At this week’s Eurocucina, the biennial kitchen trade trade fair that is part of Milan’s annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile, manufacturers continue to blur the boundaries between cooking, eating, and living spaces. All throughout the show, brands are exhibiting spaces that use identical materials in everything from flexible shelving, and appliance storage to cabinetry.
At Scavolini, two new kitchen systems are using fresh approaches to make the typical Italian-made designs lighter, less intimidating, and more flexible. Unsurprisingly, both designers have strong backgrounds in product design.
French designer Ora ïto—typically known for his curvaceous, futuristic products for the likes of Heineken, Christofle, and Roche Bobois—designed his first kitchen, Foodshelf. Using wood throughout, a warm look is created. Instead of viewing the kitchen as spreading into the living room, the designer conceived it the other way around with low, open shelving you’d normally see in a bookshelf. Also, a slender custom hood was designed to further blend in with the system, and hardware is concealed using the same materials as the shelves to complete the effect.
Meanwhile, another introduction by Scavolini was Ki by Japanese designer Oki Sato of studio Nendo. Instead of blending a living room–like environment with a kitchen, Sato used a rounded-white-bowl motif in both a bathroom and kitchen setting (Ki means bowl in Japanese). This design also uses plenty of wood, with three finishes available that carry through entire design for ultra-uniformity and the shape of the bowls are used repeatedly throughout, from the stove to the sinks, in both designs. Even the backs of the kitchen chairs are reminiscent of the container.
The only thing missing from both designs were coffee tables and workstations (although Foodshelf was shown with a widescreen TV and sofa). After all, don’t most of us eat while working or watching TV anyhow?