Words By Michele Lerner
Although colourful appliances and high-tech gadgets were on display at the 2018 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in January, not all items demonstrated on the showroom floor will make it into people’s homes. Here are some exceptions:
Columns for refrigerators and more
‘One of the most surprising things to me is how quickly column refrigerator units have been adopted,’ Elle H-Millard, industry relations manager for the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), said. ‘It usually takes years for trends to be embraced, but these were introduced just a couple of years ago, and their popularity has boomeranged.’
Separate refrigerator and freezer units allow homeowners to reconfigure and customise their kitchens with more or less freezer space or special units for different food groups.
Technology can be used to improve safety in kitchens, such as appliances with an automatic shut-off or an alert system, which Dan DiClerico, smart-home strategist and home expert for HomeAdvisor, says will become increasingly important for elderly people adjusting their homes to better meet their physical needs, or ageing in place. Some exciting technology, such as smart appliances, are enticing but yet to be widely embraced by homeowners.
Among the options for smart appliances are refrigerators with a camera and an app so you can look at the contents when you’re at the grocery store, and a refrigerator with an LCD panel with a menu of apps that can function as a command control for family messages.
New ways to declutter
Neatness counts in today’s kitchens, perhaps because most newer kitchens have an open floor plan that makes them more visible to guests.
‘The biggest motivation behind a kitchen remodel is reorganising and increasing storage. Homeowners are updating their cabinets with things like pullout recycling baskets, cookie sheet organisers, revolving corner trays, and pullout trays and shelves,’ Nino Sitchinava, principal economist with Houzz, said.
A little colour and darkness
Although white and grey are still on-trend for kitchens, colourful appliances and new metallic finishes could be found in abundance at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.
‘Appliances and fixtures in brass, copper and gold finishes look elegant and not outdated. We’re even seeing some bold appliance colours like cobalt blue or orange. The good thing about those is that they have a simple panel to exchange the front for a different colour in the future,’ said H- Millard.
‘Black stainless-steel with a matte finish was a major trend at KBIS this year’, said DiClerico, who thinks it is a true challenge to the popularity of traditional stainless steel.
Featured Image: Ryan Christodoulou, Unsplash