The Internationale Mobelmesse design fair (IMM) was held just a few weeks ago in Cologne Germany. Wish I were there!! This show is now being touted as one of the most modern design fairs in the world – and the newly implemented “LivingKitchen” is quickly becoming one of the leading kitchen design shows to attend. Hmm maybe next time! The LivingKitchen highlights cutting-edge design and innovation from kitchen furniture, sinks, appliances, fixtures and fittings of all kinds. European kitchen design can appeal to many and be rejected by some – particularly here in the US, but I know you’ll find great inspiration from many of these design principles, theories and trends that you’ll be able to integrate into your kitchen project this year. By the way, how are you feeling about your kitchen these days? Are you contemplating a remodel this spring, or are you just going to update it down the road when it’s time to sell? Don’t wait to renovate your kitchen for someone else! Spend your money wisely – on yourself – and enjoy it now. So here’s a glimpse of some modern kitchen design trends that are coming out of Europe. Which ones will work for you? Fluid transition and layout between the kitchen, dining and living spaces – where the kitchen just flows into the neighboring spaces speaks to the Universal design principles that is fast becoming a trend here at home. Notice the smooth and natural matt finished wood flooring juxtaposed with the high-contrast white kitchen cabinetry and furniture. Just gorgeous! Subzero and Wolf Photo: Leicht Kuchen AG Thin countertops 1cm (3/8”) thick is a new trend coming out of the show. Think countertops – on a diet. Are we ready to get rid of our thick and chunky countertops and replace them with the more trim and fit counterpart? The way in which they are fabricated and applied creates a sleek and contemporary kitchen style, which speaks to the overall integrated kitchen concept. Large appliances are concealed behind doors, drawers and cabinetry. We’ve been seeing the integrated kitchen grow slowly over the years in both modern and traditional applications in the US and Canada and will continue to see more integrated kitchens working their way into newly built and renovated homes. Energy efficiency and new intelligence will forever be a work in progress and in the forefront of product development and manufacturing. Energy saving programs and smart/intelligent appliances provide the consumer with every opportunity to be smart and green. This award-winning range by AKB-InnoVent includes both gas and induction burners and can be incorporated into all types of countertop materials. The i-Cooking gas hobs from InnoVent Believe it or not laminates are making their way back into the kitchen– at least in Europe. But this time around the material appears to be much more substantial and sophisticated than the plastic laminates I’ve been ripping out of homes over the years. Laminate isn’t just appearing on the vertical surfaces of the cabinetry but countertops as well. These are only a few of the interesting kitchen concepts that were showcased at the IMM show. As a designer I’d love to see some of these trends make it over this way – and implement some of these ideas into a few of my projects. Stay Inspired! I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2011 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.