DESIGN MAG VOL 2: Kitchens, Ever More on the Living Side Part 1

It’s one the latest trends emerging at the recent EuroCucina fair, the popular Milano Design Week collateral event: the kitchen is ever less a simple place apt to satisfy basic needs and ever more a hybrid, multifunctional space that blends seamlessly into the living zone.

Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano (photo: Diego Ravier)

Last June, at the 2022 edition of EuroCucina, the reference international kitchen fair concurrent with the Milano Design Week, the hype was all for a kitchen characterised by fluid spaces and ever more multifunctional, to the point of becoming a hybrid space thanks to the disappearance of traditional partitions separating it from the rest of the house. The kitchen has progressively acquired the status of the home's “centre of gravity”. A room ever less exclusively dedicated to satisfying basic needs and increasingly taking on the role of “the place” for conviviality and socialising, and where most of the family’s daily activities tend to take place. From home-office to homework, from conference calls to relaxing and sharing. Extending over an area of 16,000 square metres, Eurocucina hosted more than 80 exhibitors from all over the world, who presented the latest trends that will hit the kitchen industry in the coming months. Design Magazine has reviewed the most interesting ones.


The new Sign kitchen meets the other domestic spaces and becomes an extension of the living room. The traditional upper cabinetry leaves space to glass display-cabinets and à-giorno boiserie to create an element of harmony and continuity with the living room area.


In the D23+ Aspen kitchen, columns become the central element of the layout, redefining the space and the functional zones. The kitchen becomes the focal point of conviviality, and the retractable doors conceal the appliances and the operational areas. The pantry takes on a new, central role. Serving bowls, vases and glassware are now beautifully on display, creating a sense of harmony with the rest of the house.


ISØLA redefines the disrupting concept of the first models of kitchen islands designed by Carlo Colombo at the end of the 1960’s. A single-block model with an architectural structure reveals an open kitchen, ready to interact with the surrounding space. ISØLA is a kitchen by all means, but also a living room thanks to the new free-standing wall that provides a physical, stylish partition between the work area and the living zone.


The most widespread trend is that of an open-plan kitchen, a space that blends seamlessly into the living area. Layouts now include new modules that connect the kitchen to the living spaces: on top of the still much popular multifunctional islands, ever more sophisticated, large and accessorised, new elements are starting to appear, such as glass display-cabinets, bookshelves and other functional partitions integrated into the kitchen space. On one hand they formally mark the separation from the rest of the open-plan area yet on the other hand they also constitute a seamless integration of the functional cooking zone into the living- room in terms of continuity of styles. The kitchen is now one of the specialised areas within the living open-space, together with the dining spot, the library corner, the sitting area and the TV lounge.

Smart columns are the ultimate solution for lack of space. They have retractable doors opening on spacious shelves where pots and pans can be easily stored. They can also provide a foldable top for extra work space. Once dinner is ready, everything can be neatly folded back.
Retractable and walk-in kitchens are all the rage even in larger homes: thanks to cleverly engineered systems, smart doors conceal entire suites of large domestic appliances, including impressively-sized wine cellars, greenhouses, larders and laundry units.


Dada’s Tivalì 2.0 integrated kitchen extends over a linear space of 2,40m to 3m and can be entirely concealed into a single piece of furniture with two large folding doors. Its amphitheatre shape and the arching worktop make for a great scenic effect.


This project by Luca Nichetto constitutes a complete furniture system involving, in addition to the kitchen itself, the living room and the bathroom, ensuring consistence in styles throughout the house. Aluminium-frame doors (in white, anthracite-grey or titanium), curved steel-tube handles and an accessorised laminate back-panel characterise the project.


Floral Botanica boiserie lines the space with a versatile, accessorised-panels system. It can be personalised according to one’s needs and the intended use of the space: kitchen or living room. Contributing to the modularity of the furnishing, it combines with the new Archetipo dark oak island, featuring drawers and resting on two stands hiding all the cabling.


Next to the pantry and the work zones with all their related appliances, there now are new specialised spaces and solutions that, on top of cooking and dining, are dedicated to chatting, partying, working or relaxing.

The most technologically-advanced solutions offer automated, even mobile spaces. In addition to countertops that can move horizontally, modifying your work surface, revealing the hidden sink or extending the snack counter, one can find worktops that will instead move up and down at the push of a button, to provide a barstool counter or a perfectly adjusted work surface.

The dining area is now accessorised with shelves and metal trays, independent from the kitchen walls, to hold bottles and food ready to serve.

Another emerging trend is that of modular, panelled boiserie that can be fitted with a variety of functional elements to hold bottles, glasses, herbs or kitchen utensils.


THE 50’S redefines the containment bookcase systems of the 1950’s in a modern key and with new functionalities. The system can be equipped for the kitchen, the living room or a mix of both. It can feature ovens, wine cellars and other small appliances, and storage bays for kitchen utensils and accessories.

TM Italia

The de-structuring of space and function is the concept behind the new Avignon kitchen. The true innovation is the invisible integration of additional functions that go beyond the classic features of a kitchen. They are located in the extension countertop of the central island, which becomes the house’s social, work and entertainment hub. The retractable Home Office block can store a laptop, mouse, keyboard and stationery, and also features sockets and USB ports. The unit is fully automated and is controlled through a dedicated app to deploy and retract it.


The Way minimalist kitchen ensures maximum versatility in terms of home office space thanks to specific solutions such as the Spazio sliding top transforming the worktop in a desk in a single move, and the e-Wall system featuring a free standing cabinet transforming into a complete smart working station.


Kitchen design now also encompasses the new concept of home office and offers contained but functional work stations providing a quiet, peaceful cocoon, but also multitasking counters that can easily and instantly turn into an operational base, desk and console.

Related Article:
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