Better Living Expert – Tomorrow’s Kitchen
Kitchens evolve with high-tech, health-focused, and sustainable appliances
The kitchen may just be the hardest working room in the contemporary home. Increasingly connected, it links family members to each other and the rest of the world through technology, and frequently does double duty as a homework hub, social centre or home office.
EXPERTS WEIGH IN
A survey of 17 experts and 842 kitchen and bath retailers across nine countries—conducted by the Silestone Institute, which is led by global quartz surface producer Cosentino— suggests these trends will only accelerate over the next 25 years. Kitchens of the future, they suggest, will be flexible, family-friendly and highly functional.
THE FUTURE IS GREEN
Two major themes emerged: kitchen functions will continue to expand beyond socializing and eating, and emerging technology and materials will foster healthier eating habits and more sustainable lifestyles.
Appliance manufacturers are already responding to these drivers with smart appliances—large and small—and new materials that make it easy to bring the kitchen into the 21st century. Here are a few that have emerged during the last year.
Whirlpool’s clever food kitchen recycler Zera uses oxygen, moisture, heat, a plant-based additive, and an agitator to break down a week’s worth of food waste within 24 hours (based on an estimated 3.5 kg of weekly household food waste for an average American family.) Launched in the U.S. this summer, no word yet on when it will make it to Canada— fingers crossed!
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Miele’s new Eco Flex dishwasher combines the efficiency of low-energy consumption with a powerful wash and dry cycle that’s completed in only 58 minutes. Like many of the new generation of appliances, it can be controlled remotely with an app.
FRIDGE WITH A VIEW
“Foodie culture” is inspiring manufacturers to create userfriendly, flexible offerings. KitchenAid’s new counter-depth, French-door bottom-mount has a door-within-a-door feature that saves space and gives home chefs easy access to fresh ingredients.
DESIGN THAT DOES MORE
Multi-functional kitchen spaces need durable, design-friendly surfaces. Silestone quartz delivers, and its makers even say cooking elements and media screens embedded in the surface may not be that far off.
HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD
Philips Airfryer uses the circulation of hot air within a chamber to fry, bake, roast or grill—all using little or no oil. It doesn’t need to be pre-heated, and on hot days, it lets the home chef get a meal on the table quickly without heating up the kitchen.
COFFEE TO GO
Hamilton Beach’s programmable thermal coffee maker is a simple example of the trend toward kitchen elements being used throughout the house, such as, a fridge drawer in a bedside table or in a family room. The 10-cup thermal carafe can be transported anywhere— the porch or balcony in the morning, or dining room or den after dinner. Because coffee doesn’t sit on a heating element, it stays fresher longer.
STYLISH & SUSTAINABLE
Eco-friendly initiatives can be simple to incorporate into the kitchen. Ikea’s Backig dinnerware, for example, is made partly of glass from its own factory scraps.
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF COSENTINO, IKEA, KITCHEN AID AND HAMILTON BEACH