Kitchens are moving in a modern direction with special kitchen cabinet features.
Like every style cycle, kitchen cabinet features that have been popular for few years will start to look dated. That’s because a new generation with different design sensibilities begins to change demands on kitchens. I already see the refrigerator-stove-dishwasher equation slowly replaced by a specialized menu of kitchen appliances tailored to space and choice. Think: freezer drawers, speed and steam ovens, breakfast bars, flat-screens and charging stations for small electronics.
While England gave us the all-white kitchen of the past decade, important innovation is coming from Italy. Looking forward, green technologies, energy conservation, and a change in materials used for home building and renovation also will push kitchens in new directions. That means cabinets will change, too. That look is modern, not for every taste and costly. But it offers fascinating features. Here are five.
1. Fabric-Pattern Cabinets – Quirky? Perhaps. But when you think about the bright colors and patterns being used for upholstery, carpets, wall art and tile, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to make kitchen cabinets as decorative as furniture. Why? Because materials used to make them will continue to shift away from non-sustainable woods and it’s logical to coordinate color and pattern styles when furnished living areas and kitchen are ever more combined.
Scavolini’s Crystal cabinet line [photos top and above] feature aluminum frames and tempered glass doors. Two variations on screen-printed glass designs by Karim Rashid take a furniture approach to cabinets with 1960s Pop Art colors. The lilac counter in the top photo is laminate.
2. Glass Replacing Wood – Scavolini’s Glam kitchen combines dark-stained oak and glass to take transparency to the max without sacrificing warmth. But here, the idea of lightening things up with glass-front cabinet upper doors has been expanded to doors and walls.
Valcucine’s Invitrium cabinets are made of aluminum and matte, tempered glass – even the countertops. When I photographed these cabinets in the model apartment at the Architectral Digest Home Design show, I had no idea that they were all glass — even interior partitions and inside drawers. Imagine my surprise when I opened the drawer. And see that blue line over on the left and in the center below? That’s the interior, LED illumination system. Because there are glass partitions between cabinets, it’s possible to light them from within.
3. Side-by-Side Cooktop and Sink – In Europe, kitchen space is often restricted so layouts tend to be compressed. Still, you have to admit that pairing a sink and cooktop under a single exhaust hood in this Snadiero Giaconda kitchen (in feather gray matte lacquer) makes cleaning, cooking and time-saving sense – particularly with a secondary sink just across the aisle.
4. Pod Peninsulas – A single-user kitchen could not be more efficiently designed than Snaidero’s Skyline Lab (emphasis on the lab) with a cantilevered work top that’s a cross between a counter and a shelf. The garbage bin and utility cart on casters offer maximum flexibility to the cook.
5. More Specialized Storage – High-end cabinet lines have long offered specialty drawers like pot storage drawers (in Snaidero’s Ola line, above) and trash bins (from Valcucine, below).
While many cooks see these as inflexible for someone who has a lot of kitchen equipment, in the future we may come to appreciate having fewer utensils and a more highly organized storage system to speed up preparation and cleaning cycles. After all, form follows function.
(Source: Scavolini, Snaidero)
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