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10 kitchen appliance trends for 2016

06 Jan 2016

Kitchen trends may come and go, but one thing remains constant: the kitchen is the heart of the home. 

Open-plan layouts allow the kitchen to become an integral part of the home’s living space – allowing the cook to socialise with others while preparing meals.

This is according to Liam Gawne from Miele, who says whether it’s being used to prepare gourmet meals or as a gathering place for friends and family, the three Cs, colour, customisation and convenience, will define the kitchen in 2016. 

Liam says appliances are a practical element that make your life easier, but today, with the introduction of technology and high design, they are also becoming key design features in any kitchen worth its salt. 

Liam shares the top 10 trends influencing kitchen appliances going forward… 

1. Integration 

Perhaps one of the mainstay trends in modern design is the open-plan layout, where the kitchen merges with the living space. 

According to Liam, all family life revolves around food and as such, the kitchen has become the most social area of the home. He says open-plan layouts allow this room to become an integral part of the home’s living space – allowing the cook to socialise with others while preparing meals. Here, he says the kitchen, dining area and lounge all form one carefully designed open-plan space, maximising the floor space and the multipurpose functionality of the kitchen area. 

As kitchens cement their role as a home's central gathering place, they're taking on increasingly more vibrant colours.

“As a result of the popularity of this kind of design, as well as being functional, it is important that the appliances add to the aesthetics of the area.” 

2. Colour 

Gone are the days of plain and dull spaces. As kitchens cement their role as a home's central gathering place, Liam says they're taking on increasingly more vibrant colours. He says the kitchen is a key place for colour – it’s a place where people gather, so it's apt to have some mixing and matching of colours to create a high energy impact. 

3. Design 

In terms of kitchen styles, transitional design that sits somewhere between traditional and contemporary, continues to gain popularity. 

According to Liam, although most modern kitchens are inspired by transitional elements, they tend to err more on the side of modernity as compared to traditional. 

The key is to use a variety of materials and surface finishes that leave a harmonious overall impression. 

4. Technology 

Today, increasingly more homeowners are looking for appliances that test the limits of innovation – appliances that not only have streamlined, design-conscious aesthetics and solid functionality, but also offer cutting-edge technology.

Today, increasingly more homeowners are looking for appliances that test the limits of innovation – appliances that not only have streamlined, design-conscious aesthetics and solid functionality, but also offer cutting-edge technology that will go that extra mile to help produce only the best end results possible in the simplest and most time-efficient manner possible. 

5. Going green 

The environmentally-friendly kitchen begins with eating green, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Energy and water efficient appliances are not only good for the pocket, but they are also a good choice for the planet too. 

“It has been estimated that appliances can use up to 20% of your total electricity bill, so changing to energy efficient appliances can save you quite a substantial amount over the long term.” 

As such, energy efficient appliances are a must-have for any modern kitchen – however, Liam says you should look at both the energy rating of the appliance, and also consider its overall carbon footprint. 

“A truly green appliance is not just about its energy efficiency ratings, you also need to consider the sustainable practices of the manufacturer, as well as the overall carbon footprint of the appliance in question." 

6. Wellbeing

Being able to brew a delicious cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home is a huge trend at the moment.

As modern lifestyles create new health challenges, maintaining or improving health and wellness has become a well-established priority in many people’s lives. 

According to Liam, being proactive in keeping yourself as healthy as possible not only has the benefit of ensuring that you look your best, but it also negates the need for costly medical treatment and time-out from the workplace. As a result, improving basic nutrition has become a major objective for many, he says. 

As such, Liam says healthy cooking methods such as steaming have grown in popularity. He says steam ovens represent a mega-trend in the kitchen, incorporating the principles of healthy, wholesome cooking like no other appliance. 

7. Size 

Even though, on average, modern homes might be getting smaller, there has been a resurgence in popularity for large format appliances that do more. 

“Appliances are seen by most as a long-term investment and as such, more and more consumers are opting for larger appliances that offer a bigger capacity. This is largely due to the fact that large format appliances can do more, store more and clean more in the same amount of time.” 

8. Coffee 

Being able to brew a delicious cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home is a huge trend at the moment, says Liam. He says increasingly more homeowners are choosing to save on store-bought designer coffees in lieu of being able to make them at home instead. Today, he says coffee aficionados are not prepared to settle for inferior quality coffee at any time of the day – they want to enjoy the luxury of sipping a good quality brew while they are relaxing at home too. 

9. Convenience 

When it comes to kitchen appliances, functionality continues to reign supreme. 

Regarding appliances, Liam says design should never be an end in itself - it should always occur in symbiosis with maximum functionality. 

Added functions such as ovens with pyrolytic cleaning, for example, offer users an effortless way of removing grease splashes and residue in the cabinet by incinerating them to ash at a high temperature. 

10. Countertop appliances 

You no longer have to settle on mediocre appliances just because you don’t own your home – now you can invest in premium countertop appliances that you can take with you whenever you move. 

Liam says countertop models not only offer a large majority of innovations, technology and functionality of the built-in models, but they are also more affordable and transportable. 

Countertop units like countertop coffee machines, steam ovens and microwaves are becoming increasingly popular options for those who rent or homeowners who do not want to renovate their kitchen in order to benefit from new high-end built-in appliances.
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