I was always amazed at their locking mechanism for cabinets with ovens. I don’t really know what happened to them, they are still around – or their website is. Maybe the hospitality centers were more popular since they didn’t have to pass inspection from local building officials.
When “unfitted” kitchens were in vogue and refrigerator manufacturers, most notably Sub-Zero; created integrated appliances, designers were inspired to get away from the old free-standing refrigerator and create elaborate built-ins.
Some used custom cabinetry to mimic the look of old-timey kitchen ice boxes. As kitchens became more ornate, carved moldings were added and refrigerator cabinetry was often a separate color to make the armoire piece stand out.
It’s sort of interesting that designers aimed to hide refrigerators within cabinetry that they used to create a focal point for the kitchen.
I fell in love with this Draper DBS design circa 2008. Sub-Zero had set the standard at KBIS as the manufacturer to beat for best inspirational booth. I started following William Draper for inspiration as my first designer crush.
As kitchen trends evolved, the refrigerator armoire became influenced by Asian design. I clearly remember everyone trying to find Asian fittings from furniture manufacturers because none of the big cabinet hardware suppliers offered any zen styles in the early 2000’s.
When Siematic developed their BeauxArts Series under the guidance of Mick De Giulio their Asian-influenced refrigerator armoire was also heavily replicated. As BeauxArts.02 came out around 2011, the finishes drifted away from the stained Mahogany toward glossy lacquered woods, matte gray and shiny nickel.
Interestingly, the Siematic armoire is now looking more and more like a built-in. Only the gap at the top and the occasional use of crown makes the tall cabinetry feel like a furniture piece. (See blog featured image, too)
Siematic seems to have put their kitchen furniture emphasis in their Urban Collection. It’s much more European than the BeauxArts Collection.
Speaking of European design, kitchen designs shown this past April at EuroCucina centered on the theme of the kitchen being a shared space embracing the innovative new dimension of “connectivity”.
One show stand-out was the TM Italia debut of the Miuccia kitchen designed as part of the LAB 2016 collection.
With the sink and cooktop concealed under two sliding marble cutting boards one could easily think the Miuccia kitchen is just another furniture collection.
The 3D fronts and rose gold are certainly on trend but only time will tell if small kitchen armoires will start trending here in the states. Sometimes the biggest constraints to trends migrating west is the difference in the appliance sizes and electrical wiring.