Texture, designed into many of the kitchen displays I saw at LivingKitchen two weeks ago in Cologne, Germany, was front and center as a trend. It showed itself in various forms, but the movement was clear - Europeans clearly want warmth in the form of wood grain, whether real or faux wood.
This specific type of texture was shown in walls, backsplashes, cabinet doors and countertops. It was also seen in flooring, which I will be covering separately.
The kitchens were warmer in their overall feel than the last time I was at this show, yet, interestingly, and here is an important point - European cabinet manufacturers show texture in a very modern way as opposed to designing in heavily textured wood with more of a country feeling which we are familiar with here in the U.S.
The new European kitchen designs are using textured wood in a straightforward way - plain (mostly flat, sometimes raised small squares in a modern pattern) and simple. When you add flat, simple, doors, modern accessories and appliances, no amount of heavy texture will move the design toward the next level of warm and fuzzy that we are used to seeing in the U.S. - you need paneled doors and other design elements to go down that road.
Nonetheless, the added texture seen in the kitchen displays does contribute to a sense of comfort, warmth, and a casual nature to the design.
Below are images which illustrate the various ways texture was used at the LivingKitchen show. I've turned the color saturation down quite a bit to more clearly show these textured areas. This was a mainstream trend!
What do you think of this trend and how it's used?