As most of you probably already know, the Living Kitchen Show 2011 is currently taking place in Cologne, Germany 2011. We received a great review of the first day of the international fair from Susan Serra, CKD, author of The Kitchen Designer blog which we decided to share below. (photo credits: Susan Serra)

The new international kitchen show, a trade fair focusing on everything to do with the kitchen, opened its doors. As a US kitchen designer, I was struck by the size of the displays (they are large!) and the quality of design and innovation. A trip into a fantasy world of kitchens! Although I have only seen part of the show, here are some observations that stand out for me. Texture in cabinets and countertops is hot! Often seen in patterns of nature, but sometimes fantasy, particularly in countertops, the look is fresh! Here is one example of a glass countertop, by Lechner

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The color is Truffle or mushroom, or greige, and it's e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e! Seen in on cabinetry, countertops, walls, flooring, in any variation. It's a beautiful neutral and puts me into a peaceful state just looking at it.

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Appliances do what you NEED them to do. All the buzz surrounding Gaggenau's booth was focused on its new cooktop, where one can put up to four pots ANYWHERE on the cooktop and the induction cooktop will heat in response to its placement! The image shows the pots nearly off the cooktop to illustrate the lack of burner locations. I want one of those!

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And, you know how we can conceal nearly every appliance except ovens? This may be the year of ovens behind doors - I've seen this over and over on the show floor and here are two images which show this look - all in keeping with a more simple, streamlined, kitchen design.

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