If you have a passion for cooking and like to spend time in your kitchen, the industry has never been in a better position to give you an idyllic space for your creativity. If your wish is to create a home where your kitchen is the shining jewel where friends and family congregate, look no further than today’s trends.
The kitchen is often in full view as open plan homes are always popular. The kitchen should be integrated into the whole, giving pleasure to the beholder and creating a luxurious scene from any aspect.
Sleek lines, contemporary design, and technical advancements were the highlights of EuroCucina and Salon del Mobile, two major design shows in Europe this year. Home owners are looking for top quality kitchens while at the same time craving a convivial space to socialize. Increasingly, people are looking for design elements that enhance their cooking but are also easy to use and are energy efficient.
Elements of kitchen design that remain key are function, customization and luxury.
If you like contemporary design many home owners worry that it will be sterile but Jenny Provost, owner of K2 Designs, has proven in her award-winning designs that this is not the case. Jenny’s use of warming woods has always been at the forefront of her design and chic walnut finishes are a hot item. Still in vogue are a mixture of elements; contrasting cabinet colors, working with different varieties of wood, and easy-to-clean surfaces.
If you are a traditionalist but looking for something a little different, mix contemporary with traditional cabinetry. Black or royal blue cabinets are popular and you can combine dark with white for a striking contrast. Instead of hiding everything from view, enjoy display cabinets in the kitchen combining glass and metal frames, creating an attractive focal point to highlight special dishes.
Hot for 2019 is a cooking method that shortens the cooking cycle and produces perfect food, particularly meat. From the French for “under-vacuum,” Sous Vide (pronounced soo veed) has been used by chefs since the sixties but had yet to catch on with the general public until recently. This unique cooking technique involves vacuum sealing produce, submerging it in hot water or by placing the vacuum pack in a steam oven. The food is cooked slowly and all the way through, retaining moisture and flavor. Meat can be pan-seared before or after cooking to attain a traditional look.
Miele, a favorite luxury appliance manufacturer, have responded to this growing trend with two new appliances; a vacuum sealing drawer and a combi-steam oven. The vacuum sealer is perfect for storage, marinating, and traveling with food, but makes sous vide cooking a breeze.
With the combi-steam oven you can cook sous vide and other dishes at the same time. Miele offer cooking classes at several stores, and have cook books and a website with growing recipes, some of them from happy owners.
Another innovative advance from Miele is their new cordless roast probe. You can take meat out of the oven and don’t have to worry about taking the probe out first. Clever designers have even integrated a place for the probe to live while not in use so it won’t get lost in a drawer!
Fisher & Paykel from New Zealand have been selling high-end appliances in the U.S. for a long time and are known for their environmentally conscious approach to manufacturing. In 2018 they exhibited their DishDrawer™ tall dishwashing drawers at the EuroCucina show in Milan which were very well received. Dishwasher drawers have been around for some time but these taller drawers can easily fit larger pots and platters. The tall drawer has been designed to fit under the counter side-by-side so you don’t have to bend down.
Another innovation that revolutionizes how you use the kitchen is the CoolDraw™ multi-temperature refrigerator drawer that can be placed anywhere in your kitchen layout at waist height, in a similar manner to the dishwashing drawers. The drawer can be set to five chill levels of your choice whether you want to freeze long-term or just chill some wine.
New for 2019 are Fisher & Paykel’s column refrigerators. Coming in a variety of widths, they are especially perfect for smaller spaces with eighteen-inch columns. In their New York showroom you can visit their compact kitchen that proves you can be a gourmet chef in a small space and still have full-size appliances.
Both companies have produced an all-electric range with an induction cooking surface, perfect where gas is not available, perfect if you want the look of a traditional range. They have also been forward thinking and brought color into the mix; Fisher & Paykel with colored ranges in red, black, white and stainless, Miele with their graphite grey collection.
Always looking to innovate, cabinet makers are using technology to modernize cabinets with automated hydraulic systems, making it easier to open doors. In addition, homeowners are asking for storage space in the kitchen to hide their personal technology, keeping cell phones to hand and using tablets to look up recipes.
Countertops are a reflection of your personal design style. If you prefer the durability of quartz, American manufacturer Cambria is keeping current with color trends, recently producing beautiful patterns in black and gold aligning with current design trends.
You may have noticed the popularity of herringbone tile which is being touted as the latest in tile trends. This proves that design goes around and around as the herringbone pattern was first used by the Romans. Fortunately, it is a classic look that is versatile and using different color combinations looks good in both traditional and transitional kitchens.
Every year there are innovations to make working in your kitchen a pleasure. Customization is essential for your dream kitchen because you are unique – so are your needs. Whether it be a custom range hood, a personalized cabinet color, or a special cabinet, don’t accept average. Tell your designer what you need and let them build the kitchen you never dreamed of.
Written for K2 Design Group in Bonita Springs, Florida