Kitchen & Bath Design News

DEC 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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designers will be comfortable taking more risks with their proposals, leading to designs that create life-enhancing rooms. A NEW APPLIANCE CATEGORY The kitchen will evolve into a protective, supportive, innova- tive wellness center for the family. A maturing American client base will demand it – and they will pay for such innovations. Here's what I think is ahead: 1. Home-based virtual access to health care professionals. 2. A new wellness appliance – Artificial Intelligence will be used to create a center that identifies the user's biometrics and then safely delivers medicines, provides testing and monitors activities. 3. Surfaces that detect changes in users' physical capabilities and can notify caregivers of any danger. 4. Growing our own fresh food – indoors – to provide abun- dant food within arm's reach, dramatically increasing our approach to healthy living. This will be possible as hydro- ponic and aquaponic gardening systems become better understood and more available. 5. Clean everything: air, surfaces and appliances. 6. Systems planned for zero waste and an entire industry offering efficient/recycled/salvaged materials and products. This new expansion of the kitchen's role in the family's health management will challenge all of us. Kitchen and bathroom planning and materials/equipment specifications have gotten steadily more complicated over the past 18 years. Today's successful designers are masters at collaborating with specialists in the appliances/lighting/plumbing/surfaces/ technology categories. We will be further challenged with the emergence of the wellness center. To understand the differ- ence between gimmicks and authentic, life-protecting offer- ings, we will partner with new healthy living specialists. PEOPLE POWER The "high touch" demands of kitchen and bath planning will require us to focus our creative energy on the people part of every design we imagine as a possible solution to the spaces we're entrusted with. A personalized space will be the most valued component of the new plan. Let me share with you my process for adding design per- sonalization in projects I'm invited to contribute to. 1. Create the program/client interview. Study the whole house. 2. Design the functional space. 3. Step back – consider creating shapes, not strips of connect- ed cabinets that fill up the walls. Ponder how to add the family's "quirks" to the space plan: to make it easy for them to live the life they've chosen, not the life I dream of them embracing in the new space. 4. Do any needed design adjustments. 5. Evaluate the details. Cost? Value? Any compromises to the organic purpose of the space: to cook/gather/clean or to bathe/refresh/organize? Consider offering options to the clients. 6. Step back – try one more time to make the room even more special. 7. Return to the traditional planning, estimating and detailing of the solution. NEW CONNECTING AND COOKING High tech will continue to be part of everything we do. Today, the whole home is connected, but tethered. Tomorrow, self-generating power will be an alternative to being "on the grid," and total structure connectivity will replace charging points or internet connections. We may see a new approach to appliances emerge. I think we'll be offered two different systems from our luxury appli- ance manufacturer partners: One will be feature-rich applianc- es that think for the cook; the second will promote long-last- ing, simple appliances that let the cook be the cook. Why two paths? Our clients' capabilities are somewhat age and experience driven: 1. For those searching for simplicity, the learning curve required to take full advantage of many appliance features may be too steep for our more mature clients whom we will continue to serve for the next 10+ years. What's next? Color! This imagined loft condo kitchen is a great example of color taking center stage. We're all very tired of white, gray and taupe. These tones work well as basics; they just need to be spiced up with color. Stay tuned: New surfacing options may allow our clients to change wall or counter surfaces much more easily. Multi-purpose appliances; small units that feature rich, change- able lighting; counters that move, expand and retract – the future will mold the kitchen space to the family's lifestyle. Flexibility and double-duty possibilities will be an important part of future kitchen designs. Photo: Courtesy of Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove December 2018 • KitchenBathDesign.com 43

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