Kitchen & Bath Design News

APR 2019

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

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Page 7 of 68

THE MODERN-DAY KITCHEN is forever be- ing redefined – adapting to emerging lifestyles, reflecting new household compositions and homeowner needs, evolving with the times. That's been the case for decades, of course. And it's clearly the case these days. Evidence of this fast-paced, ongoing transformation can be found in a compelling new study that points to many of the ways that today's kitchens far transcend the traditional role they've played as the centerpiece of the American home. The study, conducted by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) – exclusive research partner of Kitchen & Bath Design News – reveals that a considerable number of surveyed homeowners are spending more time than ever in their kitchen, with a growing number engaged in an array of activities beyond cooking, eating and cleanup (see story, Page 14). Indeed, the RICKI study found that many homeown- ers report that they're increasingly involved in several kitchen activities simultaneously – multi-tasking, often without even realizing it, for prolonged periods of time. The most popular "non-traditional" activities taking place in today's kitchens, RICKI found, include listening to music, watching TV/streaming video, caring for pets, paying bills, reading (both digitally and in print), playing games and doing schoolwork. These kitchen activities, the study noted, are above and beyond the longstanding trend of simply gathering and socializing with family and friends. Stated simply, today's homeowners are doing far more in their kitchens than ever before – a trend that's likely to become even more pronounced in the future. Technology alone, for instance, is literally altering the entire "social experience" of the kitchen, transforming it from an independent living space into a hyper-connected, multi-purpose hub for cooking, eating, entertainment, relaxation, well-being and work. All of this is a vivid reminder of an important reality for kitchen dealers, designers and manufacturers alike. It's also a call to action. The reality is that the 21st-century kitchen contin- ues to evolve in important new ways. The call to action suggests that a well-conceived, enlightened game plan is needed for the design community to cope with the antici- pated changes. In many ways, that game plan is already being imple- mented. A growing number of kitchens are occupying larger, more open footprints. Additional seating capacity is being added. "Smart" features are being built into cabinetry, appliances, countertops and other kitchen components. Hardware, lighting and other products are addressing the growing demand for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth ca- pability, computer/cell phone docking stations and other technology-driven needs. There's also an increased focus on specific zones beyond the traditional work triangle: dedicated pet-care centers, laundry rooms and personal workspaces, as well as specialized storage considerations for a growing number of new-age accessories. Beyond detailing what's currently taking place, the RICKI study also suggests that kitchen designers will continue to be challenged to create spaces tailored to the ever-growing diversity of homeowner activities – in effect, to increasingly think of kitchens as multi-purpose "meet- ing spaces" that have greater-than-ever prominence and accommodate an ever-widening array of non-traditional functions. It will be similarly incumbent upon manufac- turers to think outside the box – and partner with other suppliers when necessary – to offer products that address the kitchen's continued evolution. Both parties, it's equal- ly certain, will be required to develop effective marketing campaigns that reflect today's – and tomorrow's – new realities. Perhaps more than ever, it's essential to stay in touch with the key forces that are reshaping our complex, dynamic, lifestyle-driven market. Evolution requires continual adaptation, a capacity to change with the times. It also requires the capacity to understand the expanding definition of the kitchen and the evolving role it plays in peoples' lives. ▪ " It is incumbent upon designers to think of today's kitchen as a multi-purpose 'meeting space' that accommodates an ever-widening array of non- traditional functions." The Evolving, 21st-Century Kitchen April 2019 • 7 EDITORIAL ® Like us: KitchenBathDesignNews Follow us on Twitter: @KBDN Join the discussion: Follow us on Instagram: @kbdn_sola PUBLISHER Paul DeGrandis PUBLISHER EMERITUS Eliot Sefrin EDITOR Janice Anne Costa MANAGING EDITOR Anita Shaw ASSOCIATE EDITOR Autumn McGarr GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Patrick O'Toole CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Berndtson Joe Dowd Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS Elizabeth Richards Denise Vermeulen COLUMNISTS Denise Grothouse Bruce Kelleran, CKD, CPA John Morgan Ken Peterson, CKD Leah Peterson Mary Jo Peterson, CMKBD, CAPS, CLIPP Sarah Reep, CMKBD, ASID, CMG, CAPS, IIDA Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD CREATIVE & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Tracy Hegg SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Erika Nygaard AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Mike Serino READER SERVICE MANAGER Jeff Heine DIGITAL PROGRAMS MANAGER Tim Steingraber PROJECTS MANAGER Heidi Riedl Copyright © 2019 by SOLA Group Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form, including electronically, without written permission from the publisher of Kitchen & Bath Design News . ELIOT SEFRIN PUBLISHER EMERITUS

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