Design is more than the external appearance of a product. Good designs win people over through their ease of use, high level of functionality, attractive appearance and compatibility with the environment. Italian and German manufacturers lead the World in kitchen design with customers such as Elton John and F1’s Bernie Ecclestone.

More than ever its design that determines whether or not a product is successful. The key to success lies beneath the surface: “Good design is not defined merely by a product’s appearance. Instead, it is also expressed through technical innovations and the special touch and feel of a product which, when in harmony with each other, lead to a holistic product design”, explains Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the World-leading International Red Dot Award. He goes on to say: “There are four aspects which characterize outstanding design. In addition to the primary quality of use, the qualities of ‘function’, ‘seduction’ and ‘responsibility’ play a decisive role in the development and assessment of good design.” Depending on the type of product, these four aspects are weighted differently. For example, the most relevant quality for tools is use, while for kitchens the function quality is especially important.

Germany’s Hacker Kitchens says the kitchen and its design must be a perfect match. Their aim is to upgrade the overall design visually and also with clever technology. They do this with overhead cabinets that are half shelf and half cupboard with LED lighting underneath to light up the benchtop. When the top, cupboard door is opened the LED strip lighting turns off and the cabinet interior is lit. Another new design concept is for intelligent solutions for often unused corners. Small kitchen appliances or utensils can be placed on small electricity-powered tables that automatically lift up when they are in use, thereby ensuring that the valuable space underneath can be utilised in a comfortable way. The intelligent, fully adjustable solution is available with two or three tables and equipped with an anti-jamming device and LED lighting. Each individual table has a high load capacity and it extremely stable. Popular colours and textures late 2017 were concrete; black and stainless steel but woodgrains are still widely sold.

And in Italy, Pedini kitchens are not all about high-end quality. The company is equally skilled in the manufacture of mass-produced kitchens at a competitive price. Their customers include Sir Elton John and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Architect and Pedini product designer Alfredo Zengiaro said “The secret of good design is in the coincidence of aesthetics and industrial standards brought to the production and commercialisation of a product.” Pedini understands the relationship between trends, function and lifestyle and integrates kitchen and other furniture elements to create living spaces that are dependable, dynamic and uplifting. The first Pedini kitchen was designed and produced in 1957 with the awareness that Pedini had established its own flair by using free-flowing curved lines and creating different working and living zones within the kitchen.