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Living Kitchen at imm cologne

Ben Morgan looks at what’s cooking at imm cologne 2011’s Living Kitchen exhibition.

Living Kitchen at imm cologne


January 24th, 2011

LivingKitchen is a new addition to the imm cologne line-up and features the world’s biggest names in kitchens, from Bosch to Gaggenau, Smeg to Miele, they’re all here.

The smells of German food wafting throughout the halls made me very hungry, but I was able to focus on the task at hand and spotted some interesting new appliances and noticed a few trends that might be making their way to Australia.

The first thing I noticed wandering around is that the stainless steel sink seems to be almost non-existent, but where they do surface they are always squared. Ceramic and porcelain sinks seem to be where it’s at now – even Philippe Starck has had a go with a new range of sinks for Duravit.


Another dominant feature of the show was what I can only call ‘Rangehood as Centrepiece’. Once hidden away behind cupboards, here there were a lot of rangehoods mounted on an angle, showing off the underside almost as a work of art.




Integrated dishwashers and fridges continue their popularity, melding seamlessly with cabinetry, although it seems with designs such as those from Starck and Karim Rashid (for Gorenje) people are still looking for appliances that make a statement.




And when it comes to statements, they don’t come much bigger than a concrete fridge, right? Well, that’s exactly what German company Liebherr have come up with – well at least the fridge door is made of concrete.



Rather than being polished, the fridge’s finish is kept quite rough to emphaise the true nature of the surface. They’ve also done one with a ceramic tile façade.

Hettich once again showed off their Kitchen Concept 2015, while Warendorf presented their Interior Innovation Award-winning kitchen featuring a wall of cupboards and workspace with a ladder for those hard-to-reach cookbooks, and a colourful island bench.


Meanwhile, the Alno stand was packed with people keen to check out the massive Marecucina – getting in touch with their nautical side.


Miele and Gaggenau were probably the biggest and busiest stand, with full working kitchens keeping the punters happy and their latest products on show.

The LivingKitchen exhibition was added, according to CEO of Koelnmesse Gerald Böse, due to the fact that around 10 million Germans are estimated to be ready for a kitchen upgrade. So this section of the fair did feel like one for the Germans, promoting the latest in cutting-edge kitchen design to the consumer and residential interiors markets.

But, as the term ‘European Appliances’ continues to be essential in a good Australian kitchen, we’re likely to be seeing a lot of these trends, appliances and fixures heading our way very soon.

This was Ben’s last post from Cologne; next he heads to Maison et Objet in Paris. Click here to read Ben’s daily blog from Maison et Object 2011.

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