Inspiring Eco-Kitchen at Milan 2012
When I go to the Milan Furniture Fair each year, I expect to see stunning contemporary design with clever twists on texture, perspective and color.
But I don't necessarily expect brilliant eco-design. This year, I was captivated by the eco-kitchen designed by TM Italia. They obviously put in a lot of thought and effort to make this modern kitchen both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly.
The first part that caught my eye was the back wall covered in greenery. Even though plants indoors are, of course, very common in our homes it's still a little unusual to see a wall of plants.
But it's not just a green look. The Tillandsia-dressed wall purifies the air in a 50-square meter room, removing indoor air pollution stemming from smoke, formaldehyde (that's the "offgassing" you often experience with new furniture) and electromagnetism (all that technology in your home).
The kitchen materials are made from recycled materials with zero emissions of formaldehyde. Modern design elements, like these panels, create an elegant look and feel.
The combination of neutral wood grains and eye-catching light and texture fit in nicely with the contemporary design trends I spotted throughout the event.
Other green design features I picked up on during my visit to the booth included a "smart sink", in which the sink can identify and appropriately route gray and black water and the garbage disposal system sends organic waste to a composting unit.
All in all, I loved this very innovative design that incorporated a beautiful modern aesthetic with a forward-thinking commitment to sustainability.
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Ginny Snook Scott
Ginny Snook Scott is the chief design officer at California Closets. She has over 25 years experience with California Closets and has helped over 1,000 clients organize their home.