Decor

Modernizing: Kitchen and bath design moves to cleaner lines, more technology

 

Kitchen and bath design moves to simple, cleaner lines and more technology

Sources

Ann Sacks, 800-278-8453, www.annsacks.com

Atlas Homewares, 800-799-6755, www.atlashomewares.com

Blanco, 888-668-6201, www.blancoamerica.com

BlueStar, 610-376-7479, www.bluestarcooking.com

Brizo, 877-345-2749, www.brizo.com

Dacor, 800-793-0093, www.dacor.com

Delta, 800-345-3358, www.deltafaucet.com

Elmwood Cabinetry, 905-688-5205, www.elmwoodkitchens.com

Fairmont Designs, 714-670-1171, www.fairmontdesigns.com

Frigidaire, 800-374-4432, www.frigidaire.com

Kohler, 800-456-4537, www.kohler.com

Liebherr, 866-543-2437, www.liebherr-us.com

Poggenpohl U.S., 312-755-9023, www.poggenpohl.com

Polycor, 418-692-4695, www.polycor.com

Thermador, 800-735-4328, www.thermador.com

Top Knobs Hardware, 800-530-8245, www.topknobshardware.net

Viking, 888-845-4641, www.vikingrange.com


Universal UClick

When it comes to kitchen and bath design, generation gaps seem narrower than ever.

That’s because modern notes are sounding — mirroring trends in home furnishings — with simpler cabinet fronts, minimal hardware and clean, sleek lines in appliances and faucets. Modern is the fastest-growing category, according to a survey by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

“We see kitchen design trending more contemporary this year,” says John Petrie, a certified master kitchen and bath designer of Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and president of the association. That means “clean, simple lines, less clutter and little ornamentation.”

Petrie also suggests that spa baths and Zen-like retreats, which are probably at the top of remodeling wish lists, are “driving a more contemporary aesthetic.”

And technology is being embraced by all, with more efficient products that are smarter, faster and more stylish.

Connectivity, particularly, struck a chord at the February Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas. There is more network connectivity for everyday objects, allowing them to send and receive data.

How does that affect your roast, you might ask. One buzz-worthy introduction from Dacor is its first Droid-controlled wall oven, with a generous 4.7-cubic-foot capacity and Wi-Fi connectivity that will text you when dinner’s ready.

Already on the market is a refrigerator from LG (Smart ThinQ) that is equipped with an LCD screen that tells you what’s inside, which food is about to expire and even which ingredients you need to buy — all accessible through a smartphone app.

Other appliance-smart features have to do with function. For wine enthusiasts, Dacor’s new built-in Discovery WineStation dispenses and preserves wines, keeping contents “as the vintner intended” for up to 60 days.

A high level of sophistication, especially with multiple functions, is further distinguishing the more commercial-style ranges. Viking’s impressive Turbo oven is speedy and versatile: It roasts, broils, toasts, dehydrates and turns out fab pizza in minutes — plus it has a microwave mode. A whole chicken can be roasted in 14 minutes; 48 minutes for a 14-pound turkey.

Healthy eating also is feeding continued interest in steam and convention functions, and Thermador’s 48-inch Pro Grand Steam range offers a combined steam and convection oven, in addition to a large-capacity convection oven, six burner gas cooktop (with one high-power 22,000 BTU burner) and electric grill/griddle, as well as a warming drawer.

In addition to the way things cook, appliance manufacturers also are looking at accessibility — both for its convenience and for universal design. So one of the new Viking wall ovens actually borrows from the concept of the popular French door-style refrigerators. The way its two-door oven operates is with a single touch, which opens both sides. It’s not only a feature that speaks to an aging population or the vertically challenged, it’s one that appeals to anyone handling a casserole.

Frigidaire’s new freezer is a chameleon: It converts to a refrigerator at the flip of a switch.

According to a National Kitchen & Bath Association survey of kitchen designers, the features most in demand are: induction cooktops, steam ovens, French door refrigerators; bottom-freezer refrigerators; touch-activated faucets; electronic (no-touch faucets) and LED lighting.

Furniture-style cabinets still are dominating kitchen design, and along with the trend for cleaner lines, there is less of an interest in highly ornamented Tuscan and Provincial looks as well as distressed finishes.

That said, showing off grain is riding a new wave of popularity — in traditional and modern styles. And if there is a color story in cabinetry designs, it’s gray — both in kitchens and baths. It ranges from richer brown-based cappuccino to almost blue-gray, in matte finishes in stains and paints, as well as high gloss.

Shiny finishes have opened the door to high-style European looks. Elmwood Cabinetry, a Canadian-based company, introduced furniture-like resin panels with 3-D effects, such as foil metallic substrates that appear to be backlit. Other looks include wavy, stripy veneers for both counters and cabinets, some with a hint of metallic sparkle, all mirroring trends at Maison & Objet in Paris.

Horizontal striping also is trending in cabinetry, again — a look that’s not uncommon in Europe, as evidenced in Poggenpohl collections in walnut and ash. In addition, plank looks, riffing on those in flooring, as well as bead board turned on its side are fresh ideas.

What’s especially apparent is a fresh kind of eclecticism where weathered plank floors, linen-y upholstery, minimal cabinetry and crystal chandeliers seamlessly cohabit.

Cabinet interiors are equally important, again most notably with soft, close mechanisms that are practically a standard option and pull-down options as well as cubby drawer dividers, which organize everything from spices to spatulas.

Customization of cabinetry punctuates the trend to creating spa-like bathrooms, which, like kitchens, also are becoming more high-tech. Besides therapeutic applications, such as aromatherapy and hyrdrotherapy, which have been ramping up in recent years, other digital technologies include integration of music into the bath.

Nearly half of the adult population in the United States own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center, and users cop to taking them everywhere — according to a recent survey, 75 percent use smartphones in the bathroom.

“Smartphones are transforming the way people access music,” says Leslie Bronson, product manager for faucets at Kohler Co. “Half of all smartphone users stream music directly from their devices.” Kohler’s Moxie showerhead syncs with any Bluetooth-enabled device (up to 32 feet away), smartphone and MP3 player, and streams music into the shower. The cool, acoustic wireless speaker actually pops in and out so you can charge it and use it anywhere in the house or take it to the beach.

Besides hands-free faucets, there are digital showers with wireless technology to control water temperature. Delta Temp2O features a digital temperature display with LED color indicators to signal different water temperature ranges.

Brizo now has flush-mounted body sprays called HydraChoice whose heads extend with water pressure, can be adjusted 50 degrees in any direction and aimed where you want the stream. Plus there are four choices of interchangeable sprays for customization. Select heads feature H2O Kinetic technology to provide the feeling of a warmer, more drenching shower that actually uses less water.

And Kohler’s fanciest toilet, the Numi, not only is Bluetooth enabled (either by storing MP3 files or through a plug-in device), but its cover and seat have motion sensors, an integrated bidet and air dryer, deodorizer, heated seat, foot warmer and illuminated panels.

Now that’s pampering that appeals to a very wide demographic across generations.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Combs on their way to relocation. They were placed in the shade of a tree across the yard, and after about three days, the angry bees dispersed.

    Fairchild’s tropical garden column

    The honeybees in the house had to be evicted — humanely

    We’ve been hearing a lot about honeybees dying en masse, about Colony Collapse Disorder, even predictions that the honeybee is headed for extinction. There is no doubt that beekeepers as well as farmers who require bees to pollinate their crops are losing lots of bees — entire hives in fact. Some beekeepers have reported that 30 to 90 percent of their bees have died.

  • Condo Line

    When do repairs need a vote of unit owners?

    Q: If the board of a condominium decides to do renovations and does not conduct a vote for approval by the owners, are the owners by law obligated to pay the assessment?

  •  
A traditional design aesthetic, such as this Hayneedle's York Low Profile Sleigh Bed Set (starts at $680) with a cherry wood finish, blends both feminine and masculine sensibilities.

    Interior Design

    Suite dreams: How to make your bedroom restful

    Put to bed any angst you may have about your bedroom by paying attention to your sleeping space.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category