Sleek elegance, natural shades such as beige, green, brown and grey, natural materials, and oak in a modern guise were recurrent themes at Eurocucina. Many of the international manufacturers who exhibited at the show, which coincides with the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan, were in unison where looks were concerned. On the functionality side, there is a trend towards solutions offering efficiency and comfort. And this is where renowned manufacturers rely on intelligent technology in furniture, in other words on premium-quality movement and comfort systems.
Product solutions for tomorrow’s kitchens
Close, constructive partnerships with customers aimed at the joint development of optimal product solutions for the kitchen market of the future are more than ever a major focus for GRASS. The Guided Press Tour organised by this manufacturer gave trade journalists the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with exclusive kitchen manufacturers who are equipping their latest creations with movement systems from GRASS.
One example was Mobalpa. “For us, the movement is crucially important. When a potential kitchen purchaser enters a kitchen studio, the first thing he or she does is usually to open at least one of the drawers in the display kitchen – that’s something we’re well aware of. The opening action then becomes the decisive quality indicator for the kitchen model. It’s this first impression that decides so much. We’ve already been working with GRASS very successfully for 20 years. Their extensive portfolio plays a significant role in helping us to differentiate our various brands. For instance, we use different drawer systems for specific model lines. And the long partnership we enjoy with GRASS means we have great possibilities for influencing certain product developments,” says Mobalpa Product Marketing Director François-Xavier Tesson.
José Herrerías, Managing Director at Gamadecor which is part of the Spanish group Porcelanosa, also emphasised the outstanding scope for differentiation afforded by GRASS products. “GRASS helps us to set ourselves apart. We’re currently focusing on Vionaro. The opening movement of a drawer with this system is very gentle and agreeable. There is so little resistance that needs to be overcome when opening the drawer – barely any force is necessary. GRASS is the perfect partner when it comes to combining functionality with first-class design.”
Häcker values the perfectly complementary collaboration with GRASS: “The constant striving for differentiation as well as technical and qualitative improvements that benefit our customers is reflected in the technology of the fittings. This is where our partnership with GRASS enables us to develop functional, reliable systems with a design aspiration and produces the required benefits for kitchens that are built to last. For us, GRASS is the manufacturer we work with to jointly develop individual drawers that are perfect for our purposes. The close involvement, having a say in the development process and the opportunity to pick up on technical requirements from the manufacturing process are all part of our partnership,” says Michael Dittberner, Head of product development & product management.
The right movement system for every requirement
Alongside the comprehensive ranges of double-wall drawers with their diverse choice of features, add-on and organising systems, it was first and foremost the designer drawer Vionaro which continued to attract attention in Milan and is currently the benchmark for drawer systems.
Nicola Juliani, who is the strategy adviser for Stosa Cucine, cannot disguise his enthusiasm for this product: “For our standard models, we use the double-wall drawer system DWD XP Agantis and the hinge system Tiomos. We have been the first manufacturer in Italy who used Tiomos. Together with GRASS we made it perfect. The proven system DWD XP enjoys a high level of acceptance among end users because it really is based on a perfect slide. Vionaro, on the other hand, is something entirely new. I see Vionaro as an innovation for the kitchens of tomorrow. For us GRASS is the leading producer for movement solutions.”
Valcucine stresses the importance of being able to adapt kitchen models to highly individual customer wishes. In addition, minimalism is the predominant style among the company’s latest models. Daniele Prosdocimo, Communications Manager at Valcucine, explains why they choose GRASS: “GRASS is certainly one of the best manufacturers. Perhaps the best. We like the fact that GRASS products support our concept of customization. The better our ability to accommodate individual customer wishes, the greater will be our success at creating the ideal kitchen for each individual purchaser. The wider the scope for individualisation – and that includes drawer systems – the greater the likelihood that the kitchen purchaser will be able to identify with the end product and relate to it emotionally.”
Partnership leads to success
GRASS was particularly keen to highlight the partnership aspect of its relationships with customers. “We visited both existing and new customers, all of whom actively and specifically focus on our products – there really isn’t any better form of recognition than that,” says Ronald Weber, Chairman of the GRASS Board. “In Milan it was evident that there are several major trends which are currently influencing kitchen furniture designs. In addition to the continuing theme of minimalism, we are seeing an increasing tendency for kitchen and living space to meld into one, the ability to individualise models and, not least, a growing functionality. GRASS movement systems support all these trends. We’re glad to have the opportunity to support more and more manufacturers in finally creating an extremely stylish and functional piece of furniture of high-end quality from many parts.”
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