With storage solutions more important than ever before, kitchen design professionals – and their clients – are reveling in the number of items available that make the kitchen and other areas of the home more efficient.
And, efficiency is not the only point; in fact, America is intent on getting organized. It doesn’t matter if the kitchen has been designed with a nod toward professional style, with the needs of a busy family in mind or as a beautiful place to entertain – today’s cooks want to be organized.
Likewise, kitchen accessories that simplify and streamline function or add a touch of luxury are all the rage right now. The current economic squeeze means many homeowners are remodeling their kitchens without expanding the actual footprint of the space. That doesn’t mean they want to give up their favorite luxuries – but they do want to incorporate beautiful, functional elements in the existing space. Kitchen accessories or interior fittings that maximize space are therefore more important than ever before.
Additionally, many homeowners are looking to add luxurious touches into their existing kitchens, which means upscale amenities such as floor warming systems and countertop warming mats are gaining in popularity.
Manufacturers recently surveyed by Kitchen & Bath Design News have heard the call, and have responded with products that will make life easier. With the vast array of storage and interior fittings and kitchen accessories on the market today, designers now have many opportunities to turn dead space into useful storage, to make storage spaces more accessible and to add little touches of luxury to any kitchen.
Drawers and cabinets employ tools that would make an efficiency expert drool. Small spaces morph into pantries with attitude, and quiet features on cabinets that open and close with just a soft touch make any kitchen more enjoyable to work in.
Carefully evaluating every aspect of the homeowner’s lifestyle as well as specific needs, of course, is the place to begin. Once the designer better understands the clients’ needs and desires, the designer can choose from among the wide variety of innovative products features that will improve the look, efficiency and organization of the home.
Easy and Attractive
According to Donna Matsumoto, v.p./product development for Doug Mockett & Co. in Los Angeles, CA, “Convenience is always one of the most important factors when it comes to new kitchen designs. However, it can be tricky trying to incorporate convenience into a design without compromising the overall aesthetic appeal. Fusing style with functionality helps to streamline the modern kitchen environment.
“By concealing options and stowing away traditional kitchen appliances, modern design tends to create a very clean and simple feel while highlighting its basic features,” she continues.
Judd Lord, director of industrial design for Delta Faucet Company in Indianapolis, IN, agrees. “You can still find traditional Victorian and bridge-type architectures for those kitchens accepting of the period styles; however, much of design continues to move to a crisper, yet more casual look.”
Doug Mockett & Co.’s aptly named “convenience outlet” offers additional power in the kitchen yet disappears into the design. Matsumoto reports, “The unit tucks neatly away beneath the surface when not in use. It also comes equipped with a water-tight rim,” an important feature for kitchen applications.
Other design changes have added convenience to the overall appeal of the kitchen, according to Lynn Schrage, marketing manager for The Kohler Store, in Chicago, IL. She refers to features such as toe kicks that open a low-lying cabinet with just a tap, adjustable-height solutions and infrared and new wave technology as being increasingly important to kitchen design.
Schrage also explains that trends cross over. Everyone strives for a healthier kitchen environment, and touch-free technology not only makes opening a cabinet or drawer quiet and easy, it also helps avoid contamination throughout the home, she notes.