By KIM COOK
On New York's Pier 94, this spring's Architectural Digest Home Design Show was a chance for professionals and armchair decorators to see a sampling of what's state-of-the-art in everything from appliances and room finishes to, well, art.
Premium kitchen and bath manufacturers deployed exhibit teams and chefs at the late March show to display the finishes and features of high-end equipment.
There was a yin and yang feel to the booths in the cookware section: On one side, La Cornue, Viking and Sub-Zero showed professional style ranges and ovens with lots of high-profile dials and burners, in the ubiquitous stainless, but also in interesting new colors like deep orange, marigold and blue. Muscular and serious, they were matched in some cases with Old World-style cabinetry, cornices and flooring reminiscent of French chateaux, or maybe Downton Abbey.
If those were the Bentleys, on the other side of the aisle were the Ferraris: the sleek, polished kitchens of SieMatic, Scavolini and Miele. Stainless, glass and lacquered cabinetry in white, merlot and stone hid the major appliances; countertops were smooth runways with integrated stovetops and no discernible controls. Even when knobs were raised above the surface, there were custom covers to make them disappear. (www.siematic.us; www.scavolini.us; www.miele.com)
And there were even a few hybrids, including a kitchen from DOM with faux weather-bleached cupboards and tables coupled with sleek opaque glass cabinetry. Jenn-Air combined rustic veneers and whitewashed storage with professional steel equipment. (www.dominteriors.com; www.jenn-air.com)
Sculpture met function in many of the range hoods â¿¿ some were mighty-looking machines that seemed powerful enough to suck up the cat, while others had a more decorative feel.
Sorpresa's Sphera, a sculptural air extractor, mounts like a pendant light; Lipstick resembles a cosmetics tube in saucy red lacquer. Elica showed its jewel-encrusted orb light and exhaust combination. Streamline offered custom hoods clad in colored glass and steel, as well as the option to cover the hood in your own photographic art. (www.bestsorpresa.com; www.elica.com)