At last year's Interior Design Show in Toronto, Ikea pulled the sheets off of their bold country kitchen look, an aesthetic departure from the blonde-wood kitchens with which their showrooms had become associated. The kitchen won the show's Gold Booth Award and our entry on it quickly caught Facebook fire.
At this year's IDS, the design pendulum has swung the other way: Ikea's display kitchen features a distinctly sleek and modern look, one reportedly inspired by "the classic fashion combination of a black dress and pearls." In sharp contrast to last year's kitchen, where pots, pans, and kitchen storage objects were all made visible, this year's kitchen design renders most objects invisible, tucking them away behind glossy surfaces. In a second nod to the fashion world the backsplash tiles are meant to evoke patent leather quilted handbags and the island has received special focus.
"Our research shows that the bulk of kitchen activity, whether it is food prep, entertaining dinner guests or homework, happens at the island," explains Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, IKEA Canada's Public Relations Manager. "We switched things around and used the virtually indestructible HanStone on the island and granite on the worktops. The island features two levels, making it even more functional for all of the daily activities it accommodates." (HanStone is a moldable, compound stone material produced by blending quartz, silica and a polymer resin binding agent; the resultant surface is both durable and considered ideal for food preparation.)
Will Ikea's modern change-up give it a second shot at the Gold? Too early to tell, as it just went up yesterday and the show's still got two days left.