bulthaup kitchens are well known for their clean lines, ergonomic layout and precision German engineering and manufacturing. But don’t think for a moment the family-owned company, founded by Martin Bulthaup in 1949, has become set in its ways when it comes to how its own designs are used and configured.

Styleture recently dropped by bulthaup’s Via Durini showroom in Milan during Salone del Mobile (April 9-14). The company was showcasing a conceptual kitchen installation and its latest product offerings. The focus was on the human element, transforming the space into something completely unique: today’s personal “living, breathing” kitchen.

The installation invited visitors to see things from a new perspective and open their minds to the broader concept of the kitchen. It played with a wide range of materials, heights and finishes and incorporated a variety of well-worn accessories, utensils and cookbooks from around the world to show the human fingerprint we put on the kitchen. The collection of b3 elements was designed to encourage visitors to engage with their senses and reimagine the heart of the home.

In an age where many people have “trophy kitchens”— spaces that are gorgeous in appearance but often times rarely used and inflexible in terms of design— the installation was a breath of fresh air.

bulthaup’s latest products include functional wall panels and storage spaces, new finishes, colors, materials and accessories. Here are some of our favorites:

For the first time ever, bulthaup’s functional panels make use of the space between the panels and the room wall. Divided into four sections, or louvers, these can be opened up to create pouch-like compartments for placing utensils and other items while preparing or cooking food. This helps leave the entire work surface clear— a must for any small kitchen. While the panels can provide a home for your decorative items, they boast a sleek minimalist look when closed.

In addition to untreated grey and bronze tones, bulthaup’s new sand-beige aluminum finish offers a brighter effect. With its unique anodizing method, bulthaup can produce aluminum surface finishes in beautiful colors that create a warm, pleasant look and feel that changes with the light.

Their b3 interior fitting system (introduced last year in Milan and winner of multiple design awards) has several new accessories, and each one can be placed anywhere within the prism structure. Their new bread stoneware container draws moisture in and releases it slowly, keeping bread fresh for days. Its untreated sycamore maple lid has a high tannin content, creating a natural anti-bacterial effect.

Their storage containers are made of high quality white plastic with the appearance of fine porcelain. With transparent lids designed to lock in aromas, their asymmetrical bases firmly anchor them to the prism structure but are also highly stable when placed on the countertop.

Seeing all the possibilities offered by bulthaup was a thrilling experience, and we can’t wait to see what these innovations hold for the future of kitchen design.

Which bulthaup design is your favorite? Let us know on twitter @styleture!

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