By Lisa Ricciotti and Lise Lalonde
All you really need to know you can learn in your kitchen.
Seriously.Heed the philosophy behind the latest kitchen appliances. They live large while giving more back, using energy efficiently. And you’ll never see them sweat. Quietly, effortlessly, they deliver results, yet always look great. If only it was that easy for us.
Sleek and sophisticated — but lots of substance. That’s what homeowners want from their refrigerators and the new extra-big generation delivers on all counts. Now that modern kitchens favour open-concept floor plans, there’s no need to restrict your food-storage needs to outdated dimensions. You can go big and go home with the latest large style-setters that end the battle for shelf space. Today’s improved energy-conscious designs with eco-friendly interior LED lighting also mean size doesn’t have to be sacrificed for low-energy consumption — so important when refrigerator-freezers are one of the most power-intensive appliance in the average home.
Many of the new big fridges feature French doors, the fastest growing style trend. It’s a chic look that’s also highly practical, for easier access and better organization. New models think smart with freezer bottom designs that reserve the top area for fresh foods, keeping what you use most within easy reach. This area is organized with central divides and side-by-side doors that make sorting a breeze. The bottom freezer lets the smaller set serve themselves when craving frozen snacks. More cubic feet of coolness also help too. The green-minded reduce their eco footprints (and grocery bills) by stocking up on essentials when prices are lower on fewer grocery runs. Finally, super-sized meets guilt-free.
We can’t live without our dishwashers, but we could live with less of their noise. Enter the latest solution: smooth-butquiet operators that get the job done without a big fuss. These hard workers don’t feel compelled to attract attention to their superior performance; they simply concentrate on getting dishes clean without drowning out conversations or the TV.
Smart design and engineering have now made it possible to suppress noise levels without reducing efficiency, and new models are also less conspicuous than ever about energy and water consumption. These strong, silent types carry excellent energy-star-compliant ratings, but also boast new sound-silencing ratings around approximately 50 decibels — the level of a normal conversation. (For comparison, average blenders rating are 88 dB and a whisper is 30 dB.)
The sound of silencing has also never looked so good. Today’s trend to stainless steel dishwashers matches the aesthetic of modern kitchens with a contemporary minimalistic feel — inside and out. But there’s also sound logic behind the appeal of stainless washer tubs: it’s a clean choice that doesn’t discolour no matter how many plates of spaghetti sauce drip during loading. Stylish, performance-minded and energy-efficient — these easy-on-the-ears dishwashers prove what quiet types have always known: there’s no need to shout when a whisper will do. when prices are lower on fewer grocery runs. Finally, super-sized meets guilt-free.
Previous trends in kitchen ranges have included such cosmetic changes as smooth glass cooktops and slide-in appliances that are flush in depth with the adjoining counter. Now the trend is toward more efficient ways of actually cooking food. In modern kitchens, food is always cooked inside a pot or pan that warms up and in turn warms the food. New induction ranges concentrate on that relationship by using a powerful electromagnet stored under the ceramic surface of the cooktop.
When an iron or steel pot is placed on the magnetic field, energy is induced into the pot and it heats up. The advantages are a very precise degree of control over the heat and a cooktop that stays cooler than that of a radiant electric or gas-powered range. Cool cooktops reduce bakedon spills and overall kitchen heat. Also, there’s the potential in the future for these magnetic ranges to be zoneless, with the underlying magnet detecting the size and placement of the pot and heating exactly that area.
What more can one ask?
“Quietly, effortlessly, these appliances deliver results, yet always look great. If only it was that easy for us.”