High Tech Cooking
Posted February 21, 2021 in Special Features
Cooking in our kitchens has meant so much more to the time spent at home as we weather the pandemic. Potential home buyers and the makers of kitchen appliances have taken note. La Cornue, a high end supplier of cook-tops recently introduced a cooking unit that offers induction and gas burners. The digital age makes it more possible than ever before for every budget to include space for technology in the kitchen. Voice controlled products have been around for a while and you most likely have heard of Amazon Echo or Google Home. But looking at your kitchen whether you are staging to sell or need a better kitchen, may give an opportunity for some smart tech upgrades.
Major upticks in last year’s sales of kitchen appliances were the reason that the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) surveyed homeowners and homebuyers about what’s important in the kitchen. The NKBA discovered that the demand for kitchens designed with cleanliness and the ability to sanitize topped the list. Touch-less faucets and prep surfaces that offer antimicrobial properties are all the rage. The Kohler plumbing fixture company states on their website that touchless faucets are now considered must-haves. The Wisconsin-based plumbing supplier of luxury finishes also offers voice-automation for their touchless products. The Kohler Company explains that their customizable voice faucet dispenser understands voice requests simply said as “soup” or “oatmeal” and thus dispenses the correct amount of water from the faucet. Faucets may be one of the outstanding features that many budgets can afford.
Livable and accessible is a key to any kitchen being staged. Pay attention to sound. New technology brings an option for motorized cabinetry and counters, so that items can meet you. If that sounds like it’s too much in preparation to sell your home, simply pay attention to the sound of your closing cabinets. Sometimes it’s a simple option to replace the felt pads that were once on the inside corners of your cabinets.
Yes, the pandemic has changed what homebuyers and homeowners are seeking in their kitchens. In the Pacific Northwest, I have specifically seen an increase in requests for outdoor kitchen areas. Outdoor space is typically usable space in our region except when an ice storm comes through. As a designer, I am seeing that the surfaces that work outdoors are also being duplicated inside homes, because of the ease of sanitizing these surfaces. MDI which makes a high-performance ceramic-like surface is getting a lot of attention, because it is versatile for a counter-top as well as for other surface areas. It is nonporous and stain-resistant; and doesn’t crack no matter how many times you clean it. The grain-like finish is perceived to be more hygienic than stone or stainless steel. The unique ability of the surface to sustain elevated temperatures up to 1500 Celsius is said to be the future of surfaces which will go from being a countertop to a cook-top.
The kitchen from a staging viewpoint or from a designer’s viewpoint is becoming a place that allows the homeowner to blend appliances seamlessly within the room that can simply be enjoyed even when you are not cooking. The idea is that the space should appear clear and clean.
The list of items that the NKBA surveyed for popularity put air purification at the top of the list slightly over touchless faucets. Yet, antimicrobial door handles, water-filtration systems, easy-clean induction cooktops/surfaces and easy-clean flat cabinetry are listed by homeowners and home seekers immediately after touchless faucets in that order. What’s important might not be that you have these high-technology features if you are getting ready to sell, but that you have achieved a simple slate within the kitchen for a potential buyer to see the opportunity to create it for themselves.
The latest in kitchen appliances is always a key in homes. Appliances are often a selling point of a home. Buy the best you can afford within context of the home, if you don’t have a designer giving input.
It’s clear that there will be more apps on our phones and computers in our appliances that will help us to cook in the future. I anticipate that companies like MDI will bring us to having multi-purpose surfaces which will allow us to transform any surface into a cooktop in the future. In the meantime, try to keep counter surfaces clear and clutter free. Clean speaks volumes to buyers and to those simply enjoying home.
If you don’t know where to begin, check into having your home ready wired for a new buyer anticipating greater home automation. Technological innovations will continue to further define what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and be able to prepare our foods with greater safety.
Please call me at 360.635.1121 to help get your home ready to list. You can also email me at DianneMorrisHomes@gmail.com