KBB - May/June 2012 - (Page 38)

ABROAD Abroad The Art of Economics Amid a recession, EuroCucina 2012 goes neutral and natural Even as Europe stands knee-deep in economic uncertainty, EuroCucina 2012, which was held April 17-22 in conjunction with Salone Internazionale del Mobile at the Milan Fairgrounds in Rho-Milan, Italy, seemed fairly abuzz with activity. Aisles were sufficiently populated to require vigilance for circulation, and booths were well packed to make photography challenging. Nevertheless,“The Europeans have taken quite an economic hit in the last four years,” said Giulio Petrilli, VP of project sales for Snaidero USA, and EuroCucina regulars, such as Petrilli, noticed a smaller footprint. According to show organizer Cosmit, while this year’s outing boasted 166 exhibitors (up from 151), total exhibition space was down from 32,652 to 26,894 sq. m, and attendance experienced a slight dip from 297,460 to 292,370 for the combined event, which also included a furniture accessories component and the International Bathroom Show. and groupings of common household and food items to convey an attitude, a mood or frequently an atmosphere of warmth and domesticity. As in previous years, many of the kitchens on display were prototypes, noted Petrilli and Amir Ilin, president of Küche+Cucina and North and Central American sales manager for Pedini USA. This makes sense, as several featured mammoth peninsulas or multiple islands bridged by countertops outfitted with stools. Some islands curved, sloped and/or terminated in a casual dining table, seating or a shelving unit angled to break up the long horizontal lines. All required lots of space, which runs contrary to the reality of European kitchens.“In Europe, most people live in apartments, so the kitchens are much smaller than what you would find in a catalog or at a show,” Ilin said. “EuroCucina is like a fashion show, so you’ll see things that may never go into production,” such as large islands that could easily dwarf the roomiest of kitchens stateside. However, Ilin added, prototype or not, the products “set a trend or provide a direction.” KITCHEN ART Regardless, the biennial kitchen extravaganza still had much to awe visitors, if not in the number of new innovations, then in sheer artistry. Whereas American shows tend to be more product-focused in their displays, here, booths were often fully accessorized and dramatically illuminated to stoke one’s imagination, emotions and viscera. Some displays took a real-life approach, such as SieMatic’s three BeauxArts vignettes, which were created by Mick De Giulio—who also designed the cabinet line—to be easily transferable to an actual home, and Marchi, an Italian maker of traditional and transitional kitchens, segmented its booth into four elaborately furnished environments, each inspired by a bit of Americana and each in near move-in condition. Others incorporated everything from paper sculptures and plastic flamingoes to crockery, oversized light fixtures WOODEN APPEAL One highly visible trend was a raw, sawn-wood look that some may recall from last year’s inaugural LivingKitchen show in Cologne, Germany. In fact, Petrilli thinks it may have originated in Northern Europe, where pronounced graining and rustic wood effects have long been favored. Shown in medium- and dark-wood tones, as well as gray, and often paired with countertops formed of large wooden planks that appeared as if sliced from a tree, the back-to-nature look was pervasive in Milan, but Petrilli and Ilin are doubtful about its success. Both Snaidero and Pedini introduced it a few years ago and “it never took off,” Ilin said. “Customers liked it, but they didn’t buy it. Sometimes you need products that make people ooh and 38 + K BB May/June 2012 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - May/June 2012

KBB - May/June 2012
Table of Contents
Online Contents
Editorial
Show Director’s Note
Road to KBIS
Web Savvy
Trends
Products
Abroad
Education
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - May/June 2012

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