French and Italian showrooms collaborated this year on the design and installation of a 1,700-square-foot 'Modern Home' at the Architectural Digest Show. With a kitchen by Valcucine, furniture by Ligne Roset, and closets by Rimadesio, the space was tricked out in high-end designer decor, but I couldn't help wishing there was a little more color…Last year's dream apartment featured installations by the same key players, and the results seemed a little more energetic back then, with high-contrast accent walls and natural wood furnishings warming up the space. In a basic convention center booth, it's hard to avoid that sterile showroom feeling, but the grays, blues, and basic whites of this year's installation did little to lend the space a distinct personality.
The star of the Modern Home, in my opinion, was the Valcucine kitchen. With a sliding butcher block that conceals the range and pop-up panels that hide small appliances, it's a minimalist's dream kitchen. Its design seemed intuitive, smart, and fitted with plenty of storage. Parts of the kitchen are eco-friendly as well — Valcucine uses new growth wood, recycled materials, and water-based and citrus-oil finishes for its products.