Integration and automation are central to modern kitchens with people relying more and more on the latest technology to operate their culinary spaces. And more commonly than not, the kitchen is no longer a singular area with ‘show kitchens’ absorbed into the public entertainment areas of a home while the working kitchen is enclosed in a separate adjoining space.

“People no longer consider kitchens to be just another room of the home. They are central to the entertainment area of the house and because of that, we’re finding clients are really keen to be involved in the design process, either directly with us or with the assistance of interior designers or architects,” Poggenpohl’s designer Lara Farmilo says.

“The front facing show kitchen is integral to the home. It defines the character of the homeowners and how they live and entertain.”

For Lara, who has worked exclusively with German-designed and manufactured kitchen brand Poggenpohl for more than a decade, the evolution of the kitchen is more evident than ever with a clear move towards handleless operation.

“The technology that is available now is getting really advanced and what we’re finding with Poggenpohl is that the New Zealand market is loosely following what is happening in Europe, which at the moment is centred around utilising technology to operate the functional elements of the kitchen,” Lara says.

The notion of handleless operation has spread from drawers and cupboards right through to handleless ovens, fridges and other appliances, which are now commonly integrated into the cabinetry and effectively hidden behind a seamless, clean facade.

“What this means is the kitchen becomes more akin to furniture in regards to its place in the home, rather than the appliance-heavy area that it used to be with visible fridges and other functional aspects. Those are now all concealed behind this seamless exterior. And it is because of this integration that the handleless componentry can be installed in the cabinetry allowing for handleless operation of almost any appliance, large or small.”

Technology is also allowing for thinner benchtops, which are proving popular across the New Zealand market at the moment, and adding to the clean, streamlined aesthetic.

Muted tones and matte finishes combined with the handleless and streamlined functionality are together paving the way forward in the fashion of kitchen design. “It’s a simple, pared down elegant look with clean, minimalist lines,” Lara says. “From a materiality point of view, we’re seeing an increase in the use of very tactile finishes with natural materials included.”

Poggenpohl starts the kitchen design process from an architectural or space plan. The client is interviewed to ascertain their design needs and functional aspects, including preferences relating to finishes. The Poggenpohl products are used as a base for decision making in the early stages, before a design is developed customising the products into a bespoke kitchen.

Once approved, the design is sent to Germany for manufacturing with a three-month turnaround between approved design and installation.
Get in touch with Poggenpohl New Zealand on ArchiPro here to see how you could create a customised contemporary kitchen.