There were so many terrific products and trends that I would love to share with my American-based clients. These are a few of the Sensible Style items I saw there that I hope will be brought here in the not-too-distant future! A few, as noted below, are slowly starting to make their way across the pond!
Porcelain countertops offer the same durability and ease of maintenance as quartz, but with a different look. I would not only specify these for my clients, I would use them in my own home.
Top Porzelanik Barcelona would be ideal for North American kitchens, too!
I've only seen porcelain tops in the US so far with Italian Modulnova kitchens, custom-fitted for their cabinets and shipped from Europe.
It would be great to hide away the faucet in a contemporary kitchen installation when you don't want to see it, especially on an island. A faucet that drops down to the countertop level can achieve that for you, but I haven't found one here yet!
Blanco's BLANCOELOSCOPE is perfect for the "un-kitchen" look.
High-end laminate cabinets
These are starting to make their way to the U.S., often via international producers like Allmilmo, but the beauty of the styles available in Europe was striking. Some were textured, some glossy, all distinctively different than the laminates that builders plugged into tract homes for years that gave the medium a bad name.
German cabinetry brand Allmilmo is one of the international firms making laminates look good.
Turn-lock kitchen sink drains
We have this style drain on tubs and bathroom sinks here, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a turn-lock drain on an American sink. They were widely shown at the German show. (By the way, turn-lock is my descriptive name for them. The Europeans call them cable-driven waste systems.)
Considering how practical they are, it doesn't make sense to me that they're not widely available here. (One German manufacturer told me that they haven't been widely embraced by the plumbing community.)
Not having to store a drain insert in your sink cabinet would be a nice little benefit! Right now, Duravit USA's website has this technology on their attractive Cassia sink. More manufacturers should follow!
Other kitchen drains don' t hold water compared to this style, shown here on Duravit's Cassia sink
These are available with Corian countertops, but not everyone has or wants those. There were numerous styles, materials and configurations to choose from at the LivingKitchen show. They looked great and offered practicality with pretty good looks.
Duravit brings the integrated drainboard stylishly to the US market with its Starck K model
Gaggenau showed off some fabulous new induction technology I hope crosses the ocean very soon! Anywhere you put your pot or pan on the cooktop worked, not just a few specific burner areas. There were other bells and whistles, too, like a setting memory, but the whole surface approach to cooking was what really won me over. Hopefully, this will be available in the US when I'm ready to replace my dated, gas cooktop.