As we look at what’s emerging with trends I think it’s important to understand that while the new year creates great opportunities for hot and new products, trends in our industry are more like a slow-paced evolution than fast-paced seasonal changes that take place in other fashion-forward industries, like clothing or household décor. So with all that there is to cover, I’m going to break this into a TRIO OF TRENDS this week! Let’s get started with part 1 of 3: (Read all posts in the 2019 Trends series here.)
Trending Now: Improving life in the kitchen
As I researched and considered the life of the kitchen, several dominant factors rose to the top for 2019 trends:
1. The healthy kitchen
New kitchen buyers are not only concerned about the way their kitchen will look; they also believe that they will be healthier in their new kitchen.1 This relates directly to food choices, and of course, food relates to food storage, which brings us first to the subject of appliances. The dream kitchen appliance suite includes the latest technology– such as a convection steam oven, which not only retains moisture but also more minerals and vitamins than food that is boiled, let alone fried! Miele® offers a steam oven with microwave, which is a great space saver if separate appliances are not an option.
Another appliance that fits into this category is integrated under-counter drawer refrigeration. Essentially, including this appliance allows for storing more fresh produce – equating to healthier snacks. To me this is the perfect complement to the meal prep station in an island. And with most appliance companies that offer these, you can fully integrate to match the surrounding cabinetry.
Also related to the health and wellness category is the growing concern for water quality. After all, 60% or more of our bodies are water! 2018 brought about a great deal of attention to this, especially in particular regions of the country, and companies like Elkay® are dedicated to the research and development of solutions to bring about the best possible water quality in the home. Products like the built-in home water dispenser and integrated water filter-faucets are truly something to consider in 2019 as you’re planning not only the kitchen but also wet-bars and laundry rooms.
2. The connected kitchen
As I mentioned in the recap of trends for 2018, technology continues to impact the kitchen and integrating smart appliances will become more mainstream in 2019. Homeowners who have not previously considered technology as part of their home are embracing the benefits such products can offer to help with healthy meal planning, scheduling life and even making time for exercise. Smart appliances are quite an interesting subject as you dig into it! This technology applies to refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers – all designed with the goal to help make busy lives more efficient. Take a look at this coffee maker from Illy that orders more pods on demand!
And this oven from GE is compatible with all sorts of connected home technology:While this topic is a little indirect for the kitchen planning aspect, discussions about location of devices like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Home Hub could be part of your conversations. Overall, it’s a good idea to look into what is happening with appliances and be prepared for the questions that are bound to come! (You know, kitchen designers are supposed to know everything about the kitchen!)
3. The lit kitchen
Lighting in the 2019 kitchen is continuing from prior years; expanding from basic under-cabinet task to motion-activated interior lighting and more. This topic will be an integral part of your kitchen package conversation. Remember to think in layers and types: under, over and within as well as cans, fashion fixtures, cabinet specific (glass doors, interior function, toe-kick, over cabinet etc.)
Each task that takes place in the kitchen uses different types and different intensity of light. For example: Prep work and cooking are best with bright direct lighting, but entertaining or dining is better with ambient lighting. As with all things that are beneficial, there are costs. Knowing a general sense of “cost per lineal foot” is a good idea for those conversations. (Consult with your favorite electrician so you can cite installed costs.) As I plan my own kitchen remodel, I find that I’m looking at the middle of the spectrum for price range, with under cabinet, decorative fixtures and added function through integrated motion-activated lighting – located where it matters to me the most.
The bottom line:
Building your client’s healthy + tech savvy dream kitchen will take a few more conversations in 2019. Lifestyle is the driving force and while we may not be fully responsible for choosing these products, vetting out a list with your client will help them to understand what they value most and prioritize their budget as it relates to all of their materials and services.