11 Kitchen Innovations That Excite DesignersJune 28, 2017
Kitchens are work rooms, but kitchen designers look at more than just utility. A kitchen that is both functional and beautiful is the dream that home designers strive to achieve. If you were to give a kitchen designer an unlimited budget, what sort of things might they put into their kitchen fantasy?
There are some downright decadent things that can go into a kitchen that most homeowners wouldn’t consider unless they were hip to modern kitchen design. Here are 11 things that kitchen designers fantasize about having in their home kitchens.
Cabinets are the first thing people notice in a (clean) kitchen, so new cabinetry is the first thing to look for in a fantasy kitchen. There are a wealth of options out there. If you know the dimensions of your space well, you can save significantly by ordering pre-assembled or ready-to-assemble cabinets.
For people with a knack for woodworking, ordering ready-to-assemble cabinets can help you create your own custom cabinetry. At the very least, if your measurements were slightly off you’ll have an opportunity to correct them instead of being stuck with a set of finished cabinets that don’t quite fit.
While we’re on the subject of cabinets, some designers are opting to transform lower cabinets into deep drawers. Instead of the traditional three-stacked drawer, these deeper drawers can hold larger items like plate stacks or pots you’ll use often. If you’re tired of kneeling down to fetch something buried in the back of a lower cabinet, deep drawers may prove to be a better organizational solution.
Granite and quartz counters are still popular choices for counter materials. Stone counters are strong and difficult to mar unlike synthetic countertops, which is one reason for their popularity. They also give kitchens a sense of permanence compared to synthetics. A few years of using a synthetic countertop can make it look damaged despite your best efforts, but as long as you maintain it, stone countertops will last a lifetime. Synthetics usually last around 20-30 years.
Quartz counters have an additional advantage. They can be dyed different colors to create different looks. With granite, what you see is what you get, but with quartz, you’ll be paying an even dearer price than other stone counters. Quartz counters also avoid some of the problems of granite countertop maintenance, like cleaning up oil stains.
If you’re already going in with stone, why not replace your tile backsplash with a stone slab one instead? This feature can create a continuous look from your counters to the wall. It’s quite striking and it lets you show off features of your stone that can’t be seen when it’s laid flat.
If you do choose to have a slab backsplash, ask your installer about how to handle outlets or installing a knife bar. You don’t want to drill through your stone and have it shatter!
A just-right fridge
Most fridges stick out beyond the length of the counter. Great for storing more food, but bad for aesthetics. However, there are shallower refrigerators on the market that can make the door of the fridge line up with the edge of the counter. This lets the line between the counter and the fridge continue, avoiding a break and adding aesthetic appeal. Google some pictures on counter-depth refrigerators to see what we mean.
If you’re considering buying one, be sure to measure your space carefully. Not all counter-depth refrigerators are the same size. If you already have new cabinets installed then you’ll definitely need to measure! It’s worth pairing your cabinets with the right-sized refrigerator at the same time to keep the look.
If you like to bake a lot at home or get messy hands while you cook, you know how annoying it is to clean the sink handles after you’re done. Touch-activated faucets take care of this problem. To turn them on, you bump the faucet with your elbow. A sensor detects the vibration and turns on the water. Sure, you’ll have to change a battery every so often, but think of the time you’ll save not cleaning your sink handles!
A deep sink
If you’ve ever been in a professional kitchen and looked at their sink, they’re quite deep. While only an industrial kitchen designer might want one that deep, a sink depth over 10” and more width is a welcome addition to any kitchen island. First, it lets you fit deeper pots into the sink for cleaning or filling. You can also pour out liquid into the sink without it splashing up as high over your counters (think draining a pasta pot). It also lets you hide more dirty dishes before they pile up where they can be seen. Don’t worry, we won’t tell!
If you haven’t heard of these yet, check them out. A drawer dishwasher is like a normal dishwasher, but with two separate compartments. Each can be independently operated. This lets you wash smaller loads when you only have a few dishes, saving water and soap. You can fill one side up while the other is washing. For households with only one or two people, this is a much more elegant solution than a full dishwasher.
Tastes in ranges vary, but nothing says “I’m a cook” like having a professional gas range. Deep burners with high flame output show you mean business. However, they can be tricky to clean. You could opt for a smooth-top range instead if you cannot get gas. These are far easier to clean and involve much less upkeep than a traditional range.
The perfect range hood
Range hoods are a matter of debate for any kitchen designer. It really depends on how the rest of the kitchen looks. Range hoods either stick out boldly or are as hidden as possible. If your range is a focal point for your kitchen, go for a bold hood. Otherwise, hide it as much as you can so it doesn’t stand out.
A convection oven uses a fan to force hot air around the oven. This makes cooking times much faster. While tricky to use at first, once you’ve mastered it you’ll be turning out dishes faster than ever before. Plus, some convection ovens have a steam feature. Steam helps food retain moisture and stay juicy, but it is also indispensable for making perfect bread crusts. Truly a professional add-on to any fantasy kitchen.
Do you agree or disagree with any of these choices? What kitchen features do you lust over in home design magazines? Let us know in the comments.