Open plan living spaces, grey and white kitchens and open shelving are just some of the trends recognised by Bill Miller, Managing Director, KBBG, on a recent visit to the renowned European Küchenmeile Fair in Germany.
Bill visited a number of kitchen manufacturers and suppliers at the Küchenmeile Fair, to identify what is on the agenda for the near future and what concepts and innovations are emerging. According to Bill: “The show is an excellent indicator of what we may see in the UK, in the near future, due to the fact that over two thirds of the industry’s turnover is represented by the annual event.”
With the most prominent trend being the continuance of the amalgamation of the ground floor living area, there is an emergence of the entire open plan living space becoming further integrated by the installation of the same furniture range throughout. This trend was independent of the market sector, and whether the manufacturer was large or small, with the same furniture used across the entire kitchen and living space. One manufacturer even included an office using the same furniture.
This makes the living space very fluid and even difficult to define the divide of rooms across the ground floor. At the show, one kitchen furniture manufacturer went one stage further, presenting an entire apartment completed using the same furniture throughout the kitchen, living and dining area, bathroom and bedroom.
Bill comments: “This is very interesting and it will be fascinating to see if it crosses the channel and makes any in roads into the UK marketplace. It is something to watch and see if the consumer is genuinely interested in adopting the same furniture throughout their entire home.”
In addition, many of the displays at the fair featured the extensive use of open shelving, with one kitchen display almost entirely made-up of open shelves. “This feature would appear to be very popular in Germany, perhaps less so in the UK. However it was a trend that was far more prevalent than in any other year”, says Bill.
The colour trend remains grey and white, with little interest in brighter colours, except as a focus feature. However, it is interesting to note that the black furniture door is emerging both in a matt and a textured finish. Some of the more unusual introductions included several new door finishes and even an ombre-type door that appeared to change colour with the light.
Bill concludes: “The KBBG is part of Europe’s leading kitchen and bathroom buying group, DER KREIS, and so we find it particularly important to keep up with the latest trends across Europe and assess whether they will become prevalent in the UK.
“The Küchenmeile Fair is always an exceedingly interesting event, where one may explore the many innovations and concepts. It is genuinely worth a visit for those looking for the next opportunity. It will be interesting to see how the typically smaller UK kitchen showrooms interpret these trends in the coming year and beyond.”