03 February 2011

LivingKitchen at IMM Cologne: Top Products

Last week I shared the top trends I spotted at LivingKitchen, a kitchen trade show I attended last month in Cologne, Germany. This week, I'd like to share some of my favorite products from the show.

Game Changer Alert: Counter Intelligence

I've fallen in love again... With a new countertop material. Gold Notes readers know I love quartz tops or their durability, easy maintenance, versatile good looks and warranty protection. These new porcelain tops from TPB Barcelona in Spain offer the same virtues, with some great new styles.

There will be a Molten Gold feature on TPB coming soon, but I didn't want to delay in bringing you a fabulous new entry to the countertop market. They're not yet available in the US; I'm hoping that will change very soon! If you're a designer, ask your favorite fabricator to check these out. If you're a homeowner, ask your favorite designer to look into them for your kitchen. Let's get the North American ball rolling, folks!

Fridge Plus

Liebherr has added a wine cooler to a fridge-freezer combination. While I can't see this working in a family kitchen -- it lacks the freezer space most families require -- it could be an interesting choice for a rec room or vacation home.

Dishwasher Less

Bosch took a modular approach to appliances, allowing you to create kitchen symmetry with a group of small in-wall units. I particularly liked the mini dishwasher.

I can see this unit working very well as a home's second dishwasher - especially in a bar or game room setting.

Game Changer Alert: Hoodwinked

Traditionally, downdraft hoods are less efficient than their overhead components. It's just physics; smoke rises. Elica has changed the equation. Their new Seagull downdraft hood elevates to an overhead position, drawing smoke up into its vents with both style and efficiency.

While all the Elicas I've seen at past KBIS shows have focused on style, this one delivers innovation, too.


Every time I visit KBIS, I make it a point to visit the Blanco booth and see what new styles and colors they're offering in Silgranit, one of my favorite sink materials. As Blanco was the host for this Germany/LivingKitchen trip, I was one of the Design Council members given a tour of their large booth at the show. I really liked the Ronis Sink with its cutting board cover and accessories.

I would definitely spec this as a client's prep sink, but in an undermount configuration. I also liked the new Blanco Ceramic sinks.

They offer both fireclay durability and great accessories - i.e., Sensible Style!

Game Changer Alert: Now You're Cooking!

Gaggenau is a company that isn't afraid to innovate. At LivingKitchen, they introduced a fabulous new induction cooktop that works like no other smooth top I've ever seen - induction or radiant. Anywhere you place your pot or pan on its surface becomes a burner.

If you move the pot to a new place on the cooktop, it recalls your previous settings, making cooking more flexible and efficient. Wow.

Take a look at my LivingKitchen Top Trends Post, too! Some of these will be heading to a North American kitchen near you!

Also check out the blogs of my fellow LivingKitchen travelers. Each has their own great posts on this terrific tradeshow. The links below will take you to their home page. A search of "LivingKitchen," "Living Kitchen," "IMM," or "Cologne" should pull up their top-notch coverage.

Leslie Clagett's KB Culture
Paul Anater's Kitchen and Residential Design
Susan Serra's The Kitchen Designer
Cheryl Clendenon's Kitchen Details and Design


  1. Love the recap - I can vicariously see what went on at IMM! I'm a huge fan of quartz, & can totally understand why you like those porcelain countertops - I REALLY like those carbon fibre options a lot!! And that Bosch mini dishwasher unit is a winner too.

    Thanks for the great post.

  2. I'm curious to know what sizes or max size the porcelain tops come in.

    It looks like it was a good trip. :-)


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