March 1, 2011
Clever Kitchens, Brilliant Bathrooms
This year’s best new products for the two most important rooms in the house
The kitchen remains the heart of the home, and designers are increasingly bridging the gap between cooking and living spaces. Newer kitchen systems aim for seamless integration with the rest of the house, fusing countertops and cabinets with furniture and even walls, floors, and ceilings. Meanwhile, the adoption of innovative technologies and tools continues, with LED lighting and water-saving faucets playing a prominent role in contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. These trends were apparent at January’s IMM Cologne LivingKitchen show, which saw a record 138,000 visitors. The famous engineering and precision of German luxury cars can also be found in the work of many of the country’s kitchen and bathroom manufacturers, including Miele, Duravit, Dornbracht, and Poggenpohl (names that are becoming increasingly well known in North America). Here’s a selection of the best new kitchen and bath products from Cologne and elsewhere.