Clever Storage Ideas That Include a Kitchen Garden
August 11, 2014 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
I am still unpacking my mental treasure trove of the beautiful designs I spied while on the Modenus BlogTour to Italy for Milan Design Week. While the hub of Design Week is Salone del Mobile (or Milan Furniture Fair for those who don’t speak Italian), the entire city comes alive with Fuorisalone, the smaller satellite fairs sprinkled throughout Milan’s various neighborhoods.
Our Italian design adventure began with a few days in Venice where we absorbed the history and culture, visited a private palace and garden, sampled great food and wine, strolled the narrow streets, and crossed the canals as design spotters in search of cool finds. And we found many.
Venice canal reflected in The Decor Girl, Lisa Smith’s sunglasses.
Dinner at Trattoria Ai Cacciatori on Guidecca island where we stayed at nearby at the elegant Molino Stucky hotel.
While there, we enjoyed the scenery during an hour journey from Venice to see the beautiful and unexpected behind-the-door kitchen fittings at sponsor Kesseböhmer’s showroom. Located in the heart of the kitchen furniture industry in Motta di Livenza in the Veneto region, Kesseböhmer’s facility features its Clever Storage line of furnishings and equipment.
The showroom is more of a lifestyle magazine in 3D, showcasing living solutions and offering cooking courses in their state-of-the-art kitchen outfitted, of course, with its latest storage systems.
While not purely aesthetic, the beauty of Clever Storage lies also in its simplicity and functionality. With the design goal of providing the maximum amount of kitchen storage space, the company creates systems which transform cabinets into elegantly efficient pieces of furniture.
Optimizing even the smallest footprints, tight spaces and hard to reach areas become easily accessible with sleek amenities inside and out.
I learned something on my visit that urban gardeners will love. Clever Storage knows that many cooks want fresh herbs at their fingertips, even if they have no room for a proper indoor kitchen garden.
Their colorful modular wall systems accommodate a planter which slips into a shelf designed for it. Tight spaces require ingenuity, and while we’ve seen many ways to incorporate gardening into a kitchen, this one is as sleek as they come.
I also thought back to the Urban Cultivator’s under-counter greenhouse (pictured in kitchen above), a self sufficient indoor garden system resembling a wine refrigerator. I can visualize Clever Storage under-counter systems working hand in hand with the Urban Cultivator. Together they would offer a totally streamlined way to have fresh greens growing right underneath where you’d prepare them.
Although the Kesseböhmer test kitchen was anything but small, it was fitted with all the bells and whistles that make a kitchen an elegant workhorse, especially a small one. While we meandered with cocktails, in the kitchen visiting chefs were creating a six course dinner later served to us like individual works of art, much like their product.
Jumping on the bandwagon of green living, Clever Storage’s parent company, Kesseböhmer, was involved in the wonderful Green Village project during Milan Design Week. A temporary eco-village, Green Village was set up in the heart of the Tortona design district, the largest exhibition area of the design week’s satellite shows, Fuorisalone.
The Green Village concept held to strict design principals while showcasing a new approach to to green home design, community living, and hospitality with a strong bias towards “conscious well-being.”
Beyond the Green Village focus on sustainability and well being, the project incorporated principals of Vastu, an ancient Indian tradition based upon the laws of nature which affect human dwellings. Part of Vedic life, Vastu deals with proportional relationships and directional alignments in spaces, all of which is of course very aligned with the concept behind Clever Storage.
During the project, Clever Storage participated in the food sector, demostrating a variety of products which featured how a smart and functional kitchen is an indispensable part of the home and one’s lifestyle.
Those who’ve ever had to make a small kitchen functional, not to mention enjoyable, would have found themselves experiencing a sigh of relief when seeing all of the possibilities.
If Clever Storage’s involvement in Green Village whispers anything about what’s on the horizon for them, I can’t wait to see how they continue to streamline sustainability and indoor gardening into their designs.
Nota Bene: My trip to Milan with the Modenus BlogTour was made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors: Clever Storage by Kessenbömer, Gessi, Dekton by Cosentino, National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), Modenus, BLANCO, All opinions exressed herein are uniquely mine and not indicative of any sponsor opinions or positions.
Unless otherwise noted, photos by Robin Plaskoff Horton for Urban Gardens.