Photo Gallery: Top Kitchen Appliance Trends
Thanks to the proliferation of open-concept living spaces, everyday kitchen tools are being designed to hide their utilitarian purpose. Italian company Elica’s range hoods are a perfect example: they offer venting systems that look more like beautiful light fixtures than a standard issue hood. (This one does double duty as a lamp, too.)
Induction cooktops, which are faster and more energy efficient than electric burners, have been on-trend for a while. With this new model from Frigidaire you get an induction cooktop combined with a stove, offering an affordable way to enjoy the best of both cooking capabilities.
Break away from predictable stainless steel and set the decorating tone of your kitchen with one bold appliance, as Vancouver based artist Bobbie Burgers did with her canary yellow Bertazzoni stove. If primary colours aren’t for you, try one of the softer tones from Viking’s selection like seaglass or the rich navy blue fridge shown here.
The Eurocucina section of the 2010 Milan Furniture Fair (Salone Internazionale del Mobile) featured primarily high-tech kitchens in which hidden sinks, cutting boards, grills or plate warmers popped up at the push of a button, and stand-alone cabinets hid appliances. Not all of the Jetsons-like technology will be applicable to everyday life, but contained kitchens in a beautiful oak finish like this B2 system from Bulthaup are an embraceable trend. The wardrobe-like units offer tons of storage and can accommodate an oven, dishwasher and fridge. (The worktable/island shown contains the sink.) If you have to skip clean up, simply close the doors and the mess is out of sight!
Challenged for space but still love to entertain? That’s no problem with the new breed of countertop ovens, such as this one from KitchenAid’s Architect series. It bakes, broils and toasts, essentially duplicating the capacity of your oven for large dinner parties. It also uses less energy than a traditional oven — perfect for condo dwellers or if you’re cooking for one. Silver, retro good looks will work in most kitchens, too.
KitchenAid Architect countertop oven. Stamped metal. 11″ h. x 16″ w. x 20″ d. $170. Through KitchenAid.
The Electric Legacy range from Aga offers two trends in one: a traditional statement stove in dramatic black — a hue that will instantly update your kitchen. Aga’s professional-style cooking appliances are a chef’s favourite for performance and a designer’s ideal for style, making this a timeless investment.
Newer, modern kitchens feature primarily low cabinets and islands that keep sight lines clear. Drawer-style appliances visually blend in to these spaces and are often easier and more ergonomic to use than tall vertical fridges and dishwashers. This Fisher & Paykel model has an easy-to-clean stainless steel finish, high energy and water efficiency and a large capacity with adjustable racks.
French company La Cornue is known for its professional quality stoves and their iconic, traditional metal design. The most recent collection, called CornuFé, is still pricey but more affordable than the original. Consider it an investment piece that will make a culinary and style statement in your kitchen for many years to come.
Home appliances account for about 85% of a home’s total energy consumption and most utility companies charge more for electricity during peak hours. Smart meters can help you manage your use but imagine if your clothes dryer reduced its wattage during peak hours or your fridge automatically delayed its defrosting capabilities and your dishwasher didn’t start its cycle until off-peak times? This is the new generation of appliances with a ‘set it then forget it’ mode of conserving energy. Look for GE’s Brillion smart appliance line (pictured), coming to Canada soon.