Category Archives: European Kitchen Design

All about European Kitchen Design, designers, cabinets and remodeling.

Fast Kitchens…

It is official – Pedini will be producing kitchens for Lamborghini!

After a successful introduction of a prototype, at a private event that took place in Milan during Eurocucina last April, the deal has been signed and Lamborghini will start selling kitchens. The kitchens are engineered and built by Pedini spa. 

Lamborghini - Pedini kitchen
Lamborghini - Pedini kitchen

The kitchens will be available in many different finishes including Lamborghini’s famous leather, carbon and high gloss lacquer, to name a few.

In Europe and the Far East, the kitchens will be available exclusively through the Formitalia Luxury Group. For US sales, contact Pedini USA.

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DoPont Corian – A Comeback… in Europe!

DuPont’s Corian® – the ‘solid surface’ product that made a huge appearance in American homes (and just about everywhere else) during the 80’s and the early 90’s has long been forgotten. Just like it came and took over the US, it almost disappeared completely, 20 years later.

TM Itlaic - Touch Tatoo kitchen
TM Itlaic - Touch Tatoo kitchen

The kitchen counter surface that promised to be “the best thing since bread slicer” fell somewhat short and did not deliver the maintenance – free surface America was so looking for. Instead, consumers that had a Corian® top did not want another one in their new kitchen and others that did not go for it the first time around, may never own a Corian® top.

TM Italia - Touch Tatoo kitchen in Corian
TM Italia - Touch Tatoo kitchen in Corian

Now, after all these years, we are seeing a renewed interest in the Corian® material, but this time, it’s in Europe! The European have found that Corian® has some very unique design possibilities and are now taking a full advantage of it. 

TM Italia - Touch Tatoo kitchen, in Corian
TM Italia - Touch Tatoo kitchen, in Corian

Designed by da Gianluca Tondi, the head of TM Italia Cucine, the Touch Tatoo kitchen model, is made completely out of the DuPont Corian®. The counters are tight fitting, without handles and come with electronic mechanisms which allow you to open them with the lightest of touches. The black decoration of the kitchen, transferred by sublimation onto Corian® Glacier White with a patented procedure, which might be compared to a tattoo on human skin, was created by the architect Nicoletta Bertolissi.

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Breaking Kitchen news!!! The Smallbone Group is sold.

Kitchen brands Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture look set to continue under new ownership.

Mark Wilkinson has been retained as head of design and it is believed that Martin Warbrick will take a sales and marketing role in the new company.

Smallbone of Devizes
Smallbone of Devizes

On 19 March 2009, Rob Lewis and Mark Shires of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were appointed as administrators to Smallbone plc and its UK subsidiaries, Smallbone & Co (Devizes) Limited and Mark Wilkinson Furniture Limited.

Immediately following their appointment, the administrators completed a sale of the business and assets of Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson to Canburg Limited, a company owned by Leo Caplan.

The sale secures the employment of over 400 staff and protects the position of customer deposits taken by the companies prior to the administration.

As part of the sales agreement, Canburg has agreed to honour orders where customers have paid deposits.

Mark Wilkinsons
Mark Wilkinsons

Leo Caplan is one of those larger-than-life characters rarely found in the KBB market. He famously founded Morgan Brookes who supply a range of digital copying, telecoms, IT and document management systems in 1999 using money from the sale of his Porsche.

The appointment of Martin Warbrick, if confirmed, shows that Caplan knows a thing or two about running a kitchen company as well.

Warbrick is arguably one of the kitchen industry’s most skilful marketers. Together with David Saxby he was responsible for establishing SieMatic in Britain. More recently he was the driving force behind the development of Christians as an exclusive, upmarket kitchen both in the UK and the USA.

Meanwhile, it is believed that a number of managerial staff will be leaving the Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson brands; these do not include Cynthia Wilkinson who has been retained as a consultant in recognition of the managerial skill she has brought to Mark Wilkinson Furniture over many years.

Smallbone had a turnover of £21 million in 2008, and employed 161 people, 129 in Devizes in Wiltshire and 32 based at 12 showrooms around the UK. Mark Wilkinson had a turnover of £26 million in 2008. It employs 277 people, with 200 in Bromham and 77 in showrooms around the UK.
Kitchen brands Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture look set to continue under new ownership.

Mark Wilkinson has been retained as head of design and it is believed that Martin Warbrick will take a sales and marketing role in the new company.
On 19 March 2009, Rob Lewis and Mark Shires of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were appointed as administrators to Smallbone plc and its UK subsidiaries, Smallbone & Co (Devizes) Limited and Mark Wilkinson Furniture Limited.

Immediately following their appointment, the administrators completed a sale of the business and assets of Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson to Canburg Limited, a company owned by Leo Caplan.

The sale secures the employment of over 400 staff and protects the position of customer deposits taken by the companies prior to the administration.
As part of the sales agreement, Canburg has agreed to honour orders where customers have paid deposits.

Leo Caplan is one of those larger-than-life characters rarely found in the KBB market. He famously founded Morgan Brookes who supply a range of digital copying, telecoms, IT and document management systems in 1999 using money from the sale of his Porsche.

The appointment of Martin Warbrick, if confirmed, shows that Caplan knows a thing or two about running a kitchen company as well.

Warbrick is arguably one of the kitchen industry’s most skilful marketers. Together with David Saxby he was responsible for establishing SieMatic in Britain. More recently he was the driving force behind the development of Christians as an exclusive, upmarket kitchen both in the UK and the USA.

Meanwhile, it is believed that a number of managerial staff will be leaving the Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson brands; these do not include Cynthia Wilkinson who has been retained as a consultant in recognition of the managerial skill she has brought to Mark Wilkinson Furniture over many years.

Smallbone had a turnover of £21 million in 2008, and employed 161 people, 129 in Devizes in Wiltshire and 32 based at 12 showrooms around the UK. Mark Wilkinson had a turnover of £26 million in 2008. It employs 277 people, with 200 in Bromham and 77 in showrooms around the UK.

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Marco Gorini, Designing for Starto Cucine

The Eclettica 

Marco Gorini designed Eclettica, for Starto – a kitchen boasting extraordinarily original lines, originated from a long research and a passion for quality and sophistication. Eclettica takes artistic purity and gives it expression, in its unique elliptical lines, the like of which have never before been seen in kitchens. With its large elliptical shapes, Eclettica features a rotating centerpiece and 180° opening which allows separate use of the cooking and clean-up areas. The strict linearity of the two operating areas, distinguished by their pure and essential shapes, contrasts with the curves of the elliptical element and the irregularity of the wood grain which covers much of the surface. Eclettica sees the kitchen as being formally re-evaluated and reinvented, transformed into an environment which reflects the style and personality of its owner. Eclettica stands for a convivial spirit, an exclusive mixture of design and functionality, a creation which is unafraid to be completely different from everything else since its success lies precisely in its uniqueness, its willingness to shirk canons and conventions.

Eclettica kitchen design - Marco Gorini, for Starto Cucine
Eclettica kitchen design - Marco Gorini, for Starto Cucine
The Kubista

Conceived in its entirety by kitchen designer Marco Gorini, this extraordinary piece of design involves an interplay of parallel lines which yields uncountable combinations of form and materials. The endless combinations offered, even when used in antithetical fashion, nonetheless result in an overall homogeneity and coherence reflecting the very refined standards which have always distinguished the philosophy of this company, a veritable champion among Italian kitchen companies. Like the majority of Strato kitchens, Kubista was conceived following a modular logic in order to yield a very flexible and personalized product allowing the best possible use of space. Marco Gorini has created this new work using logical and coherent criteria of division and combination of spaces and volumes in order to give the best in living performance. The Kubista kitchen is offered in two solutions: horizontal for the operational area and vertical for the area for food and utensil storage. Both feature new 0155 program front panels, a natural evolution of the 015, manufactured with slanting profile in sought-after Canaletto wood. 

The Kubista Kitchen Design - Marco Gorini, for Starto Cucine
The Kubista Kitchen Design - Marco Gorini, for Starto Cucine

 The Non Plus Ultra Evolution

 Kitchen designer, Marco Gorini, designed this Non Plus Ultra Evolution kitchen for Strato, enhancing their high-end kitchen collection. The result is an original research project, involving the most sought-after of materials, a passion for crafts excellence and minute attention down to the last detail. Non Plus Ultra Evolution is a real work station, assembled in a single block of stainless steel. The three pieces making up the whole fit together perfectly to a thickness of 80 cm, the level of the upper surface of each block, yielding a sort of “Gulliverian” puzzle. 

The Non Plus Kitchen Design - Marco Gorini, for Starto Cucine
The Non Plus Kitchen Design - Marco Gorini, for Starto Cucine

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The 10 largest European Kitchen Companies

The Nobia Group                            Häcker                                   Mobalpa, France   

Many of you have asked me for a ‘top 10 list’ of European kitchen companies. Being that in my mind ‘Top 10’ is not just about company size and/or sales volume (especially in today’s economy…) I’m still working on that list for you and sooner or later it will be posted.
In the mean time, with the help of a good friend (thank you, A.S.), I was able to come up with the list of the largest companies in the European kitchen brands for you.

Bauformat, Germany                      Nobilia, Germany                          Cuisine Schmidt
The difficult part about coming up with such a list is how do you measure size, or I should say – by what parameters. I see, some European companies are actually part of a Group – they own several kitchen brands/factories, not necessarily all in the same country (!). Some manufacture kitchens but also sell retail, through a chain of factory owned stored. They may produce less kitchens, then another company, but if you add their retail sales, to their wholesale figures and then add appliances (manufactured by appliance companies, counters and even labor, the comparison is simply not easy.

Nolte, Germany       Alno Group, Germany         Schüller, Germany           Snaidero Group, Italy  

So with the above in mind, the only way to create the list (without going nuts) is really just by total sales figures (Europeans like to use the term – ‘Turnover’). So here is the list:

1. Nobia Group (Sweden) – There are many companies in this group, like Poggenpohl and Pronorm (Germany), HTH (Denmark), Marbodal (Sweden), Sigdal (Norway), EWE (Austria), plus, they also have a retail-network in the group – Magnet (UK).
2. Nobilia (Germany) – one company.
3. Alno GroupAlno, Wellmann, Pino and Impuls (Germany).
4. Cuisine Schmidt (France) – including a retail-network.
5. Häcker (Germany) – one company.
6. Nolte (Germany) – one company.
7. Mobalpa (France) – including a retail-network.
8. Schüller (Germany) – one company.
9. Bauformat Group Bauformat and Burger (Germany).
10. Snaidero Group Snaidero (Italy), Rational (Germany and including retail-networks like Ixina and Cuisine-Plus.

Some intresting facts:

  •  The majority of the companies, in the above list, are from Germany and the Scandinavian countries.  In that part of Europe, the groups (or concerns) are very typical and have been around since before Columbus discovered America… (no joke!).
  • The only Italian company is in the tenth spot – unlike the northern Europeans, in the southern part of Europe, the opposite is more common – smaller companies, privately owned and operated. Even inside Italy, the more south you go, the smaller and more family owned and operated the companies are. With that said, there are a lot more Italian kitchen companies operating and selling kitchens, then there are German and Scandinavian combined…
  • If we only consider single factory sales, without retail sales and/or other companies in the Group, the largest one is Nobilia, from Germany, then  Häcker, Nolte and Schüller, from Germany.
  • This list is not guaranteed, as many companies do not publish their sales figures but is fairly close to reality. Also, the list can change in one day, if one of the groups decides to sell off a factory or two, or in return, to acquire a couple of brands.

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