Trend Spotting with NKBA on Blogtour Milan

I had the pleasure of attending Salone De Moblie in Italy recently on BlogTour Milan. This gigantic trade show is a the forefront of trend in Europe.

“The Salone del Mobile is the global benchmark for the Home Furnishing Sector. An invaluable tool for the industry as well as an ongoing, quite extraordinary promotional vehicle. The Salone made its first appearance in 1961, designed to promote Italian furniture and furnishing accessories on the export market, and it has continued to do so impeccably, ensuring that the quality of Italian furniture is known to all four corners of the earth, and continues so to do, with half of all its visitors coming from around the world.”


NKBA, one of our lovely sponsors had us spotting trends and reporting back. It was such fun to see what everyone was finding individually.  For those of you unfamiliar with this industry giant NKBA is the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a professional group of trained and experienced kitchen and bath experts. NKBA members can assist in making the most efficient and beautiful use of your space. We can guide you through the construction or remodeling process, helping you save both time and money.

There were certainly many design trends to note.  My biggest takeaway is that European kitchens are much more modern and streamlined than their American counterparts. Here are the trends:

1. Flat front cabinets

We hardly saw a cabinet in all the show that was not a totally flat front. I did not see any raised panel or shaker cabinets.  Wood finish in light gray cerused oak or a very high gloss laquer finish were the most popular finishes.



2. no hardware or inset hardware

Very few cabinets had any hardware.  Simplicity was key. If cabinets did have any hardware the hardware was integrated into the face as shown below or inset or routed out of the cabinet front. Bad news for the hardware companies. 


3. Interior lighted Cabinets and drawers

Lighting was taken to the next step. Most cabinets and drawers had interior lighting that was triggered when the cabinets opened. This trend is certainly going to brighten up those dark spaces. 


4. Brushed Stainless Countertops

Countertop materials were either brushed stainless or thick laminate or solid surface such as Silestone or Dekton.  We did not see much marble or granite.  The stainless seemed to be the most prevalent option in various showrooms. This was often mixed with other surfaces throughout the kitchen countertop surfaces. 

5. Deep inverted miter countertops

Inverted Miter Tops were everywhere as shown below. I love this trend and hope it makes its way across the pond.  It does create some share edges on the corners with the 45 degree angle.  It is a nice modern and clean take on the previous rounded and ogee countertop edges. 


6. Free Kitchens

Moveable or free kitchens are certanaily trending as well. The thought of having movable cabinets is not necessarily something we see in the US.  In Europe you often take your kitchens with you when you move.  You would move into a flat that just has the kitchen hookups. The versatility of the designs were interesting and very versatile. 


7. Integrated dining tables in island

The breakfast table integrated into the island  at another height is a refreshing way to embrace the kitchen as the heart of the home. People naturally gather in the kitchen anyway.  I was particularly drawn to the islands that had barstool space with a dining table off the other side.  The table was often another top or finish from the working island area.


8. Vessel Sinks

The vessel sink continues to be popular in Europe and the US.  We did not see many of our traditional undercount sinks in the bathrooms.  Vessels bring the bathroom counter and sink to look more like a furniture piece. 


On another related note, I noticed that all the European refrigerators were smaller than out larger American counterparts.  The reasoning behind this is that typically Europeans eat more fresh ingredients that do not require refrigeration and they shop locally and more often.  This could be a secret to health that we are missing.  They go to the local farm stand and avoid the large grocery and the produce filled with preservatives when possible.  I heard this numerous times when I asked different vendors about the size of the appliances.  Interesting tip, no? 


BlogTour Milan and the Venice jaunt was made possible by the generous sponsorship provided by BLANCO America,  Gessi,  Clever Storage by Kesseboehmer,  Dekton by Cosentino, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and Modenus.

Be sure to subscribe to THE ENGLISH ROOM for extra news, giveaways and discounts.
Please make sure you “like” The English Room on Facebook.
Follow  @theenglishr on Twitter
Follow Holly Phillips @ The English Room on Pinterest
Follow The English Room in Tumblr
Follow The English Room on Instagram
Follow me on KEEP too!
Please feel free to contact The English Room if you are interested in our interior design services in Charlotte or beyond.


  • June 2, 2014

    So sorry I didn’t discover you in Milan. I follow and love your blog (firmly entrenched in my Feedly). I was with the Blanco mini-group! Oh well maybe next time. Great post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.