From nightly dinners to annual holiday parties, you and your family spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Make it a space you’re excited to step into every day with gadgets and appliances that help you work smarter, not harder, and infuse the heart of your home with a dose of personality.
Multipurpose ovens. Double ovens had their moment as a coveted appliance in the kitchen—for about two days out of the year around the holidays, when party hosts wanted extra room for green bean casseroles and pumpkin pies. But now, “we’re seeing a sort of shift to people thinking more holistically,” says Angela Warner of Twin Cities appliance giant Warners’ Stellian. “I want to be able to use these appliances every day, so how can I buy something that’s more geared toward my lifestyle?” One appliance that’s picking up steam is, no pun intended, the steam oven, which can also be used as a convection oven or even replace a microwave. “It’s super healthy and it’s really forgiving in terms of ease of use,” says Warner. “You don’t have to be a great cook to use it.”
Colorful appliances. Stainless steel still reigns supreme for its classic, timeless look, but some daring homeowners are opting for a punch of color to make a statement with pieces that once served a solely utilitarian purpose, like the range or range hood. “People are looking to make their kitchen really reflect who they are, where it’s more an expression of their personal style,” says Warner, calling out black stainless or matte black as particularly popular finish choices.
“Smart” appliances. As reliant on cell phones as we are these days, it’s no surprise that the WiFi-connected appliance trend is going “full throttle all of a sudden,” says Warner. Imagine being able to preheat your oven as you leave work, monitor your refrigerator temperature while you’re on vacation, or start your dishwasher from bed. These options are not a futuristic dream—they’re here now, creating a level of convenience for both homeowners and service technicians. If there’s a problem, says Warner, “a service technician can see what’s going on from wherever they are, and they can order the parts they want to order.”
Beverage stations. Anyone who has hosted a party knows the kitchen usually becomes the main hub of activity—great for feeling connected to your guests, but a little inconvenient when you’re chopping veggies and popping appetizers into the oven. As a solution, Warner says, homeowners are installing a secondary beverage refrigerator just outside of the kitchen or into the island “to alleviate the pressure on the main fridge.” This keeps guests out of the food prep space, but also grants them easy access to their next glass of Chardonnay.
Taylor Hugo (taylorhugo.com) is a freelance writer and editor who has experience creating content for regional and national magazines, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. After spending most of her life in Minnesota, she recently relocated to Colorado, where you’ll find her hiking the Rocky Mountains and decorating her first home that she shares with her husband and dog.