As technology and designs improve, kitchens evolve all on their own.
A good few years ago, the kitchen became the “new” place to be, and took over from the lounge or living room as the much bandied “heart of the home”.
There was a time of course before that when, very much “below the stairs”, the kitchen wasn’t the place for a family to hang about at all, and certainly not a spot for entertaining.
So things have changed – spurred significantly by ever evolving technology, as well as of course, by social, spatial and financial demands. And while we may think that kitchens have remained more or less the same since they moved “upstairs”, a quick thought back to the orange electric frying pans of the 80s and the TV grills reserved for Sunday nights will make you think again.
Fast forward to 2016 and the wealth of new kitchen trends should inspire some revamping fantasies, a new reality or two and certainly a guide as to what makes investment sense.
Steam oven and steam cooking
Popping up now at home décor shows, the steam oven is by no means brand new, but certainly on its way in, with the newest kitchens abroad having fitted steam ovens in place of regular convection ovens and microwaves. Steam ovens use small injectors of steam to cook, producing a moist heat which removes the need to baste, and while it takes slightly longer than a microwave, steaming retains far more nutrients.
Like a good gas hob, a steam oven is an investment in a kitchen that can certainly add value to a property price.
Already evident in quite a few homes, designated spots for smart services are in – and becoming expected. The most common of these is the hidden charging station, a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t space to store devices such as phones and tablets so they are always at hand, charged and operable.
On the same note, things in the kitchen are getting continually smoother. While the metallic appliance was a feature in itself just a few years ago, now hidden and integrated appliances are blended in as part of the overall look – often made from the same material used in the cabinetry. Similarly smart appliances are adding to the modern kitchen’s seamless convenience – built in coffee machines and wine coolers being just two examples.
The stylish hood
While metal was one of last year’s biggest trends, homeowners tended to use it in small doses (faucets, pendant lights and handles). Metals (be it copper, brass or bronze) will be more dominant this year, with the metallic range hood becoming more of a feature and adding a burst of contrast to a kitchen. On the subject of range hoods too, things will quieten down, with many people opting for the slowly more affordable silent hoods (try a good quality range hood with an external motor) so that family life can still go on while the steak sizzles.
Check out the beautiful kitchen designs done by the interior designer contestants on the Win A Home show this week here.
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