Kitchen & Bath Design News

APR 2014

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

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42 | Kitchen & Bath Design News April 2014 C hronologically, we're a bit more than half way to 2062, the year of the futuristic 'Jetsons' car- toon. Debuting in 1962, the animated show gave us a glimpse of what life could be like 100 years from its initial airing: life where housework is done by robots, appliances are push-button controlled and people travel to work in fying saucer-like 'cars' with glass bubble tops. Maybe most importantly, daily life is leisurely, assisted by labor- saving devices. While no one knows yet what 2062 will bring, appli- ance manufacturers are well on their way to creating a reality where at least part of the cartoon's premise rings true in the kitchen. Kitchens have become the heart and central nervous system of the home, says Pat Borg, owner/president, NEFF of Chicago. "People are com- ing back to the kitchen. There is defnitely a resurgence." One factor leading that revival is the advancement of 'smart' appliances – ev- erything from dishwashers to ovens/cooktops/ranges to refrigerators. "Smart appliances can offer time savings while improving efficiency and helping people manage their households," says Kathleen Donohue, CMKBD, Neil Kelly Co., in Bend, OR. "People's lives are com- plicated and they want to simplify," adds MaryJo Camp, CKD, CBD, CID, CAPS, CGP, DesignCamp, in Denver, NC. "They also want to be bet- ter at what they do. That's the promise of technology… to let us live our lives in our homes more safely, more comfortably and more easily. It's a tough world out there, and we don't want it to be a tough world inside." COOKING APPLIANCES LEAD THE WAY Smart appliances related to cooking seem to be leading the way, with many manu- facturers ofering intelligent/ combination ovens where the appliance takes over the cooking process based on a desired result and input pro- vided by the cook. "This is not your mother's oven," says Borg. "They allow someone who isn't an accomplished chef to produce well-done dishes," says Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, Ellen Cheever & Associates, in Wilmington, DE. "And it's very convenient because the combination ap- pliances save time, without compromising food quality." Steam plus convection is an important combination, Cheever adds, as is microwave, convection and browning, which can extend the op- erational opportunities of a single-cavity oven. Even con- ventional convection ovens have gotten smarter. "When they were first introduced, you had to calculate the re- duced time and temperature," she continues. "For better ap- pliances today, just program the original cooking time and temperature and the oven computes everything." "My clients love the 'chef assistance,'" adds Mary Fisher Knott, CID, allied ASID, CAPS Mar y Fisher Designs, in Scottsdale, AZ. "They like the idea that, with the touch of a screen, they can cook foods without having to monitor them. For example, an im- age that is programmed into the oven shows what medi- um-rare looks like. You can compare your thoughts to it and if you agree, you hit 'go' and you get what is pictured." Induction cooktops/rang- es are also becoming more popular, with some models being smart enough to de- tect the physical size of the cookware. "Induction cook- ing is very efcient," notes Donohue. "It is gaining pop- ularity over gas, which has been the standard for serious cooks for years. But the tech- nology is proving itself to be more energy efcient, which is something that resonates with all smart appliances." SMART CLEANING AND FOOD STORAGE Smart dishwashers and re- frigerators are also changing the way we do tasks in the kitchen. Dishwashers can sense debris levels and adjust the cycle accordingly – and the amount of soap needed – to save time and water. At their smartest level, they can even monitor the best time of day to run to save the most amount of energy. Wit h refr igerators, it seems to be more about inventor y control. "Some models can read bar codes for items in the refrigerator," says Donohue. "It can then tell you when to throw out food, when to reorder, etc. Refrig- By Kim Berndtson Technology • In this kitchen designed for an 82-year-old client, Mary Fisher Knott included a Thermador combination steam/convection oven with a single convection oven. Both ovens have preprogrammed cooking menus available. 'She loves to cook and uses the steam oven daily,' says Knott. Appliance manufacturers bring homeowners closer to the age of the Jetsons where smart, multi- functional appliances save time, maximize space and make life easier. Photo: Mark Boiclair in the Kitchen KBD_42-43_TechFeature.indd 42 3/17/14 10:37 AM

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