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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Page 58 of 83

into the next space," adds Sandra Diaz-Velasco, R.A., owner, Eolo A&I Design in Miami, FL. ON THE SURFACE Much of the story at EuroCucina and FTK was about surfaces. Materials, thicknesses and applications had visitors stopping, touching and taking notes. Stone and porcelain were the main materials on display, fol- lowed by sintered stone, brushed metals, woods, glass and even laminate. Intricate edge details on countertops, matching slab back- splashes and patterns with dramatic movement were prevalent. "I like the use of different materials in the kitchen. Mixing wood and laminate was very commonplace," says Robin Rigby Fisher, CMKBD/CAPS, principal, Robin Rigby Fisher Design in Portland, OR. "A big new trend in Milan was the introduction of very heavily patterned counter surfaces, such as marbles and granites with active movement or enhanced with metallic stripping. For years, all counters at the fair seemed to be white or stainless," states Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, prin- cipal, Ellen Cheever & Associates in Wilmington, DE. "I was impressed with the patterns recently launched by SapienStone, a through-body porcelain slab product now available in the U.S. It can be applied to both countertop and wall or floor surfaces thanks to the availability of thinner- and thicker-gauge slab dimensions," reports Levant. The expanding range of thicknesses are indeed having an impact on how surfaces are being used in the kitchen beyond countertops to backsplashes, island facing and more. "They were showing a lot of different thicknesses in countertops in- tegrated into one kitchen," offers Fisher. "It looked amazing." "A trend carrying over from EuroCucina 2016 was sur- facing materials that are meticulously interconnected to one another – nothing just sits on top of another material," notes Cheever. "This attention to detailing is so beautiful and adds such great sophistication to a contemporary room setting." She continues, "While thin countertops cascading to the floor have been a key part of the fair for about six years, this year thin materials [with no visible means of support] were seen in many settings interpreted as open shelf systems or as airy space dividers." Additionally, an expanding trend from the previous EuroCucina was the sense of gathering around a "table," adds Cheever. "This is achieved by re-imagining a cantilevered countertop extension beyond an island end to allow people to sit opposite each other, rather than next to each other at a back-of-the-island extended counter so often seen in the U.S." CABINET CHOICES Surfacing interest didn't stop at countertops and walls, how- ever. Cabinets took on new personality as different finishing techniques provided a fresh perspective. "The most interesting new trend that caught my eye in the kitchen can be summed up by the word 'texture,'" says Wyner. "On cabinet doors we saw stone veneers, rough-hewned wood, new metal treatments (brushed, patina) and dark, smoked glass with interior lighting. The interiors of cabinets were not neglected, and featured automated lighting and contrasting wood or even painted color finishes." Cheever agrees. "One of the newest and biggest trends at the fair was the use of porcelain and stone as cabinet fronts." Glass front and open shelving were also on display, though with a purpose. "Instead of just open shelving the way it is done in the U.S., kitchen displays had a section of open shelving to show things off," says Fisher. And, because the shelving is being used to showcase col- lectibles and beautiful serving pieces, integrated lighting was carefully placed to add drama. "LED technologies have advanced to the point that they are now able to be incorporated in increasingly elegant details," emphasizes Levant. The cabinets on display went beyond beautiful, howev- er, providing optimal functionality. "All of the cabinets had Multiple coun- tertop materials and thicknesses that blend into each other within a design were showcased at the Valdesign booth. In this display from Ernestome- da, the wood cutting board can slide, becoming a countertop as it conceals the cook- top. Shelving also disappears into the countertop when not in use. Photo courtesy of Salone del Mobile.Milano. Photo: Saverio Lombardi Vallauri Photo: Mary Middleton Design Ltd. June 2018 • 59

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