Sleek or traditional, kitchens go European with cool appliances and storage solutions

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      From charismatic stoves to innovative cabinetry, here's how to get the sophisticated look and feel of a European cucina in your own kitchen.

      Euro kitchens

      Sleek is the word as Montauk Sofa (228 Abbott Street) moves into kitchen design, opening the first Valcucine showroom here—and allowing Vancouverites to achieve the clean lines they’ve seen in European cucinas. Amid the Italian designer collections, look for Artematica and Genius Loci’s smooth, seamless contemporary cabinets and open shelving, or Riciclantica’s modular hits of colour.

      The lines emphasize sustainable materials and come with systems so advanced they verge on the futuristic: with Valcucine’s V-motion system, you can cue cabinets to slide open and alter the hue of serenely glowing back panels with the wave of a hand. Ergonomics, maximized storage, and even sound considerations are worked into every high-end detail, including the New Logica System’s touch-triggered doors that tuck everything away behind panels. See more at the Montauk Sofa website or the Valcucine website.


      IKEA’s Fintorp space savers.

      Space saver

      It’s an ongoing problem for Vancouver condo owners and apartment dwellers: a desperate lack of cupboard and counter space. If you have a spare bit of room on the wall beside the stove, over the sink, or on the end of the cabinets, look to IKEA’s (various locations) hanging systems to store everything from pots and pans to tea towels and utensils.

      The matte black Fintorp rail ($9.99, 57 centimetres long) pairs with hooks to attractively hang whatever you need handy—a colander, wooden spoon, copper pot, or little pail full of forks and knives—while the Fintorp magnetic knife rack ($11.99, 38 centimetres long) beats a big, blocky wooden holder that takes up valuable counter space.


      La Cornue stove.

      A taste of France

      It’s the kind of luxury stove that makes home chefs say “Ooh la la”; in fact, French-trained Julia Child once sang her La Cornue oven’s praises. Vancouver’s Midland Appliances (2015 Columbia Street) now carries France’s most charismatic stove line, with pieces that look straight out of a Provençal country kitchen. The company, founded just over a century ago by Albert Dupuy, a Parisian herbalist and perfumer, enjoys Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) status in its home country.

      The line boasts a range of features, from heat-dispersing vaulted ovens to French plaque burners, for serious gourmet cooks. But we love these high-end stoves for their Old World looks, complete with knobs and framing in copper, brass, or chrome (burnished or shiny), and hues that range from antique ivory and pistachio green to south-of-France sky blue and rich Beaujolais red. Prices start at about $10,000, but we know some serious cooks who would forgo a sports car to have one of these heirlooms.