Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUN 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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'live' and often used in demonstrations and showroom events, and in cabinetry that features lighting and electric hardware. "The German and Italian brands we represent are world leaders in electric cabinets that open with a touch," he says. Technology is also showcased in the Team 7 flagship showroom, which features a variable height island. "It moves up and down between table and buffet countertop height as needed for users of different heights," he says, adding that, in general, all of the showrooms feature cutting-edge, modern design ideas for visitors. PUUSTELLI Minneapolis, MN The 2,000-sq.-ft. Puustelli showroom, which opened last summer in uptown Minneapolis, brings a bit of unexpected Scandinavian design style to Minnesota's fairly traditional market. "We offer a very unique look for this area, with more modern, contemporary slab doors and clean lines," says Björn Freudenthal. He notes that the inclusion of other northern European design influences, such as thin profile countertops, offers further differentiation from the more traditional looks people are accustomed to seeing in the area. To promote a familiarity with the relative unknown, show- room visitors are encouraged to interact with products featured in the displays, which include five kitchens, one bath and an 'in progress' mudroom. A lounge area, which offers seating near the entrance and features a two-sided fireplace, is also part of the showroom and provides for an inviting experience designed to emulate an actual home kitchen/great room environment. "We offer a very unique cabinetry system," Freudenthal explains. "To truly grasp all of its features, prospective clients, friends and industry partners need to be able to see, touch and feel. It can be difficult to understand unless they can physically experience it by opening doors and drawers." Visitors to the showroom can also experience an array of fully functional plumbing fixtures and appliances – including some that are not commonly available for testing in a showroom envi- ronment such as dishwasher and refrigerator drawers – which are showcased in two 'live' kitchen displays. Freudenthal indicates that these live features are essential to the showroom's mission. "We wanted to create a comprehensive kitchen environ- ment…a place where we can show clients how to use an induc- tion cooktop or a built-in coffee maker," he says, noting that fully functional kitchens also give them the ability to host client presentations, which are oftentimes accompanied by traditional Nordic fare such as gravlax, as well as planned cooking demon- strations and events throughout the year. "We wanted to create a showroom focused on function, rather than just beauty." This island in German Kitchen Center's Team 7 showroom features an infinitely height-adjustable worktop that can adapt to different activities for convenience and comfort. German Kitchen Center showrooms, all 18 across the country, offer multiple brands of kitchen cabinetry to cater the right product to each project in terms of style and price point. The dark wood highlighted in this Puustelli kitchen is Burma Teak, which is neither a teak nor from Burma, but rather a fast growing wood from Scandinavia. Everything within the Puustelli show- room is done with an eye toward sustain- ability. Even the wood used in this kitchen is a veneer from a Finnish poplar. Photos: Courtney Reints June 2018 • 43

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