10 Things You Should Know...
1. Keep it sleek. “European kitchens are trending very contemporary,” says Mikal Otten, lead kitchen designer and owner of Exquisite Kitchen Design, who likes the look of horizontal lines and warm woods juxtaposed against cool stone floors.
2. Declutter the countertop. William Landeros, designer and showroom director at bulthaup Denver, says, “Europeans are fierce about moving unnecessary clutter off the counter.” Follow suit by stowing everything that you don’t use daily.
3. Functionality first is the European way. Assess the organization of your cabinets. Are your dishes within easy reach of the dishwasher? Spices near the stove? Do you have utensils organized by function: prepping, cooking and serving?
4. Spring for smart storage. Landeros recommends storage solutions such as the “function boxes” that come with bulthaup’s b3 line. Doors flip open to reveal knives, cutting boards, scrubbies and other everyday usables.
5. Start fresh. “Lots of Coloradans are pulling out their old kitchens and installing easier to clean, low-maintenance European cabinetry,” Landeros says. The so-hot-right-now look is bronze- or graphite-shaded aluminum warmed by black oak or walnut.
6. Be flexible. Instead of incorporating the big range that you rarely really need, consider a Fagor portable induction cooktop, says Samantha Bales, principal at Studio2b, a Denver design house that carries swanky European lines like Poggenpohl. “You store it in a drawer and only pull it out for big meals,” she says.
7. Choose “quiet” countertops. “Quartz countertops like Caesarstone are very popular right now,” Landeros says. “They don’t have a busy pattern like granite does and create more harmony in the space.”
8. Materials matter. “Europeans love natural materials,” says Otten, who is partial to Carrera marble, woods such as larch or fumed oak, and metals like iron and steel.
9. Microwave begone! Bales loves her Gaggenau combination convection-and-steam oven, which “cooks nearly as fast as a microwave, but never dries out the food.” Better yet? One more appliance is eliminated from the space.
10. Grow your own herbs in style. It’s très chic to grow your own herbs, but traditional pots may cramp the sleek Euro style. Modern, self-watering pots (like Eva Solo’s Herb Pot) make functional look fabulous.
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