Studying the Future Kitchen

Cosentino recently unveiled its new 2017 Global Kitchen Study, which was completed with a panel of influencers from across the architecture, design, and culinary spaces. Published by the Silestone Institute, the study examines and forecasts the main design trends between now and 2042, with findings compiled from 17 international experts and 842 kitchen and bath retailers.

The study explores how advancements in appliances will not only transform the social experience of the kitchen but also its functionality and safety for all generations of the household. The growing demand for multi-purpose design and the importance of a design that can be adjusted based on its user were also considerations.

Santiago Alfonso, marketing director at Cosentino Group, helped to summarize the 99-page study.

KBB: Why is multi-purpose design going to be in demand? What sorts of products might cater to this?
SA: We anticipate a greater demand for multi-purpose design as people spend more time in the kitchen and utilize it as a true hub of the home for a variety of activities: eating, socializing, entertaining and working. It could be as simple as having an island and workstations on wheels.

KBB: How can a kitchen’s design be adjusted based on the user?
SA: The approach to kitchen design currently is very fixed and stationary, and I expect that to evolve greatly in coming years. This shift in design will empower homeowners to make better use of space, letting the kitchen move to suit the activity and the user. Imagine a countertop that can easily drop to a comfortable height for children, raise up for kitchen prep and then transition to bar height for entertaining friends and enjoying cocktails. And that’s only the beginning!

KBB: How do you expect appliances to change the social experience in the kitchen?
SA: We expect kitchen appliances to contribute to a spirit of quiet connectivity. What happens in the kitchen is emotional; it’s where we spend quality time with our family over meals we lovingly prepare. Appliance technology will not only make meal prep easier, but it will integrate more seamlessly into the overall design of the space and blend in with the rest of the kitchen to provide a more relaxing aesthetic.

KBB: How will smart appliances affect the functionality and safety in the household?
SA: Smart appliances will affect functionality and safety in a number of ways. Refrigerators scanning their own contents will let homeowners know what to shop for at the store, cooktops and ovens will turn off automatically when they are no longer in use, and dishwashers will work faster and more efficiently. We expect smart appliances to make it both easier and safer to work in the kitchen – acting as a guiding hand or a sous chef depending on the cook’s age or skill level. It’s all about high functionality married with a low-maintenance experience. This will translate to the countertops as well; they will be even lower maintenance, and you’ll be able to cook directly on them.

KBB: In a nutshell, what do you expect the future kitchen to be like?
SA: We expect the kitchen of the future to be:

  • Sustainable. Appliances will be more energy and resource efficient, and products will be made with more sustainable materials.
  • A space for health and well-being. Natural light and lighting systems that mimic it will be a priority in kitchen design.
  • Integrated with our mobile devices. You’ll be able to use an app to control the stove, refrigerator or dishwasher.
  • Commercial-grade. Kitchens will include appliances and design inspired by chefs in world-class restaurants, increasing functionality and efficiency in the kitchen.
  • A multi-purpose space. Kitchens will continue to be a hub for eating, socializing and entertaining. Appliances and countertops will be adjustable, increasing accessibility and usability for family members of all ages and abilities.

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