16. December 2014
The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for home cooks, with most spending countless hours prepping for holiday meals. While this might seem daunting, kitchen designers and appliance manufacturers are finding new ways to assist home cooks and offer new reasons why the kitchen remains the best family gathering place.
I spoke with Michele Bedard, Vice President of Marketing at Sub-Zero Group Inc. — the U.S.-based manufacturer of premium global appliance brands Sub-Zero and Wolf — to learn more about today’s most popular kitchen trends, and how new technologies and aesthetics are transforming kitchens, from the cooking process to the design. Here are her top four kitchen-enhancing trends that consumers should keep an eye out for in 2015.
Top kitchen trends for 2015
Modern kitchen design incorporates classic and modern styles.
1. Smart appliances, smarter kitchens: Smart appliances are the next big kitchen trend, as they more fully connect home cooks to their kitchens. Appliance manufacturers are developing new ways to integrate stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators with home automation systems to streamline use and make cooking faster and easier. Sub-Zero and Wolf’s connected models let home cooks control their appliances through their smartphones, allowing them to remotely turn on the oven or switch their ice machines to a higher output setting. These technologies are only the beginning, as more and more appliances on the market will move toward a connected future.
2. It’s time to blend styles: Today’s kitchens are still classified as either contemporary or traditional. But homeowners and designers alike are not as strict with these definitions, and many are choosing to mix these classic styles to create more personalized, comfortable, and updated looks. Designers are now pairing contemporary stainless-steel appliances with traditional wood cabinetry to create sophisticated, yet welcoming spaces. In the world of cooktops, more designers are blending traditional black-glass cooktops into granite and stainless-steel countertops to give a standard aesthetic an entirely new look. By mixing genres, homeowners can create comfortable kitchens that encourage cooking.
3. The rise of induction: While induction technology is immensely popular in Europe, it’s been slow to catch on in the U.S. But as more and more homeowners learn about the ease and efficiency of this wonder technology, the demand for induction cooktops will drastically increase in the coming years. Induction cooktops cook food faster, keep cooking surfaces cooler and safer, and expend less energy than traditional gas or electric cooktops, making it a great choice for cooks who seek appliances that offer both power and control. Induction’s predicted to continue its aggressive growth in popularity.
4. Beauty meets functionality: Not only do modern homeowners want stunning kitchens, they also need functional spaces. They seek appliances made from durable materials that can withstand heavy use without scratching or breaking, while also maintaining an attractive appearance. This is especially important for glass-ceramic cooktops that must handle constant wear while remaining sleek and shiny. Wolf’s new induction cooktop balances the need for beauty and functionality by incorporating white LED lights into the cooktop’s surface. These lights offer a sleek and modern look, while also signaling active burners by outlining hot surfaces in bright light. Finally, more and more homeowners are opting for appliances with touch controls instead of traditional knobs and buttons for easy-to-use and sleek interfaces.
Kitchen trends in 2015 will be all about finding ways to strengthen the bond between cook and kitchen, whether through a connected oven, a high-functioning cooktop, or just an aesthetically pleasing design. The holidays are all about spending time with family, and appliance manufacturers like Wolf continue to develop easy-to-use appliances that not only invite more people to cook, but make kitchens the ultimate gathering place for friends and family.