Raw Materials Take Center Stage in European Kitchens

The organic movement isn't just about food anymore.

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Eurocucina banner

If the concepts on display at EuroCucina in Milan are any indication, designers are looking toward raw materials to bring a natural feel to the kitchen.

Whether it's bare metal shelving, unpainted wood cabinets, or rough stone countertops, there's a new kind of honesty in kitchen design. Instead of hiding cheap sheets of particle board behind veneers or masking fine hardwoods with elaborate finishes, builders are now showing off the raw materials used in construction.

Another trend: Putting plants in the kitchen. Plenty of concept kitchens at the show included herb gardens with room to grow even in cramped, urban kitchens. They add much-needed life and warmth to modern cabinetry that's often visually cold, and provide a steady supply of fresh herbs for cooking.

Plenty of concept kitchens at the show included herb gardens with room to grow even in cramped, urban kitchens.

Some of the best herb gardens we saw weren't too elaborate—just whole-wall shelving with room for potted plants to grow.

In fact, enterprising DIYers could easily replicate some of the concepts on display at EuroCucina. Just add shelves and plants, and you've got yourself an indoor wall garden that doubles as a decoration.

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Natural wood shows the work of human hands. The workers painted on this credenza built a skyscraper.

Viewed through the larger prism of trends in food, these new designs make perfect sense: Cuisine has been moving towards simple, fresh ingredients. It's only natural that the kitchen is following closely behind.

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