3 Appliance Trends Defining the Post-Pandemic Kitchen, According to Experts
Many of us have become better acquainted with our kitchens in the past year or two than we ever could have anticipated. But like any relationship, the more time you spend together, the more you become aware of what you love—and what you don’t.
“During the COVID-19 quarantine period, people started to cook again, and really live in their kitchens,” says Frank Christiansen Egelund, owner of Vipp Kitchens. “This sparked a renewed interest in the space, and there were many home extensions directly connected to kitchen expansion and increased functionality.”
Open-plan layouts and second “mess” kitchens or butler’s pantries are undoubtedly in favor, but what appliance trends have our renewed relationships with our culinary spaces wrought? Read on for thoughts from Christiansen Egelund; Sarah Housley, WGSN’s head of consumer tech; and interior designers Amy Kartheiser and Peti Lau.
Out of Sight, But Top of Mind
In an effort to minimize visual clutter, many homeowners are turning to secondary prep spaces where small appliances and other necessities can stay out of sight. But this strategy doesn’t work across the board: For some, the space is simply not there, while others need essentials closer at hand. In those cases, designers are finding other ways to satisfy the quest for aesthetic serenity.
Kartheiser is a big fan of the appliance garage: built-ins that hide high-traffic appliances like toasters and coffee machines, while also keeping them readily accessible. “People don’t want their kitchens to feel appliance-heavy, with big stainless steel appliances everywhere,” she says. In a recent project, she used antique mirrors on the built-in side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, so that it looked more like a piece of furniture than an appliance.
For appliances that can’t be sequestered, subtlety is key. “At the luxury level, smart kitchen tech that is embedded into surfaces so that it becomes ambient—from invisible cooktop hobs [or burners] to smart oven hoods—is a key trend we’re seeing,” Housley says. “People want the impression of tech that ‘just works’ and is there to serve them while not being hyper-visible. We call this mindset ‘shy tech.’”
Another among today’s appliance trends? Sophisticated smart appliances, Lau says. “I’m seeing fridges that are integrated with touch-screen systems that are also accessible by your phone,” she explains. With them, clients can manage a kitchen seamlessly by keeping track of expired foods, writing grocery lists that can be accessed by smartphone, and even discovering new recipes online. “There are even fridges that have a feature where the fridge door allows you to see inside with a push of a button.”