15 May 2012

Eurocucina 2012 - Guest Post by Cheryl Hamilton-Gray of Hamilton-Gray Design

Cheryl Hamilton-Gray, CKD is one of the top kitchen and bath designers in the country, so when I ran into her last month and she agreed to share her impressions of the massive Eurocucina show she was about to attend in Milan, I was excited beyond measure!  Now that she's back, this Eurocucina veteran generously took the time to write down her thoughts and share her photos with Gold Notes readers.  Here's her take on what’s hot for kitchens from Europe. 



What I saw were predominantly white kitchens in lacquers and laminates mixed with textured rough-sawn woods from gray wash barn-wood tones to chocolate browns. Woods were wire-brushed and rough-sawn, in laminate and natural wood.  Shades of taupe with a mix of whites and woods, and natural walnut solid and veneer still have a strong presence. Unusual kitchen surfaces shown were concrete, chiseled marble, recycled paper and thin porcelain slab. Accent colors were predominantly in the battleship blue family, apple green and red. 

Epitome of textural and color combinations with steel patinated counters and sliding backsplash 


Counters were a mixture of materials and sizes, often in the same display. Thick or thin were evident, but rarely an inch and a half standard as in the US. Commonly used were stone slabs in brown and grey tones, very little Carrera or Calcutta marble. Engineered surfaces, glass, stainless and patinated metal counters were popular. I also saw an abundance of white engineered stone counters. 

Variations of counter thicknesses and materials 


Modular cabinet segments locking into each other on different planes vertically and horizontally were a strong trend. Still exhibiting working and storage stations concealed behind sliding doors along back kitchen wall with island in front. In some cases, the island has countertops that slide over prep or sink area. Along with sliding door applications, bi-fold pocket doors served the same function. When folded, they had a narrow hinged door concealing hardware. A lot of these applications were shown in life style environment displays with family room and dining room décor. 

Interlocking segment components 

Curves are making an appearance but not bold as in circular islands of the past. These are more gentle curves accenting cabinet ends or interior corners. They tend to soften some of the harder materials and finishes used. 

Cabinet curves 


Cabinet openings are primarily handle-less, accessed through a u-channel, vertical or horizontal cut out or touch-latch. Upper cabinet doors are generally horizontally-stacked and accessed with a remote control. Where hardware is used, it is as exaggerated as jewelry. 

Hardware as jewelry 

Cabinet interiors are gaining importance with contrasting veneer finishes,, glass shelves and drawer sides, even leather-clad shelves. Nearly all interiors are illuminated with LED lighting. An innovation in drawer inserts is a magnetic system where the dividers are easily moved to suit storage applications. 

Leather shelves 

PHOTOS:  All photographs were supplied by Cheryl Hamilton-Gray.


Cheryl Hamilton-Gray, CKD is an NKBA-certified kitchen and bath designer and the president of Hamilton-Gray Design, Inc. in San Diego's North County.  Her designs have been published in countless magazines and have won numerous awards.  


  1. Your article is amazing! Keep up the good job. Congrats!

  2. I agree entirely, Anne. Cheryl exceeded even my highest expectations! Thanks for stopping by. I'm proud to feature many of the industry's top talent in Gold Notes guest posts and hope you'll continue reading and subscribe.

  3. Jamie, I love seeing the European kitchen trends (even though they're usually way too sleek for my taste for my own home). My sister-in-law has sliding doors on upper cabinets in her kitchen, and I can't think of anything more inconvenient--just give me my ordinary cabinet doors!

  4. I'm a bit of a traditionalist myself, Jean, but I can appreciate (and have designed in) European style.

    Thanks, as always, for taking the time to visit and share your kind words.


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