Technology advances in luxury kitchen design promote better health, save time and reduce environmental impact. These developments in technology affect the way kitchens are being designed as well as the appliances that are selected for these designs. “Smart appliances,” which have abilities like Pandora streaming, hands-free faucets and the beginnings of virtual grocery shopping are already in existence. As these designs continue to evolve, kitchen design will become increasingly more important. This evolution of the kitchen will not only simplify everyday tasks, but also improve the way we manage health concerns and environmental responsibility. As urbanization increases, the traditional purpose of the kitchen is changing as homeowners feel they have less time to spend on conventional activities. Luxury kitchens are the first to see some of these developments in design technology.
Many advances in appliance technology are already underway. Top of the line kitchens are becoming very inventive in appearance while concerns about health have recently been at the top of the list of priorities among Americans. Kitchen design is adapting to meet consumer demand resulting in exciting changes to the way we inhabit our homes in a healthy manner. A common problem for many Americans is dehydration. Many people are actually unaware of how dehydrated they are on a daily basis, which can lead to other health problems later in life. Hydration censored faucets are in the beginning stages of design and will allow for the consumer to know how hydrated or dehydrated they are by simply placing a finger onto a censored touch screen at the top of the faucet. Censors that interpret dehydration will also be able to test vitamin levels of the body in the same way.
Kitchens of the future will incorporate a new technology that works as a medical dispenser, reading vitals and dispensing the necessary vitamins and nutrients accordingly. With a similar type of censor, a concept product called “Nutrima” is a new technology that is intended to be able to tell you how fresh your food is and test its nutritional value. This device, which is similar to a tablet in size and design, can be installed in the kitchen. Place a food product on the sensor and nutritional value, weight, and freshness can all be measured at once. A similar system by Whirlpool will also have social capabilities so the freshness and nutritional value of the food may be shared to other consumers. As homeowners become more aware and concerned with health responsibility, these concerns also seem to carry over in environmental responsibility as well.
It is no secret that our society has been ignorant to the negative environmental footprint we have been leaving for decades. Because of increasing concerns with sustainability, kitchen design concepts are evolving to better support sustainable ideals. “Working kitchen,” is a term that has formerly been used to refer to a kitchen layout that places appliances in a way that allows the consumer to accomplish tasks in the kitchen most efficiently, usually referring to the placement of the refrigerator, stove and sink. This term is now being redefined as we become a society with less time to do laborious chores. “Working kitchens” of the future will soon be understood as kitchens that have the energy of one appliance recycled to produce energy for another. For example, a refrigerator that runs nonstop throughout the day and night can create the energy needed to heat the water for a dishwasher.
This imagined kitchen would soon become a reality as concept designs become tangible. In addition to recycling energy, it is also possible to recycle water in a similar manner. A new type of disposal design by GE Appliances is currently in its beginning stages and incorporates a sink that recycles waste water and redirects this water to a home garden. The same sink will also be capable of turning food waste into compost pellets, which can then be used to fertilize a home garden. Another strategy for reusing water use incorporates an in-sink dishwasher; smaller loads of dishes will be washed in minutes, using less water and less energy than traditional dishwashers. From a design perspective, combining many of these useful technologies conserves resources while maintaining a luxurious and minimalist aesthetic.
As appliances change and evolve, the overall aesthetic look of kitchens will change also. Sleeker designs made with environmentally responsible materials are becoming increasingly popular. The environmental impact of these materials is being investigated more than ever before. Paperstone is one example of a material such as this. By fusing together recycled paper, the matter becomes dense and heat resistant. This material may potentially be used for counter tops, appliances, walls and even furniture. Icestone, which also uses recycled materials, is a synthetic mixture of concrete and recycled glass, creating a decorative yet environmentally friendly design option. Cork and rubber are also becoming increasingly prevalent materials used to kitchen design and are sophisticated as well as practical. These progressive materials are being paired with new technology and smart design strategies to create kitchen spaces that are not only visually appealing but also functional and responsible.
Good interior design is never only about the visual appearance of the space. It has become the responsibility of the manufacturer as well as the designer to be conscientious in making choices of how to design and build custom homes. By joining smart design with positive environmental choices, we can increase efficiency, promote health and reduce environmental impact. Many of these new technologies, which are now in the beginning stages of design, will be available in upcoming years.
Undertaking a broad range of projects, all of which are grounded in smart design and mindful of healthy living, Sarah’s diverse body of work includes upscale private residences, chic restaurants, luxurious spas and impressive corporate headquarters. Her projects have been featured in local and national publications, and have placed prominently in several noted design competitions. Her design practice is the culmination of education and interests in art, architecture, textiles and the environment and she has written several articles for important publications including the USGBC, United States Green Building Council.
Barnard is currently working on commissions of private residences in the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica Canyon, Brentwood, Los Feliz and Palos Verdes Estates. Other recent projects include the corporate offices of National Geographic Entertainment in Beverly Hills, the headquarters of Life Rolls On, a subsidiary of the Christopher Reeve Foundation in Culver City, a Backstage Celebrity Eco-Lounge for both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Teen Choice Awards and a Sustainable Penthouse on Ocean Avenue for an out of town couple with super meditative space requirements. Think total relaxation and harmony with the universe.
Hailey Sweet is an interior designer who holds a Visual Communications degree from FIDM and has completed training in Interior Architectural Design. She concentrates on residential design and enjoys commercial and hospitality design as well.
Hailey is inspired by her friends and loved ones and spends her free time visiting her family. She enjoys fitness and hiking and is currently training her dog to be a therapy dog, visiting patients in hospitals and rehab facilities.