose either your favourite flower, fruit, vegetable or whatever according to your own specifications or select from a wide range of ready-made products. There are, of course, patterns and colours matched to the kitchen front. At the moment, glass or acrylic rear walls are on the advance. Otherwise, stainless steel is again popular as a niche lining material. It is not imperative that suspended cupboards are hung above the niches. Narrow shelves or wall elements with flexible push-fit systems are popular, which can be used to hide LED light strips.
- The raised oven is standard, while the raised dishwasher has not yet established itself on the market. So-called intuitive control buttons for the cooker and hob facilitate handling and are self-explanatory. Full-surface induction hobs are currently in demand; they will in future be standard in modern kitchens. The future extraction system reacts to the hob automatically. (AMK)
In new buildings, cooking-eating-living blend into one unit to create a homely atmosphere. (Photo: AMK)
The open floor plan is ideal for chic kitchen furniture in the dining and living area as well. (Photo: AMK)
Organisation is half the battle: More and more kitchen manufacturers now also offer furniture for the utility room. (Photo: AMK)
Doors that stand in the way are out. Apart from sliding doors, so-called pocket doors are popular in the coming season, they completely disappear in the sides of the cupboard. (Photo: AMK)
Black is the new white. Frequently to be found in elegant kitchen designs in combination with warm metal colours or decorative elements. (Photo: AMK)
The former tiled wall is now increasingly replaced with individual designs made of printed glass, acrylic or stainless steel. (Photo: AMK)