The Future of Smart Kitchen Design and Culture

The Future of Smart Kitchen Design and Culture

Additions and Remodels
Kitchen Remodeling
By Ani Mouradian April 27, 2021

How tech can affect how our kitchens look and how we use them

Disclaimer: Contractors.com is not receiving any type of compensation for reviewing any of the products mentioned in this article.

The function of most technological advancements is to help us cut back the time of manual labor. New kitchen gadgets are no different, except that the latest developments in smart kitchen appliances also change kitchen design, layout, and functionality as well. No matter the field, it’s always the case that the newer the gadget or appliance update, the easier its user experience. But with lesser need for our involvement even when opting for homemade dinners, are we also losing precious time for family bonding in the kitchen? Or do these developments do the opposite, giving us more time to do what we’d rather do and provide an improved design?

Here are some of the essentials (and some newcomers) for a smart home that are changing how our kitchens look and serve us. 

Integration, Integration, Integration

Nowadays, putting the word smart in front of anything usually means tech. However, in the kitchen, smart also means functional, efficient, and safe. The clean, tucked-away look of an integrated kitchen with its hidden appliances can play a huge role in how sophisticated your kitchen looks and functions. Regardless of the newest developments in AI making their way into kitchen appliances and apps, smart design should not be overlooked.

One smart, trendy, and recommended way of integrated design is having an induction surface for a stovetop. Chef Andrew Forlines’s kitchen remodel advice on how to design with new appliances in mind is “for folks to switch their cooking surface to an induction surface for cleaner, more powerful, precise cooking with reduced ventilation requirements compared to gas-burning cooktops.” Less noise, less danger, and more pretty.

induction top stove

induction top stove

Smart Storage

Starting with one of the pricier kitchen appliance upgrades is the smart refrigerator. Most smart refrigerators come with one constraint, their appearance — the majority have a cool stainless steel facade. Although they may not come in colors and textures, they look beautiful and fit into almost any kitchen style thanks to their simplicity. The Samsung Refrigerator with Family Hub also has a stainless steel metal cooling sheet that runs along the interior back wall, which helps circulate the temperature uniformly. Most important for smart refrigerators are the features they come with that take grocery shopping, food storage, and meal planning to a whole new level. Many allow you to see inside your fridge from your phone with the accompanying app while you’re at the store. If you can’t remember whether you have milk or not, just check your phone.

smart refrigerator

smart refrigerator

The large screen embedded in the refrigerator door is also a fun feature. The Samsung Family Hub, for example, facilitates ways to connect with your family members, send each other memos, keep an ongoing digital grocery list that you won’t leave in one purse or forget in a different pair of jeans, browse recipes and create meal plans – kind of like having an assistant in your kitchen.

smart refrigerator app grocery list

smart refrigerator app grocery list

Smart Cooking

For healthier and more energy-efficient cooking, convection combi-steam ovens are the way to go. However, the time that cooking takes from us is just as prominent an issue as health in the kitchen. Smart ovens like June and Brava boast the ability to reduce time spent on cooking, among a long list of other tricks. With smart ovens like these, you no longer need to divide a meal into separate steps for prepping, sauteing, frying, or baking. For example, with the June oven, you can simply assemble your ingredients on the tray and select the functions you want her to complete. The cook modes in a June oven are Bake, Roast, Broil, Grill, Toast, Dehydrate, Air Fry, Proof, Slow Cook, Stone-Fire Pizza, Reheat, and Keep Warm. What does this sorcery mean?

Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels

Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels

Firstly, like in the case for other smart ovens, such as the Breville Smart Oven as well, the role of the microwave, toaster oven, and convection oven is long since obsolete. This clears up the countertop and cabinet space that might have held built-in appliances. Although it’s hard to imagine not needing a conventional oven at all for larger families or bigger trays carrying a turkey or a ham, with smart ovens like these that can do it all and claim that your traditional oven will collect dust if you decide to keep it.

The simplification of cooking that these advanced ovens propose creates an opportunity for younger family members to be more involved in the process. It also frees up a lot of your time, which is priceless in the face of more time available to spend reading, playing, talking, planning, or just doing your own thing - things that typical kitchen activities steal from significantly.

The picture of cooking at home no longer has one cook slaving away for 2 hours then calling everyone down for dinner. 

Smart Gadgets

Here are some fun tools that you didn’t know you needed.

  • There’s the automatic stirrer: so you’re free to read, study or talk about your day instead of doing nothing other than stirring a pot of sauce or soup for 15 minutes.

  • Helping hands can come in the smallest of packages. Ergonomic ice cream scoops, for example, use heat conduction from your hand to help melt rock-like Rocky-Road.
head conducting ice cream scooper

head conducting ice cream scooper

  • Then there are a few smart inventions it would just be unkind to the environment not to include in your eco-friendly and sustainable kitchen. Namely, tapware that saves water through aerators that inject air into the water flow, helping cut water consumption by 30%.

  • Smart lighting is also out there, which automatically adjusts based on the time of day, how you’re feeling, and even, what’s on the menu. Besides presenting another opportunity to be energy efficient with LED, lighting is and always has been an important determiner of an environment’s ability to make us feel well.

  • Smart screens are another popular gadget in today's kitchens, with hands-free voice activation being the drawing feature that allows you to look up recipes, make a call, or watch a show without a touch. Some can help detect gas leaks as well.
smart meter for gas and electricity

smart meter for gas and electricity

We can get on board with a product that doesn’t require your attention and time to use. However, many of today’s advanced kitchen appliances are simply inventions we already know (pots, scales, coffee makers) that require you to get on your phone and pair an app to utilize — essentially taking up more time. Therefore, look beyond how modern and sleek each new invention looks and make sure it does actually save you either time, energy, or both.

Home Automation

If you are a fan of the apps and smart devices and already have many smart appliances in your kitchen, then a home automation system would be the next thing to consider. Instead of adding on one more device to deal with, a home automation system brings together all the devices in your home to one physical and operational space. What this means is, that if your day begins at 6:30am, you can have your coffee machine begin roasting, your lights turn on 25%, floors to begin heating, your morning playlist to turn on in the bathroom, and a voice device in the kitchen to start playing the news automatically. Essentially, this means your home not only houses you but works for you as well, so you don’t have to manage it and its gadgets individually.

remote home automation system

remote home automation system

Especially as interior layouts begin to expand and disrupt the border that separates the kitchen from living space, kitchen design and function become more and more important for modern developers of both kitchens and the gadgets that are integrated into them. By incorporating smart solutions to change the way we feel and spend time in our kitchen we’re also given an opportunity to change the way we spend time together at home.

Written by
Ani Mouradian

Written by Ani Mouradian