We're calling it: this kitchen innovation – inspired by an ancient Chinese game – will reshape kitchen design forever

This curvaceous kitchen feature caught our attention at the world's biggest furniture fair – here's why we think it will rewrite kitchen design in the future

Cesar's Tangram kitchen island
(Image credit: Cesar)

Every so often an innovation enters the design stratosphere that makes us stop and take notice. The latest – and possibly most transformative in the world of kitchen design – is Tangram.

Inspired by the ancient Chinese game of the same name, Tangram is a new kitchen island concept that consists of five curved and straight shapes that can be combined to create multiple configurations, designed for even the most awkwardly-shaped spaces. 

We think it is a fundamental solution to the difficulties presented by small kitchen design; one that refuses to accept the limitations of space. It will allow you to choose the best kitchen island shape for your room, rather than being limited to simply designing the right size kitchen island for it.

Tangram kitchen island trend

The Tangram kitchen island includes both straight and curved elements

(Image credit: Cesar)

Informed by geometric figures, Tangram aims to echo the modular logic of a traditional island, while avoiding the linearity associated with one. It is this smart combination of form and function that has made us take note.

'The Tangram project allowed us to embrace the need for fluidity in design', the experts at studio Garcia Cumini, who created Tangram for the Cesar kitchen, told us. 

'The rounded shapes are based on variable radii to create a sinuous outline that not only makes the product unique but also liberates the user from the rigid, rectangular shape associated with traditional island designs.'

Kitchen trends from Salone del Mobile 2022

(Image credit: Future / Sarah Spiteri)

If you hadn't already noticed, curves in interior design are back on trend in a big way. And if there is one room in the house that not only needs the space-saving fluidity curves can offer, but also invites us to experiment with new and exciting combinations and innovations, that is the kitchen. 

Not only is there little benefit in kitchen islands having sharp corners from an aesthetic point of view, but rounded edges are more space-efficient, and with the rise of 'entertainment kitchens', more and more kitchen designers are also realizing that shapely and cylindrical design is more conducive to social settings.

The modern kitchen is not only a purely functional environment where we simply prepare food; it’s also a convivial space for entertaining; a space to challenge pre-existing notions of design and think outside the box, and that is exactly what Cesar has done with Tangram.

This was unsurprisingly one of the most talked about designs at the vast kitchen show, EuroCucina in Milan in 2022 – and for all the right reasons. 

What we love about this customizable kitchen island is that it activates the ergonomic benefits of curves to get the party flowing. Curvaceous design, once popular in the '80s, is back in vogue. Full-on voluptuous or gently rounded, fluidity in design will lift a kitchen layout and soften the overall look of your room, adding a bold design focus or a subtle touch of shaping to your kitchen.

What's more, a curved island can also include a more expansive seating area, allowing guests to comfortably eat and mingle around the island, and with the rise in popularity of the social kitchen, we expect to see this island 'trend' stay for the long haul.

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.