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Kitchen connoisseur dishes out 2005's top designs.

According to HGTV's resident kitchen design expert, Arthur Tanturri, American homes are finally catching up to their transatlantic counterparts in sleek, modern kitchen design.

The Kitchen Connoisseur sees the trend for modern European styling go far beyond smooth edges and space age veneers. Americans are seeking to combine the ease of use of modern ergonomic design with the warmth of contemporary natural woods, stone and marble, as well as the technology of a gourmet Chef's kitchen.

Tanturri--founder of Chelsea Fine Custom Kitchens--shares his 28 years of custom kitchen design expertise with New York, New Jersey and Connecticut's most discerning homeowners, architects and contractors, and HGTV audiences across the country.

He is well known for his commitment to excellent customer service and his dedication to elevating custom kitchen design to an art form. His guiding principle is that an individual's ideal kitchen helps him or her lead a healthier, more productive and fuller life.

The Kitchen Connoisseur sees the following contemporary European kitchen design trends crossing the Atlantic in 2005:

1) According to Tanturri, the current most exciting aspect of custom kitchen design is an expanded inventory of colors and finishes. The European contemporary style, such as that of Chelsea's exclusive Italian line, Effeti, allows designers and clients to dare to be unique, whether inspired by an apple green matte lacquer or a fuchsia laminate.

2) Kitchen cabinetry is getting an extreme European makeover. Effeti's frosted, cylindrical cupboard features a stratified crystal sliding door and round, rotating shelving with a sturdy capacity for 850 liters, for the latest in convenience and style.

3) Glass, glass and more glass! Frosted glass wall cabinets are steadily gaining in popularity. They add a touch of elegance to the design and also incorporate well in a kitchen that is open to the dining or living room. Italian glass from Florence is the latest trend for countertops. Effeti's glass countertops feature semi-tempered, ultra thick glass with a non-scratch satined finish.

4) Convenience is key. Large gliding drawers are replacing the double door base cabinet, enabling easier access to stored items in the back of a cabinet. Flip up wall cabinets by are also very stylish and convenient, allowing access to the entire cabinet with just one door in one smooth motion, as opposed to opening two doors for the same result. With precision engineering usually reserved for Italian sports cars, Effeti's quiet, soft-closing drawers and doors are getting particular attention.

5) European design has sparked a desire for rarer and more precious materials, such as African Wenge wood. Recognizing that African Wenge is a scare natural resource, Effeti has created oakbased cabinets with the characteristic rich, dark Wenge finish.

6) Granite and marble continue to be the most popular materials for countertops, but the Kitchen Connoisseur sees a trend for less polished "honed" finishes. Honed countertops such as Chelsea Kitchen's acid etched countertops, have a more natural, warm finish that blend ideally into contemporary homes.

7) Stone backsplashes designed to match the countertops, a classic European design element, help to tie in the countertop and wall space, as well a providing an easy to clean surface for spills and splatters.

8) For even the staunchest design traditionalists, custom touches such as fully automated, self-cleaning, built-in espresso machines are the order of the day. The latest Kuppersbusch espresso machine grinds beans, steams water and milk and produces perfect espresso, cappuccino and hot cocoa at the touch of a button.

9) Tanturri has seen a large increase in health conscious clientele. The latest technology has sparked an increased interest in wok cooking, especially the Kuppersbusch Induction Wok, which uses magnets to cook at a very high temperatures without a flame. It is extremely energy efficient, safe to operate and ideal for families with young children, as the cooking surface immediately cools to the touch when the wok is removed.

10) The trend towards healthy eating has made the Liebherr BioFresh refrigerators the most popular additions for a fully equipped custom kitchen.

There is also an increase in counter grill units and Gaggenau and Miele steam ovens, both of which can be used to prepare healthier dishes such as grilled fish and steamed vegetables.
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Title Annotation:INSIDE CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN; Arthur Tanturri
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jul 20, 2005
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