14 April 2010

First impressions of Eurocucina 2010

One should never judge a show by its first day but… Oh alright then, I’ll give it a try.
Every Eurocucina delivers a message, and as Italy is the second largest market for kitchens and built-in appliances – to say nothing of being home to the majority of contemporary kitchen and appliance designers – it’s a message we had better take note of.

This year the overriding theme was one of ‘togetherness’; the kitchen being the place in the home where we spend the most time, where we come together as a family unit.

The kitchen as the hub of the home was the oft-repeated mantra throughout the exhibition. Kitchen furniture that also looks good in the lounge, or doors that could be used to slide over the working part of the kitchen and convert the space into a lounge; these were here two years ago as niche products. Well, they’ve gone mainstream now.

Worktops varied from the ultra thin to the ultra chunky, with ultra thin – well 10mm thin – winning out on day one.

The place was coming down with white kitchens – yet again – but this time it was white with glass gloss finishes and both matt and gloss white with wood. And as for handle makers? Well, they are in for a pretty bleak future it would seem.

Broadly speaking, the kitchens on display were either handle-less in the traditional sense or increasingly with servo driven doors and drawers that would spring into action at a push.

One of our very own furniture designers who must be either feeling pretty pleased with himself, or cursing that he does not have a R&D budget the size of some of the Italian kitchen companies at Eurocucina, is Joe Cavani of Edwin Loxley.

Most of the white and wood combinations at Eurocucina in 2010 were an extension of a design Joe pioneered over a year ago and showed as a prototype at Grand Designs Live at the Excel Centre in London.

Appliances have finally come in from the cold and have their own dedicated exhibition space within halls 13 and 15 rather than being stuck in a tent in one of the car parks as was the case previously.

Many of the brands responded to being given a seat at the top table by building impressive stands and present a smattering of new products. Dometechnica in its heyday it isn’t, but it is certainly a big step in the right direction.

But, lest we forget, Eurocucina is above all a kitchen furniture show and this year may go down as a year of consolidation rather than one of bold new directions. I’ll get a better idea when I’ve been around more of the show tomorrow.

Meanwhile, watch this space - as they say!

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