SieMatic Haus Fair 2013

Just back from SieMatic’s “Haus Fair”, the annual presentation of new product and display ideas at the factory in Loehne, Germany.  This year the company focused on “Great New Insights”, a major update to the interiors of the cabinets.  An elegant new drawer system was presented, with new internal accessories in wood and aluminum.  Some highlights:

SieMatic display cubes

Here, in a quiet moment during the show, are the SieMatic drawer system display cubes.  There are several options for the new drawer system, and the cubes show each level upgrade.  The core drawer will now be a very slim aluminum-color steel drawer box, for which custom sizes will now be available (!).  The upgrade will be actual aluminum, which showed a more refined level of finish.

SieMatic Island Detail

In this new “lifestyle display”, so called due to the integrated living space, the new drawer bodies are shown in the two main heights.  In addition to the drawer body finish, aluminum-front shelves and a square-profile grey door dust seal are now available.  Some details of drawer inserts – aluminum and light oak:

SieMatic drawer system 2013

The biggest innovation was a microfiber material SieMatic calls Flocking.  This new drawer mat is integrated into the insert system.  A felt-like material, flocking added a high-tech feel to the system.

Aluminum and Chestnut drawer system by SieMatic

The new chestnut finish coordinates better with some finishes where light oak would clash.  Note the integrated USB charging center.  As seen above and below, the inserts are sitting loose on the flocking mat and can easily be reconfigured.  The base of the accessory has a rubber grip, which holds against the flocking for a no-slip condition.

SieMatic Drawer Accessory System

Some views to the new “lifestyle” display.  Note the absence of handles; the drawers are released with a electronic “touch latch”, which is immensely popular in Europe at present.

SieMatic Display

This display combined existing finishes of Flannel Grey matte, Graphite gloss and natural walnut.  We were quite enamored of this combination and are starting to plan some new displays for North America like this already.  The walnut finish is shown as 5 wall panels in the middle of the room.  Also opening as touch latch, this helps make the room seem so much less like a “kitchen” and makes a Total Home integrated interior.  Note also how certain areas have doors or drawers which go all the way to the floor.  If not a primary work surface, this makes sense, otherwise, you would want a recessed toe space to get closer to the countertop without smacking your feet.

SieMatic Display

The best part about Haus Fair is catching up with your friends.  Here, Jonas and Wendy Carnemark pick finishes for some new displays.


Relaxing with Marcia Speer, director of market development in N.A. and SieMatic Montreal manager Jean-Martin Lapointe.SieMatic, Loehne Germany

We stayed in the small town of Bad Salzuflen again.  I posted about this spa town last year – it is quite lovely.  Some of these timber buildings have dates as old as “Anno 1530”.

Bad Salzuflen Germany

Loehne is in northwestern Germany, making it convenient for me to fly through Amsterdam.  I always try and take a little time to revisit the city, this time seeing the Rijksmuseum for the first time since its 10-year renovation.  What would be a trip to Amsterdam without a walk down my favorite little street, Langestraat?  Search for past posts on this lovely little lane for more pictures.

Langestraat in Amsterdam

Again, another great release of new products from SieMatic.  It is a wonderful privilege to work with this respected brand, and I look forward to specifying these new interiors immediately upon returning to my office.


SieMatic Haus Fair 2012 – Highlights

It is that time of year again – the lovely weather and hospitality of Germany and SieMatic’s Haus Fair, an in-house factory show of new designs and finishes for 2013.  For those unfamiliar, SieMatic is a leading luxury kitchen maker in Europe, and I have been involved with this fine company for almost 20 years.  Along with 15 of my North American colleagues, I made the trek to Westphalia again for meetings and training on new product.  Here are my impressions from our visit.

SieMatic has two handle-less series of cabinets, the luxurious S2 and more price-conscious S3 series.  Many new features and new colors were introduced for S3, greatly enhancing its appeal.  Here we have a wonderfully-restrained Graphite and Lotus White gloss laminate display:

SieMatic S3 Image Kitchen from Haus Fair 2012

The same kitchen was on display with yellow accents.  The same layout as above, except the unique features are more visible in yellow, including the interesting end shelf, the yellow finger strip area and a metal frame tall glass cabinet with yellow interior.

Graphite and Yellow SieMatic S3 Display

In another display, we can see a detail of the finger grip.  Both the horizontal backing strip (aluminum) and the actual integrated grip can be color coordinated and mix-matched in a variety of new colors, including this Poppy Red.

SieMatic S3 grip slot detail in Poppy Red

Another display shows the end shelf in “Olive Green”, which is really more of an apple green.  Here the individual handles (mounted on each door) can be seen.

SieMatic S3 with Olive Green Accents

Another S3 concept showed a run of demi-height cabinets with refrigerator and oven housings on each end.  A combination of Sterling Grey and Graphite, the use of finger channel here is quite creative, showing how the cabinets can alternate between contrasting and matching; the finger channel and cooking cabinet are both Graphite.  This mix/match feature could be a powerful tool for designers to bring individual design to their kitchen clients.

SieMatic S2 Concept from Haus Fair 2012

An S2 Floating Spaces display was shown in White with Natural Oak and also in the new  Graphite Grey.  Last year’s “Floating Spaces” shelves featured nicely in this new concept, but enclosed in panels and shown in the more elegant 13mm version.  Note the integrated electrical sockets on the island end panel, and also the floor-grazing lower pullout fronts which highlight a very mono-block feel.

SieMatic S2 Floating Spaces Image Kitchen

A detail of the Graphite/Walnut display showing the shelf detail:

SieMatic S2 Concept with Natural Oak Floating Spaces Shelves

A very elegant SE/S2 Floating Spaces concept was shown in a new gloss lacquer, Agate Grey, mixed here with Black Gloss lacquer.  Almost a Beaux Arts concept, there was an abundance of sparkle from gloss lacquer, polished metal, mirror and glass.

SieMatic SE/S2 Floating Spaces Concept

Here is a close-up of the cooking area.  You can see the upper “bridge cabinets”, which featured in other displays this year as well.  The top cabinets do not match the lower, but have a randomized series of divisions for a fresh, unexpected feel.

Detail of SieMatic 8008/S2 "Beaux Arts" concept, Haus Fair 2012

The biggest news was perhaps the least sexy, from a display point of view.  SieMatic has shied away from continuous grain/book-matched veneer, until now.  For a premium over normal veneer prices, they will now do either vertical or horizontal continuous or book-matched grains on request.

SieMatic Contiuous Grain Veneer - News Haus Fair 2012

A view to the full collection of veneer from SieMatic.  These are all very useable, on-trend finishes.

Full Assortment of SieMatic Veneer

2012 marks 30 years of SieMatic in the United States.  The very first dealer, Euro Kitchens in Laguna Beach California, is still going strong.  Mr. Siekmann presented Euro Kitchens principals Claude and Fari Moritz with a special award for their amazing milestone.  I have worked with Claude and Fari on their displays and also some renderings for their clients.  Here are the three of us in one of the Haus Fair displays.

Mick Ricereto, Claude and Fari Moritz from Euro Kitchens, Laguna Beach CA.

We stayed in a couple of different small towns near the factory, both “bath towns” with natural springs and a long history of wellness.  Here is a building situated in the lovely public park in Bad Oeynhausen.

A public park building in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany

Our other town was Bad Salzuflen.  This city had a tremendous amount of character.  Walking the streets showed a variety of stone and half-timber small buildings, all in excellent shape.  Our hotel was a series of old buildings linked together, with the oldest from 1560.

Street Scene from Bad Salzuflen

In the middle of town is a large T-shaped wall of sorts.  For over two centuries, the mineral springs in this area have been mined for their salt (hence, the name Salz – meaning salt).  Water is pumped out of the ground and trickled over this structure, with the mineral deposits clinging to the surface as the water evaporates.

Bad Salzuflen Salt Structure

The walls are constructed of bundles of cut thorny brush, about 6 feet deep, placed in horizontal stacks.  Water just trickles down from the top.  As the mineral water cascades down, a refreshing seashore-like air blankets the town.  A local mentioned they replace the brush every 7 years.

Detail of Bad Salzuflen Mineral Wall

One pavilion has an interior fitted with benches for resting and taking in the air.  We tried it ourselves for a bit of jet-lag therapy.  Germans have a special “wellness clause” in their health insurance; if they need a break from the fast pace of modern life they can come visit a health resort town such as Bad Salzuflen.  I can attest that nobody was rushing around this little town – it was all about relaxing.  A detail of the interior showing the bundles of thorny brush:

Interior of Mineral Wall Structure in Bad Salzuflen, Germany

On the last night we shared a great group meal in a small timber-frame room at the hotel, drinking German wine and trying the local flavors.  It is always great to catch up with old friends at the shows, and also to welcome new people to the SieMatic family, such as the resellers from Montreal.  Speaking of Montreal, my design is being installed and the opening party is scheduled for October.  Be sure to return for those highlights later in autumn, as I plan to go back up for the final touches and to share in the celebration.

SieMatic Charleston Renovations

The SieMatic showroom in Charleston, SC had a re-opening event last week after I directed the redesign of two display areas.  With new product out in Germany, the company wanted to change two small displays for the newest ideas.  Of primary importance was the sparkling Beaux Arts 2 product, an elegant combination of framed doors and modern appointments.  Here are some pictures from the opening party:


The display is a smaller iteration of the display we did in New York last autumn.  The original, in Germany (and also shown at Euro Cucine in Milano last week) was said to be inspired by the natural beauty and elegance of Sophia Loren.  This particular display is very on-trend; a wonderful combination of smart and clean design with bright metal, glossy lacquers and enough classically-inspired glamour to make it appealing to more traditional-minded clients.

SieMatic Beaux Art 2 in Charleson, SC

Above is a shot from the factory in Germany (search for my previous post on “SieMatic Haus Fair” for more details).  The white Ceasarstone is color-matched to the “Lotus White” gloss lacquer of the cabinets.  We did a custom-pattern Bizazza mosaic on the cooking wall.  The glass cabinets above have polished nickel frames.

Beaux Arts 2 Display at SieMatic Charleston

The cooking wall is comprised of S2 base cabinets, without handles.  This contrasts with the island and sink wall, which are done with SE2002BAL (and nickel handles).  I am not going to show the back of the island; it’s a goof-up.  It looks too sparse as I specified the S2 plain lacquer panel instead of fielded-style panels.  It would have looked nice with another set of faux drawers on the back like a giant commode.  Lesson learned.

SieMatic SC10 Display at Charleston Showroom

The display above is also new.  A small L-shape with a built-in banquette (sadly, I have no pictures of the opposite wall), designed as a small “condo kitchen”.  The handles are integrated into the tops of the doors/drawers.  I am not personally enamored of this feature but it was requested.  When I get a good picture of the banquette I designed maybe I will put together a post of just built-in kitchen seating that I have done and admired around the world.  I love built-in kitchen seating; its where I spend at least an hour-a-day in my own house.

Some party scenes from the opening:

Opening Event at SieMatic Charleston

Regional Manager and Market Development Director Marcia Speer with a guest:

SieMatic Charleston

A bustling crowd at the opening event:

SieMatic Charleston

If you find yourself in Charleston, SC, have a stop in to see the showroom.  The address is 444 King Street.  I love visiting the city; a few hours walking in Charleston is not something to miss out on.  There is talk of another event later this year where I will present on some design trends.  I look forward to another visit.

SieMatic Haus Fair 2011 Highlights

Each September SieMatic – one of the leading luxury kitchen brands in Germany – has an in-house exhibition of new products.  Other brands in the Westfalia area also have fairs at the same time, such as Miele, Leicht and Poggenpohl.  Because of my studio development work with SieMatic, I try to attend every year.

This year saw an update of the Beaux Arts product, which was introduced by American designer Mick DeGiulio.  We had a private product introduction and tour and also had dinner with Mick and SieMatic CEO Uli Siekmann.  Here are some of my highlights:

SieMatic Haus Fair, Beaux Arts

This is the Sophia Loren-inspired Beaux Arts kitchen by Mick DeGiulio for SieMatic.  This display has a modern edge, with just enough femininity and traditional cues to keep it classic and sparkly, without falling over the edge into glitz.  The backsplash surrounding the cooking area has sliding Silestone panels which reveal dark walnut shelves.  The Bizzaza mosaic is very fresh.  Overall, there is a lot of gloss with lacquer cabinets and polished stainless glass-framed upper and tall cabinets.

SieMatic Beaux Arts

This is an inside corner treatment showing all the materials and highly-tailored way to resolve the different surfaces.  The tall polished stainless steel cabinet is seen at left.

Polished SS Tall Cabinets

Here is a detail of another Beaux Arts display (which studio shots can be viewed at SieMatic’s website).  This shows the 45cm wide SS glass tall cabinets, a mirror-effect toekick (which gives the impression that the cabinets are floating), and more metal-finish cabinets to the extreme right.  Overall, the effect of the new Beaux Arts concepts are very modern, unexpected and filled with enthusiastic design details.

Breakfast Height Living Room Seating

At the end of the room was a fireplace/entertainment vignette by Mr. DeGiulio.  He introduced this area as “breakfast height seating”.  By using very soft and low chairs (16.5″ seat), paired with a lowered table (I measured 22″ high), you get an incredibly relaxing and conversation-enducing environment.  The scale of the room all comes together when you are seated this low.

LED Lights

There are presently many excellent lighting options by SieMatic.  Much is not available for the USA or Canada yet, but in principle they could all be approved soon.  This under-cabinet LED strip has a remote control so you can cycle between RGB-style colors, or switch to bright white for task lighting.

LED Glass Shelf

This stainless steel and glass shelf system has the same cyclical LED mood lighting.  I designed a similar shelf system years ago but it did not see production.

Tall shelves by SieMatic

Speaking of shelving, there were other concepts debuted this fall.  This one is a system of tall vertical panels in 28mm thickness, with user-defined horizontal fixed shelves. The front edges can be in contrast to the panel surfaces.  These thick shelves are off-trend to the many thin panels we have been seeing (as thin as 10mm), but this chunky look is a fresh departure, and the contrasting colors can be a powerful design tool.  I like how they are open at the top and bottom.

Floating Shelves

This display shows another new shelf system, a “floating” cantilevered system of panels, concealed vertical standards and shallow-depth shelves which can be up to 200cm wide.  The standards are set at 6.5cm, which allows for alignment with various door and drawer heights in the 13cm cabinetry system.  Its a very crisp look.  Again, contrasting colors will allow much design freedom.

Also in the above display is a dark oak finish of base cabinets, with a “monoblock” look without any handles.  (The tall cabinets are in a very dark grey gloss lacquer with attractive graphite-bronze handle finish).  The monoblock cabinets have an electronic touch-latch actuation, which was popular at the Milan fair last year.  I personally do not like these latches and find no real practical use in a real, working kitchen.

Floating shelves

This close up of the floating shelves shows an integrated hook rail which is part of the system.

Handle Display Board

This is a new handle display system by SieMatic.  In Europe and the rest of the world, furniture drillings are defined by a 32mm matrix.  This allows for a standard in handle widths to be consistent across the industry.  SieMatic showed this 32mm flexible strip for showing handles, which allows you to pull the samples off and rearrange them as needed.

It’s not all work at the Haus Fair, as we were treated to a dinner at a Bielefeld restaurant which is a modernised, deconsecrated church called Glueck and Seligkeit.  I met some folks who sell the SieMatic product in Canada and California and got to reconnect with some old SieMatic friends.  Bielefeld is a small city but walking back from dinner, along the typical neat German sidewalks with divided bike lanes and expansive greenery, helps get me back to the fair every year.

Glueck and Seligkeit Restaurant, Bielefeld Germany

For further product information on SieMatic visit their global website