I have thousands of photos from my Germany trip and almost as many pages of notes. Thank you again to Blanco for granting me this chance of a lifetime perspective on design in Europe.
There are a number of innovations I saw in Cologne that will probably never make it across the pond and a few that will. There were a couple of new things (that aren't new in Europe) that have really had me thinking for the week that I've been back.
For starters, nearly all European kitchen sinks have a drain switch, which can be usual for people who are used to more western Kohler sinks.
That's the dial in the front of this sink. That switch works like the pop up drain in a vanity sink. Stopping and unstopping the sink drain doesn't involve reaching into dirty water in the EU. Blanco tried to introduce the idea of a kitchen sink drain switch in the US but the masses rejected it. As shown above too, most European sinks have an integrated drain board.
I saw a lot of sinks that have integrated cutting boards.
This is an idea so brilliant I can't get over why it hasn't been adopted universally. The dial in the foreground of this photo is the mixer, it sets the temperature and turns on and off the faucet.
Blanco's telescoping faucet was at the IMM in Cologne in a big way and my pals at Blanco's US headquarters assure me that this faucet will make a US debut this year.
That's a fitted, removable strainer basket with a lid to the left.
The small compartment to the rear of that sink is a second drain line. Most European sinks have overflow drains. Sometimes, they just act as an overflow drain and sometimes they add some utility as does the one above.
For as long as I've been involved int he kitchen and bath industry, I've been told that it's impossible to undermount a sink in a laminate counter. Well, that's the very thing I'm showing above. That's a Blanco ceramic sink undermounted in a laminate counter.
Blanco got its start as a stainless steel fabricator and it's in steel that they excel as kitchen artisans. This is a stainless steel counter with two integrated drainboards and an integrated, flat bottom sink.
It's a one centimeter, floating counter.
Another cool touch on a lot of Blanco's steel sinks is a drain cover. It serves no purpose other than to disguise a sink drain.
It's an almost inconsequential detail that makes a world of difference. The rectangular shape on the back sink wall is the overflow drain and the man in the background is Tim Maicher, Blanco's VP of marketing in the US and all-around good guy.
Prior to my trip to Germany (and later to Canada) with Blanco, kitchen sinks were never something I spent a whole lot of time thinking about. I knew that a good one was important but I never really grasped what makes a good kitchen sink. I sure know now! A good sink begins and ends with Blanco. Don't ever buy anything less.