KITCHENS ARE TURNING into futuristic fairylands. Pantries rotate, trash cans flip out, metal-lined bread boxes with foldaway boards and slicers slide out, carts roll out, corner racks and coffee makers swing out, blenders swing down, stepladders pull up, soap dishes tilt out, and wine racks swivel.
In this brave new world, appliance doors are paneled to match laminate-lined cabinets that have inside and underside lights. Innovative kitchen drawers can contain silver cloth, knife blocks, oversize cutlery holders, bottle cradles, pots and pans, stereos, work tops, even dining tables.
The kitchen revolution was spearheaded in West Germany. Allmilmo, whose cabinets curve to utilize every available inch, introduced tall arches, self-closing fold-flat doors, integrated furniture and room-dividing counter / tables. Leicht makes high-style, high-gloss lacquers, wood grains and faux granites with ribbed glass doors. Sie-Matic's wood-looking cabinets, with brass towel railings, are polyester. In Poggenpohl's chrome-banded Metropolis kitchens with glass-shelved picture windows, 32 coats of black polyester mirror black-glass appliances.
Snaidero's shiny Italian kitchens have sandblasted glass doors and under-counter tables. Smallbone's elegant handcrafted British hardwoods, with cornices, arched headings and paned glass doors, include trompe-l'oeil white "marble" panels to match Corian's faux marble work tops.