Trend Report 2016 from Milan

Greetings from the sunny and colorful Milan! Once again a record was broken in Milan’s exhibition with over 370 000 attendants, a 4% increase from the previous event two years ago. This kind of positive spirit and atmosphere is great to be able to experience, especially together with the Stala team! After each trip to Milan’s Mobile and EuroCucina trade fair you feel wiped out, with feet tired from walking and head spinning from all the visual stimuli. Thankfully the experience is nothing but positive and it can’t be recreated anywhere else since it is so unique.

Grey kitchen with tile wall

Powerful patterns and combinations of different materials were this year’s megatrends, seen in kitchen countertops, backsplashes, plinths, kitchen cabinets and other furniture. Patterned tiles have also made a comeback into kitchens, a refreshing change after the white trend of the past years. Hugely inspiring was also the extremely bold use of colors and patterns showcased at the exhibition. Popular colors used in interior design were different tones of green, blue and violet, not forgetting burnt orange and ochre. When executed with good taste, the use of these colors is desirable and even probable in the Nordic countries, as well.

Kitchen with mosaic tiles

The prominent features still found were thin worktops, combining different kitchen countertop materials and no pulls, knobs or handles on cabinets. Even with the wide use of patterns and colors, the different tones of gray were more remarkable than before and I believe they will hold their popularity for years to come. Kitchen furniture showed steel taking over chrome on different surfaces. Different structures out of steel tubes, also painted and lacquered, were found as components of kitchen cabinets. The use of glass in different forms was also quite visible in the upper kitchen cabinets, so much so that in many places they were practically vitrines.

Stainless steel kitchen worktop

The most popular material in sinks was definitely stainless steel, some stone sinks of different sorts were also featured. Stainless steel worktops were used around cooktops and as full length kitchen counters, with integrated sinks. I challenge kitchen designers to consciously use different countertop materials, in the best possible way. Stainless steel being the most functional material next to cooktops and sinks, appropriately combined with other materials.

Stainless steel worktop

As a designer and advocate for usability, compared to the sinks in Milan, I am glad the Nordic countries appreciate functionality over mere appearance. The exhibition showcased numerous sinks and kitchen designs that were certainly interesting visually, but nearly unusable due to these features. Well, at least Italian food lives up to both these standards, being both good and good-looking!

Rustic kitchen

Everything seen and experienced in Milan will definitely be a positive influence on the upcoming products of Nordic companies, Stala included. Let’s all work together to make future homes and kitchens even more functional and inspiring!

With springtime greetings,

Category manager Jari Peltonen
Jari Peltonen
Category Manager

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