Living Kitchen Show with Cheryl Torrenueva – Loving the Au Naturel

Only a few weeks back in January, our lovely KDC flew all the way to Germany for a whirlwind adventure to meet our International Blanco family. Our host, Diana Elliot prepared an amazing line up of opportunities to see how influential the kitchen and bath industry is worldwide. I was fortunate enough to travel with my favourite designers, Andrew Pike and Aly Velji and we often found ourselves pinching each other since it was like we were dropped in designer heaven the minute we arrived!

On our agenda was a brief visit to the Living Kitchen Show in Cologne. And I say brief because we had a limited time and there were multiple halls that you could literally spend an entire week going through. First stop, the BLANCO booth. Wowza! This is one of the most impressive setups that I’ve seen at a trade show in a very long time, complete with a waterfall and full service restaurant. Now that’s the perfect way to make a statement to potential clients while browsing the gorgeous displays of the latest faucets and sinks.



One of my favourite elements of the show was the sophisticated modern lines paired with the “Au Natural” look of wood veneers and organic styling. Not a lot of dark wenge finishes this year, and more focus on the aged weathered ash and walnut, which has become a huge trend and it’s slowly trickling into the North American market.

Check out the PRECIS CASCADE Sink paired with this beautiful wood cutting board. I love how the dark Silgranite backdrop allows the wood finish to come alive; which shows that choosing the right accessories and colour combination for your sink is very important


Here’s the perfect example of uber modern cabinetry; the horizontal grooved cabinetry fronts topped with textured wood veneered countertops grounds the whole look and creates a more welcoming feel to what could have been a very stark kitchen.


All wood kitchen? From far away, the richness of the wood caught my eye and I didn’t realize until I walked into the space that they had incorporated a glass countertop in the same colour family. I enjoyed the use of a monotone colour palette that was different than the usual neutrals that we have seen in the past. This keeps the space feeling unified and very inviting.


As a designer, sometimes you get stuck focusing on the big ticket items like cabinetry and appliances, but the styling at the Living Kitchen Show was so spectacular that it has awakened and inspired me to style my heart out for 2013. This display of clay bowls and ceramics, natural grape wood and branches placed on top of natural surfaces was absolutely stunning and we saw this trending in many of the booths this year.


The natural elements demonstrated though out the show were not only inspiring but added a nice calming effect to what could have been an overwhelming experience. I hope you got some great “Au Natural” inspiration from my pics and I can’t wait to share the rest of our trip with you!!! More to come.



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