In this third installment of my trip to IMM in Cologne, it’s time to show the news in kitchens. My trip’s main purpose was to travel with SieMatic and work with their customers on future showroom planning. Naturally, our first stop when arriving at the massive fairgrounds was to visit the SieMatic stand.
SieMatic has a new category system to describe their offerings: Urban, Pure and Classic. As we do in the best showrooms and studios throughout the world, the stand created convincing environments to illustrate each style. The overall feel is unified by a single floor and ceiling treatment, and all the product finishes compliment each other in the relative proximity.
This first view is from the outside “long side’ of the stand, which was a freestanding rectangle positioned right at the front of hall 4. This new Urban kitchen is in a fresh lacquer color called Umbra, mixed with Matte Black Oak.
The feeling is very free and open. Note the exposed drawers at right below, which coordinates with the shelves above them. The island is anchored by a herb garden planter, which as you will see throughout this post was a very big trend this year. (I’m proud to say I predated this trend 2 years ago with my Schindler Lovell Beach House concept kitchen – seen here).
I love the feel of this display, how casual and yet quite put together it is. On the far left you can see the new SieMatic 29 sideboard; this new idea goes back to SieMatic’s origins to 1929 but in an updated, sleeker skin.
This detail shows another 29 Sideboard in Titan White. Note the flooring, the table and the glass wall in the above photo. The main thrust of SieMatic’s new designs are to present a fetching and convincing luxury environment. The stand’s feel was reminiscent of the newest design studios that we are executing around the world.
This display, just in front of the previous on the long side, shows a little more of the stand’s architecture. This is SieMatic’s new SE3003R, a very thin framed-type door which is very crisp in execution. Seen here at the end of the last day (not crowded), you can get a sense of the minimalist lines and detail. Note the chandeliers in each display, as SieMatic’s designers are very keen to use and align with the very best and creative furniture and accessory partners to get the right look.
Above is Classic, an evolution of the Beaux Arts series. SieMatic could sit back on this successful line and be no worse for wear, but instead continually push the idea of what Classic is for today’s living. The mix of materials and detail of surfacing is masterful. This is a most modern “classic”, with only the presence of framed doors linking it to any sense of tradition. The realm of possibility using the Classic style seems almost limitless as the combination of framed, flat and metal cabinet surfaces gives the designer many options to personalize with unexpected detail.
Above is a detail of the new SE3003R framed door. This is a very thin frame of only 6.5mm. Offered in lacquer colors and also this interesting Gold-Bronze, the integrated handle can be color coordinated or the door can be used with no handles at all (push latch). This breakfront detail is a new trend; we used to pull cabinets forward a few years ago, to demarcate special areas and create visual interest. I really like using this treatment but it can go overboard quickly in less judicious hands.
I mentioned environment and styling; here are two views of how SieMatic is using graphics to create emotion and tie into existing architecture and urban surroundings to illustrate the appropriate mood for Pure:
Using London’s Gherkin building nicely:
The styling is extremely important for presentation of interior products. The visit to a studio or show stand should embrace you in a story of emotions unique to your particular brand. A guest should feel like she is entering a series of inspiring apartments during an open house, with the sense you could move in yourself, or, that just by walking in you know what the people who live there are like. SieMatic has created these convincing environments and I’m very happy to be continually involved with this exciting brand.
Let’s see some other kitchen brands; this is Ernestomeda. Very nice details including creative use of stone for vertical surfaces. The backsplash area of this island has compartments that can be used for cooking tools and of course, an herb garden.
I don’t have all the details in my notebook on each photo, so some of these I’m showing just because I liked the detail or layout. This double perpendicular island is bridged with an eating surface – very cool:
Note the LED lights at the finger grip, and the simulated (or possibly real) stone surface of the cabinet faces – big trends this year.
The placement of accent shelves in contrasting colors has been a strong movement for the past few years. I liked this corner shelf arrangement.
This kitchen was essentially one big multi-function island. Note the storage bins and ever-present herbs, great open shelf tower and integrated seating surface.
I loved this tall blue shelf, which is reminiscent of the shelf cluster I showed from the furniture post last week. The use of push-pull cabinets is very effective here, even in a small laminate L-shaped display.
I mentioned Poliform in a previous post about IMM; here is their sister kitchen brand Varrena. Similarly detailed architecture, which is to say, exquisite.
Like most of the Italian luxury brands Varenna really understands how to create environment. You forget you are walking through a temporary show stand as you wander around and explore all the little details in this fabulous space.
The floor was the same as used in the Poliform side, which unified the entire space. In fact, there was barely any perceived separation between the furniture, closets and kitchen presentation. It really felt like walking through a series of apartments.
I was particularly enamored with the above display’s use of open space and how this island did not engage with the wall. When using flat surfaces it is often the joints or points of haptic connection where all the magic is revealed.
These end-panel treatments are from the Poliform closet display:
And a similar detail on the kitchen side:
I’ve never personally used such dark colors in the kitchen, but this is definitely a trend in the industry. We have moved on a bit from the “nightclub” look from a few seasons ago, but this is still very much a sexy urban apartment setting.
This detail of the upper shelf shows how much care was put into the styling. Accessorizing a kitchen display is one of the fun parts of our business.
Moving on, here is another use of stone surfacing, this time everything is covered in the same marble look:
More stone laminate, this one a little unconvincing:
This is from Leicht, a very popular brand in Germany. The stone look here is also laminate, this time in a simulated concrete look.
The brand Eggersman had some nice details. The walls were OSB – oriented strand board – painted black. In contrast to this humble material, here were mirror-polished stainless cabinet surfaces:
In the reflection you can see a very strange stone finish, used again in a monolithic manner as a kitchen island.
As an aside, you can also see my red vinyl belt, which is made from old VW Beetle seat vinyl. I love this belt – it was made by a guitar strap craftsman in California. Anybody who has been in a 1950’s or 60’s Beetle knows this surface, and with it comes a unique smell. However, it is not the vinyl that has the odor, it is the horse hair stuffing they used. I know that smell with trigger a huge rush of memories the next time I sit inside an old Bug, which any reader of Proust would also predict.
Speaking of smells, the aroma of fresh bread brought us to the appliance side where Gaggenau was demonstrating their fabulous ovens. The stand’s architecture used raw plywood in a creative way for the roof/cornice structure.
A detail of the interior:
Another brand used raw plywood, Schueller. This stand was very large, and was a little village of buildings showing their collections of appliances. Very creative.
As I mentioned in a previous post, after the show our group took a train to Amsterdam to see the new SieMatic flagship showroom installation. On the way over to the train station I started to get that achy feeling that a cold or flu was on the way. Later that night I was in full-blown chills and didn’t sleep a wink. Although my time in A’dam was mostly confined to the hotel room, I still managed to visit the showroom and get some impressions – I’ll cover this in my next post.