Technological innovations designed to make meal planning and preparation more convenient are on the way to your kitchen. Integration is one trend, seen in refrigerators with built-in WiFi and touchscreens or a coffeemaker in the front of the door. Ranges and ovens are also getting high-tech makeovers, such as an oven pre-programmed with recipes and the capability of adding more, or a voice-activated grill that allows users to adjust the time and temperature of the item they’re preparing. It can also learn your preferences and send a text when your steak is a perfect medium rare.
Apps can remotely turn on a number of kitchen devices, including small appliances such as crock pots, so that a meal is ready when you arrive home.
For safety as well as convenience, a new induction range projects LED flames onto a pot when an eye or burner is on, since the electromagnetic field doesn’t emit a glow. Retailers are beginning to stock microwaves that radiate energy in a pattern resembling a tornado or cyclone instead of straight lines, which may heat foods more evenly. And soon your appliances may be one step ahead of you, capable of notifying a service technician when repairs are needed.
New kitchens and older ones being remodeled will include hidden storage compartments and charging stations for laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. These smart spaces can keep devices handy and charged but off the kitchen counters, where they might easily get splattered or knocked to the floor.
Many other innovations are being developed and making their way toward the consumer, and whether you classify them as luxuries or necessities, they’re bound to change kitchen design. To keep you informed of what’s new in kitchen technology and help you decide which ideas fit your lifestyle, consult a professional kitchen designer.
Find someone you feel comfortable working with by asking friends and acquaintances for recommendations. Once you have a few names, check out their websites and use search engines to learn more about them. Check out customer comments, and see if a designer lists any awards or is a member of a professional association. Also look for examples of their work on sites such as Pinterest or HOUZZ. After identifying consultants you’re interested in, arrange for an initial meeting. Some designers offer a free consultation, but you might get more personalized, in-depth advice from someone who charges for this get-acquainted visit. Look for someone who listens to you, asks questions, takes a lot of notes, and wants to understand the needs of the entire family. By getting to know you, the consultant will be better positioned to come up with personalized ideas and solutions.
Author: Caren Danneman, CKD, CBD