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Archive for Eurocucina

Apr 25 2016

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What Italian Homes are Really Like

After hunting down products and trends at Salone del Mobile in Milan last week, I spent the nights at Airbnbs and got an insider’s look at Italian kitchen and baths. Both of the places I stayed were lovely (if you haven’t done Airbnb, I highly recommend it), but unless you pay a fortune, expect to be living like most of the locals: tight quarters and very old bones.

06c11ef2-ddde-42eb-b8f2-b71c9bf66f98Location One: Milan

While at the show in Milan, I stayed a little outside the city center to be closer to the fairgrounds. The young couple I stayed with – a special needs teacher and an artist – had a little more room than most with this suburban locale. My section of the space included a fairly large bathroom by European standards that had obviously been recently remodeled.

There was the typical bath with a shower handle (always fun to maneuver) and a tiny shower squeezed by the door. The shower itself was missing interior lights and it only was hot for about three minutes – also very Italian – but other than that it was definitely an update. The sink was wide and featured a Brizo faucet, and the floor tile was some type of marble.

The couple’s kitchen definitely had some interesting character. As you can see, some of the cabinet doors were missing and instead were replaced with sheets of fabric. (I have heard that some Europeans literally take their cabinetry with them when they move, so maybe that happened here). The multi-colored drawers that remained looked rather fitting next to the plaid coverings. Other than that, it was just functional. The high point though was the balcony right off the kitchen. There was one off the main living space and my bedroom as well. Since the area was near a park and a soccer stadium, it was neat to hear the wildlife mixing with screaming Italian football fans late at night.

Location Two: Monterosso

My second stay was in Monterosso, a tiny coastal town in Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean coast. This was a studio apartment that I had to myself. It had a cheery palette of white, high walls and azure blue cabinetry and detailing. As you can see, this was more the teeny tiny kitchen you would expect. There was about a foot of prep space (I used the kitchen table instead) and the oven somehow became a storage area for extra pots and pans.

The bathroom as well was a squeeze, with a laundry machine propped between the toilet and the sink. There was a shower though, with hot water for about two minutes this time – but it gets you moving quick if nothing else.

All in all, it’s what I’ve come to expect from Italian homes over all my trips there – it’s tiny, functional, full of character (both good and bad) and always lets in the Italian air and surroundings beautifully.

And this is me eating gelato (pistachio flavored!) after a very long day of hiking at Cinque Terre. It was freezing there, but it’s never too cold for gelato!

Apr 15 2016

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Showing Off Products in Italy

Every evening after attending Salone del Mobile, the biennial international design show in Milan, I’ve wandered around the design district into different showrooms. And yes, they are quite different than most I’ve seen in the U.S.

1)    Vivid colors and simplicity go hand in hand. Such as at the Geberit showroom, where only a handful of products were shown against a background of hot pink, blue and a tropical green. A wall of bamboo stems gave the showroom a sense of a futuristic environment.


2)    Words sometimes say it better. The Kartell by Laufen showroom had a mixture of different vignettes and a theme phrase, “The Perfect Emotion in the Bathroom,” throughout the space. I also noticed a sublime scent throughout – not overwhelming, but enough to plant the subliminal message that you use their product, and you will smell that good.

3)    Location can make the showroom. I wasn’t even looking for the Fantini showroom, but a lovely courtyard caught my attention. Inside was a beautiful arched doorway covered with vines, and sure enough, the Fantini showroom was inside. That was more than enough to bring me inside to see more.

4)    Create the home clients only dream of. The SCIS showroom did just that, with the feel of a glamorous white home complete with Roman arches, fine artwork and of course, luxury kitchenware.

5)    Explain while you inspire. The Axor showroom, which focused on their new line of faucets, pulled out a mixture of logical displays and beautiful, larger-than-life photographs. I also found a room completed devoted to one washbasin, and interestingly enough, surrounded by mirrors.


6)    If it’s your tune, play up the starkness. The Bulthaup showroom – which had three small levels around a spiraling staircase – definitely focused on Europe’s love of white and straight-lined functionality. Each display was a standalone, with little décor or color mixed in to focus entirely on the product itself.


Apr 13 2016

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Live from Milan

It’s Salone del Mobile this year – the biennial international furniture show, complete with Salone del Bagno and EuroCucina (the bath and kitchen shows), and Milan is packed with international fair-goers and Italian and European designers and manufacturers. We’re giving you a full run-through in our May/June issue, but here is a sneak peek at some of the trends I’ve been seeing at the show.

1) Surprise, surprise – white is definitely still in. Shown here in the design by Karim Rashid for Rational, the neutral color is still the way to go, particularly with contemporary designs.


2) Islands are becoming more innovative and more like the centerpiece, as shown by Icone, a Kelly Massimo Iosaghini Design. The different materials in the island, and the way it works with the functionality of the kitchen, are truly showcased at the show in particular.


3) Even though lacquer and stainless steel are still very in, there’s a sense of the organic everywhere, like this wooden island from Arclinea.


4) With the new kitchen either growing much smaller or much bigger (trends have shown dramatic examples of both this year), drawers and cabinets are moving to new ways to hide or expose their contents. Shown here is Mantis from Binova.

5) At the same time as all the clean lines and handle-less surfaces, vintage shows up in glamorous collections, like in the vintage oven from Rosieres.


More to come from Kitchen and Bath Business – stay tuned with our Facebook, Instagram (KBB_Magazine) and Twitter (@KBBconnect).

Apr 25 2014

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BlogTour’s Report on Salone in Milan

Modenus’ BlogTour, part of a brand-sponsored series of tours within the U.S. and internationally that brings a select group of design and lifestyle bloggers to trade shows and design events, also visited Milan for Salone Internazionale del Mobile, and the following is what a select members of the group had to say. For a more in-depth look at these and other trends from EuroCucina and the International Bathroom Exhibition, check out K+BB’s May/June issue coming out soon!

Color Everywhere
Color and mixed metals were abundant at this year’s Salone del Mobile! Interesting splashes of vibrant hues rocked light fixtures and cabinetry in kitchen and bath alike, including whimsical touches like the inside of this vibrant green sink paired with a patina brass faucet. The lesson here is for us all to take a colorful cue from our friends across the pond and embrace color where we’ve traditionally gone safe and neutral.

– From design bloggers Krista Nye Schwartz & Tami Ramsay from CLOTH & KIND, a boutique interior design firm with locations in Michigan and Georgia

Sink by Kreoo, Photo by Chasen West 

Sink by Kreoo, Photo by Chasen West

Bathroom Spas

Bathrooms are becoming more like “spa living rooms” and personal wellness retreats in which to spend more “me” time relaxing, luxuriating, pampering oneself both physically and mentally.  Designers and brands are integrating more nature in these sanctuaries: natural materials like wood and plants, lounge furniture that could live outdoors, offset by mood lighting and music.

– From lifestyle blogger:  Robin Horton, Founder/Creative Director urbangardensweb.com

Gessi Spa Bath, Photo by Chasen West

Gessi Spa Bath, Photo by Chasen West

Ergonomic and Sophisticated Storage Solutions

Clever Storage’s LeMans’ swing-out corner storage unit was one of my favorite finds at EuroCucina. Its innovative and elegant design makes organizing and working in the kitchen a joy. No more spinning the in-cabinet lazy Susan with items flying off into the cabinet’s unreachable dark recesses, the ergonomic LeMans lets you quickly and easily see what you need – no spinning, and even better, the organized shelves make retrieving items a breeze. Definitely a kitchen product that is bringing back the joy of cooking.

– From design blogger Carmen Natschke, Editor, The Decorating Diva

Photo Credit: Chasen West

Photo Credit: Chasen West

Tech in the Kitchen

Cutting-edge appliances with a sense of humor make cooking fun, stylish and add personality to the kitchen. We loved Smeg decorative gas burner grids and their collection of vintage inspired ovens and cooktops.

– From Veronika Miller, Modenus CEO

Gas Cooktop by Smeg, Photo by Chasen West

Gas Cooktop by Smeg, Photo by Chasen West

Kitchen Islands

These have gotten friendlier. Islands now have a table component attached at one end to allow people to dine around a surface and promise easy conversation, rather than lined up at a bar.

– From design blogger Lisa Smith, Interior Designer, DecorGirl.net

Steninger Booth

Steninger Booth