We are currently seeing a strong trend to “warm-up” modern luxury kitchens. Cabinet finishes are trending towards high gloss again, with the addition of gloss metal finishes and a general sparkle effect throughout the entire range of materials. There are often two strong tones (light and a bold darker tone), which keeps the eye moving. Dark gloss tones strongly reflect everything around them, which adds spatial dimension. This new display concept from SieMatic shows how flat cabinet doors can be used to a luxurious, but modern effect:
Notice the overall grey palette with strong contrast in the marble and gloss black cabinet finish in the middle of the display. The “top boxes” are the most dominant design element, reaching up to the ceiling. I love the irregular rhythm of divisions at the top, which were undoubtedly based on some Golden Ratio sizing. Picking divisions like these are similar to writing a melody; you want to avoid simple monotony, but if you go too far the song will not be catchy or may be jarring. In the case of these top boxes, it is quirky enough but definitely does not go too far.
For a recent display here in North America, I am working with similar finishes and the need to have a crisp, elegant feel. Our envelope included a full-height window in the corner, so the use of top boxes made perfect sense. I recessed the Graphite gloss oven cabinets under the main Agate Grey plane for emphasis. On the adjacent wall the end is anchored by Graphite panels with vertically-adjustable thin shelves. Just enough classic elegance is added by using the Beaux Arts mirrored toekick and gloss-nickel tall glass doors. A sliding stone panel backsplash reveals a walnut shelf for just a touch of third finish (repeated inside of tall glass doors as well).
The plan shows the unusual parcel we had to work with. There is a seating area to the left (out of view) with a wall of panels and shelves, much like the SieMatic example above.
I have been very interested in the trend of irregular open shelves which began two seasons ago in Milan. However, this latest, more elegant use of closed cabinets and tall elements is really starting to look fresh and exciting. It is great to have modern and classic blending so closely now, as in the past a client would identify herself as being, say, “country” or “contemporary”. Those division lines are long gone as we enter a cross-harmony of sturdy historical values and the fashion and freshness of the new.