Why I went. What we did. Who I saw. What I ate. In Germany!
Why did I go to Germany?
I was chosen by The NKBA to attend the Global Connect German Haus Fair Tour with other designers, dealers, and showroom owners from the US and Canada. I believe in saying yes to opportunities of growth and travel! So when I was invited I knew this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.
1. What is the German Haus Fair Tour?
It is the world’s largest kitchen design trade show and design fair, known as KuchenMeile or Kitchen Mile, where 90+ countries come together to see what European kitchen design style is and what's new. We saw new appliance technology that was being introduced to the world and we were not disappointed.....well, maybe a little.....because we can't get it here in the Americas yet. We visited Area30, IDF34, showrooms and factories.
The first day started off with a visit to nobilia, one of Europe’s largest kitchen manufacturers who produces 4,000 kitchens A DAY! The tour included a factory tour and showroom visits, culminating in a luncheon with nobilla executives at their headquarters.
This inaugural trip was the genius of Suzie Williford, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of the NKBA. Our amazing trip was sponsored by Nobilia North America, Poppenpohl Kitchens, Miele Appliances, and Hettich hardware. Modenus Media organized this trip and I was so honored to be included.
I also said I would share what we ate! And we ate well....
After lunch we stopped at IDF34 where we saw the ultimate in luxury options for cabinetry and finishes at Bauteam....a secret room....(where I couldn't seem to behave) and a dry aging system to make my fellow foodie friends green with envy.
Still not done for the day!
We then went to Hettich, whose products include hardware for making your mind gleeful with possibilities. We learned about how the company strives for precision, quality and innovation from employees who work there every day. Their engineering brain was on full display as they strive to make the everyday tasks more efficient, more useful, and more achievable for everyone, regardless of height or ability. You will have to watch videos to see their mechanisms at work. Still shots can't fully capture the brilliant innovation!
STILL not done yet!
Next stop....a seriously cute stop to see more showrooms! Miele, Wagner & Schonherr, Grundig, beko, Noodles, Noodles & Noodles Corp (I swear!), La Pavoni, Blanco, and more.
Day 1 recap video.
Our trusty bus delivered us to Area 30 where we found companies such as BORA, Systemceram, Falmec, Swisscave, and so many more.
A trip to the Marta Herford museum, which was designed by one of my favorite architects Frank Gehry. Nar and I had the same sunglasses so.....we're cool. We met with the head of the German Furniture Association and discussed how we could work better together, what we saw as challenges and what we wanted to see more of in the US and Canada.
And then off we went to Poggenpohl where we met Bas Mol, Sales Director for Poggenpohl and learned more about how they produce their gorgeous craftsmanship as well as their international reputation. There were sooo many drool-worthy moments here for sure!
Pocket doors that enclosed entire kitchen walls were one of my favorite things. But the lighting had to be my absolute favorite. Incredible internal organization in the drawers, pantries and anything they do! Oh wait....maybe even more than the lighting, was the metal wrap they put on their doors and drawer fronts! Such a lovely detail.
But this blog is also about what I ate and drank right?? Check out the fabulous barista they had onsite! 1. He made a much needed and appreciated fabulous oat milk latte. 2. Check out his boots!!
And then, of course, more food ;-)
Day 2 recap video.
And finally, we were off to Miele. OK, we did see them already at another stop but this was the main Miele facility, and it was very impressive! Did you know that they can load a semi in 2 and a half minutes?!? I had no idea how incredible and deep their history was, the family behind it, and the various items made by them over the years! After our tour, they took us to lunch. Truth be told, they were going to host us at their facility for lunch......but they were hosting a party for their long standing employees that day and this ceremony had been delayed due to.....you know what already, COVID. Can't compete with that.
But check out this appliance that I would 100% have in my Seattle kitchen!!
After lunch, we made a stop off at a sweet, small town to do a little shopping, take some photos and maybe have a drink to break up the bus trip back towards Frankfurt and dinner. Have I mentioned that we spent a lot of time on a bus? I like the community time the bus offers...any time I get to sit and pick the brain of any of these brilliant designers/entrepreneurs is a good day for me.
Day 3 recap video.
If you have made it this far.......cheers to you!! And thank you. This was an incredible trip, from which I have a firm appreciation for German kitchen furniture (cabinetry to the rest of us). I have new industry friends that I cannot wait to see at KBIS in January for a reunion.