Sara Pepitone | September 12, 2013
To find out what's next for kitchen and bath fixtures, fittings, and surfaces, we spoke with key manufacturers to find out what's distinguishing the interiors of the future. Building on the same contemporary need form fused with function, new technology is combining with aesthetics in tempting new appliances. According to Jill Notini, of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), "We are seeing a convergence of function, technology, and aesthetic design. Appliances still cool, cook, or clean food, but now there is integration of other features framed in modern design."
Features such as self-cleaning, removable parts and technology-driven, eye-catching elements were inconceivable in years past. Like Samsung's 8-inch LCD digital display through which Apps - from calendars to photos to recipes - can be accessed via a refrigerator door. Another standout hitting modern fixtures is air purification systems that keep food fresher longer. "This technology can come packaged in practically any configuration you desire - built in, under the counter, more than 30 cubic feet - and in just about any finish you can imagine," says Notini.
Throughout the showrooms in New York's A&D Building and beyond, black glass is building momentum to usurp stainless steel, which long ago had its way with white and bisque surfaces. Yet good looks are only part of the equation. Energy efficiency is also essential. Notini confirms, "Manufacturers have improved efficiency by leaps and bounds, and are now incorporating advanced technologies that go beyond traditional energy savings and provide enormous consumer benefit."
On their way to market are appliances that respond to power signals from the electrical grid, so they can find better pricing for the user, and appliances that can be remotely monitored and controlled. "Wouldn't it be great if you could check on your pizza cooking in the oven, without moving from the couch?" asks Notini. "You may be able to look at what's happening in your oven from your smart phone very soon."
Attractive appliances doing more for their owners while costing them less? Everyone's ready for that. Here are some of the most innovative kitchen and bath fixutures and surfaces to hit the market these past few months...