Design experts see more color, metallics, and tech coming to kitchen and bath appliances.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF MOEN
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most renovated rooms in American homes—and keeping up with the latest home appliance innovations tells us a lot about national design trends. Whether color, sustainability, size, or technology, appliance choices can often show us where home design is headed.
"It’s a fascinating world that we have ahead of us,” says Daniel Germani, an architect and designer who advises companies like Brown Jordan and Cosentino on their creative direction. Germani has seen technology developing fast, with innovation reaching households much more quickly than it did in the past. And nowhere is that more true than in home appliances.
We spoke to some of the industry’s top trend forecasters and authorities to see what they think lies ahead in the world of home appliances. The results may surprise you.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF MOEN
The Bimby kitchen robot (known in America as the Thermomix), which combines blending, cooking, and chopping all in one device, is already a hit in Europe. But Germani thinks that these multifaceted kitchen appliances will be the space-saving, multi-tasking wave of the future. And he’s not the only one. "Multi-function capabilities, especially when in conjunction with specialty kitchen appliances, are a plus," says Jeanne Chung, a designer with Cozy Stylish Chic and a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). "The ranges and wall ovens that have air fry capabilities are also a win, as they take another small appliance off the counter and free up more space."
A Smarter, Bigger Kitchen Sink
Both Germani and Danielle DeBoe Harper, Moen's senior creative style manager, see more innovation centered around the kitchen sink. "I'm doing a project right now where I'm installing a 5-foot-long sink," says Germani, noting that this mega-sink will have two faucets.
"One of the areas that is embracing the smart home trend is the kitchen sink," says Harper. "With different styles of smart faucets, or Moen’s motion control technology with our smart faucets expanding, this is continuing to grow with updated designs and functionality. We understand that the sink is the workhorse of the kitchen, so we’ll continue to see innovations in faucets and other kitchen gadgets."
Sustainable Materials and Appliances
Harper says that green living is one of the top trends for 2024, whether in terms of using recycled materials in kitchen and bath appliances or low-water usage appliances. For instance, Moen’s Verso Showers with Infiniti Dial shower heads feature a dock that integrates recycled ocean plastic. And American consumers may soon take a cue from Europeans, who have already seen washing machines that cut down dramatically on water usage by companies like Miele, says Germani.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF LG
Double Appliances That Maximize Food Prep
Double ovens, double kitchen islands, double refrigerators, and two wine fridges, says Germani, are already popular with high-end homeowners and will continue to gain broader acceptance.
Germani has been seeing restaurant-style walk-in refrigerators in some high-end homes where everything is accessible and visible, and storage is supersized.
More Minimalism in Kitchens and Baths
Harper thinks concealed refrigerators and dishwashers will continue to trend upward, reflecting a desire for a sleeker, high-end look. "Minimalism is a great design choice for those who find greater peace in simplistic environments and hiding appliances, either behind panels that blend in with cabinetry or in so-called 'appliance garages' that reduce visual clutter," says Harper.
Pops of Color in Appliances
PHOTO: FIORDALISO / GETTY IMAGES
While not all designers love the trend, colorful appliances are on a roll. "I think that color is going to keep being center stage" in home appliances, says Germani—although the love of color may often break down by age. Older, wealthier consumers still prefer the sleek elegance of refrigerators hidden behind panels, but Germani thinks younger consumers will continue to embrace color in home appliances.
Green Shades Will Grow
In particular, Germani predicts green will grow in popularity in kitchen appliances. He is seeing a rise in "the whole gamut of greens" from the deep, timeless forest greens of the English countryside to happier, lighter greens.
Trend forecasters see the limited range of stainless steel options expanding in home appliances, with a variety of metallics on the rise keeping with the mixed metals trend. "When it comes to appliances and fixtures, matte black and bronzed gold are among a couple of the finishes that are becoming increasingly more popular," says Harper. Both options are "not only aesthetically pleasing but also approachable, seamlessly complementing a variety of design aesthetics," she says.
Smaller Home Appliances
While some may opt for larger appliances, compact washers and dryers are already big in smaller European spaces. Germani thinks the trend for smaller appliances will rise in popularity stateside.
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A Rise in Induction Ovens
Not everyone is sold on trying to phase out gas cooktops and ovens. "I still like my fire,” says Germani of his gas range. However, because of indoor air pollution and other environmental concerns, there has been a slow movement away from gas and toward induction, which Harper has noticed. "More and more influencers in the design space have opted for induction stoves," says Harper, because they are "more environmentally friendly than traditional gas. This certainly signals to their audience that this is an acceptable option for design lovers, and we anticipate we’ll see a spike in people making this switch each year."
Luxury, High-End Kitchen Appliances
As kitchens become more of a focal point and gathering place in the home, Germani sees luxury appliances gaining greater prominence. Much like people might splurge on an expensive, high-performance car if they have a long work commute, paying big bucks for that Wolf or La Cornue range is making more sense to consumers. Germani advises his clients to spend more of their renovation budget on appliances "because those are the ones you are going to use daily, constantly," he says.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF MOEN
A Trend for Quiet Luxury
"Nobody wants to hear the dishwasher running," says Germani, who thinks manufacturers will continue to innovate with quieter appliances. "From dishwashers and washing machines to garbage disposals and more, we’re seeing sound-minimizing features being included in these designs," says Harper.
"When specifying a dishwasher, ultra-quiet is important, as the open concept kitchen is usually near the family room, where the sound may fight with the TV," says Chung.
Bolder Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Since 2020, outdoor kitchens have become more of a focus. Bold colors on outdoor stoves will rise in popularity, along with kitchen dishwashers, televisions, sinks, and even refrigerators moving outdoors to allow for more outdoor living.
The Rise of the Scullery
With the kitchen becoming more of an on-display social space, designers are figuring out ways to keep appliances and gadgets out of the way in the form of a scullery kitchen. Scullery kitchens are smaller, secondary kitchen spaces that act as overflow for the main kitchen and often provide storage for appliances. "A scullery is the biggest trend we are including in our designs right now," says Vicky Serany, NKBA member and Southern Studio designer. "Our clients enjoy this hardworking space that maximizes efficiency."
Beverage Centers Will Be Bigger
As consumers ask for more from their kitchens, home appliances will spread beyond its borders. Chung says consumers are looking for refrigerators and drawers or bins for snacks closer to the breakfast table or seating area for quicker access. Beyond the main kitchen space, more homeowners will have dedicated areas for coffee, tea, and smoothies, says Elizabeth Valentina, NKBA member and designer with Nar Design Group. "Beverage centers now include coffee/tea service, water dispensers, under-counter refrigeration, and frozen goods storage for smoothies, shakes, and acai bowls, which have become a big part of what people commonly consume."
Source: Martha Stewart