By Marie Chan, CID, ASID, GREEN AP
This is the beginning of the new year, so it seems a good time to share some of the latest trends and products for kitchens and bathrooms with you.
As lifestyle changes, the kitchen is increasingly a communal space where cooking is often done by multiple cooks. To support this new setup, two single ovens in different parts of the kitchen make practical sense. Unlike the double ovens of days past, this decentralized layout allows each cook to use the oven without getting into each other’s way.
Induction cooktops are increasingly popular, even if it means buying all new cookware in cast iron or stainless steel. The cooktop creates an electric current so that heat is produced by electrical induction instead of thermal conduction with traditional stoves. Though control & performance are similar to that of a gas stove, induction is much more efficient since heat transfer is limited to the area of direct contact between the cooktop and pan.
Steam ovens work wonders in preserving nutrients as well as the texture of food being prepared. They combine the functionality of a convection oven and steamer to cook with dry heat, moist heat, or a combination of both at different temperatures. It can be used for baking, grilling, roasting or poaching. European brands include Miele, Bosch, Electrolux and Gaggenau.
The proliferation of mobile devices have created a need for charging stations. The DockingDrawer from JTech Solutions lets you charge devices in a kitchen drawer out of sight. Since the power source is hidden in a drawer, it’s wise to check with your local building department to make sure it is allowed.
Gray is the fastest-growing color for bathrooms. According to Pantone, a color consultant firm which sets color trends for the fashion and interior design industries, Glacier Gray and Titanium are amongst the hottest colors.
Quartz vanities are gaining in popularity and will likely overtake granite as the material of choice. Consumers are attracted to the wide range of colors available as well as ease of maintenance of the material. Unlike granite, quartz is non-porous, doesn’t require periodic resealing and is very stain as well as chemical resistant.
To counter the stress of everyday life, spa-like bathrooms and steam showers are au courant. Aside from filtering chlorine from the water, AromaSense is an aroma therapy shower head that infuses your shower with Vitamin C and a choice of 5 essential oils. Try lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, jasmine or mango citrus to calm, sooth, heal and detox as desired.
Not to be outdone by smart appliances and the ‘internet of things’ proliferating in the kitchen or other parts of the house, the Smart Beauty Mirror from Moneual brings the bathroom into the 21 century. It is an integrated grooming gadget with a mirror that provides personalized fashion and beauty care information through face analysis, skin monitoring, trending fashions, web contents and more. Yes, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall is finally talking back to you…
Radiant floor heating is gaining traction after years of hype. The heating system warms your house (and your feet) and is energy efficient, gentle and quiet. Radiant floor maker WarmUp has released a thermostat that lets you monitor energy consumption just for your floors.