Show Reveals New Ideas Cooking in the Kitchen
The massive trade show featuring the products of more than 1,500 companies from some 50 nations, including the U.S. is considered the leading showcase for the latest European trends in kitchen cabinetry and related products. Many new products and concepts displayed at the trade show's Kitchen and Bathroom Center, in fact, eventually become trends in upscale American homes.
"Cooking is life; cooking is a daily activity, a form of relaxation, a hobby or profession," said Elisabeth Nurnberger, a spokesperson for the seven-day show. This year's International Furniture Fair, said Nurnberger, featured an a la carte menu of kitchens all focused on cooking from a small "warm up" kitchen, offering ample storage space, to a gourmet kitchen for singles and friends, to large family kitchens, designed to accommodate individual cooking preferences. Also highlighted, she said, was a "rich abundance of styles and ambiences" available to European and American kitchen designers.
Attracting a great deal of attention at the International Furniture Fair was the principle of "single modules," suitable for all styles of cooking. According to Antonio Citterio, a well-known Italian designer largely responsible for perpetuating the trend, design style originates from professional chefs, who separate the tasks of cooking, storing, washing up, rinsing and disposing into distinct areas in an effort to ensure greater hygiene.
Citterio's designs feature the cooking area set into an island on which more than one cook can work.
Washing and rinsing are separated, while an especially deep sink with a shower attachment ensures that cleaning is done efficiently.
Based on a "rotation principle," frequently-used utensils are within easy reach, whereas a ladder is provided for reaching less-frequently used items, such as fondue pots. In addition, there are open shelves beneath the cooker with either fixed or extendible bottoms for storing pots and pans. High cabinet units also feature an array of open shelves and flexible panels on which hooks, baskets or shelves can be attached. At the same time, food preparation and other work surfaces are set at different heights; some are equipped with a small dividing wall made of glass or metal to protect against spraying.
Cabinets in the kitchens on display this year in Cologne generally featured wide drawers fitted with pluggable wooden pegs which keep stacks of plates in place, Nurnberger observed. Serving plates are inserted vertically into a rack with a grooved bottom, which can also be used to transport the crockery and reattached to the cabinet units after use.
Also on display was an "intelligent" tray equipped with sugar pot, pot of marmalade, condiments, serviettes and the like which turns into a table extension in time for the next meal. Trash disposal units featured odor seals and extendible refuse separation panels. Also prominently used throughout the kitchens on display was wood, metal and glass, augmented by colorful synthetics and natural stone.
"In the past, the type of kitchen fixtures and fittings were determined strictly by the space that was available, or the size of one's wallet, leaving only the front design of the standard parts to our own personal taste," Nurnberger said. "However, this year's International Furniture Fair has demonstrated that all this has changed radically."