The kitchen is changing; it is now where we work, live, home school and relax at the end of the day. Many of us are demanding more from the kitchen in the form of more frequent dishwasher loads, bigger food storage requirements and an increase in how much we cook at home. While we live, work and play in the kitchen, hygiene has crept onto our radar. How do we spend so much time in one place and keep it looking its best? Choose appliances with innovative technology that keeps germs at bay and helps you to achieve maximum hygiene in your kitchen with minimal effort. Dishwashers with a sanitise mode are an excellent option for making sure you kill 99.9% of bacteria. Self-cleaning ovens are also a good option for peace of mind that you are cooking in a clean environment without the effort of cleaning the kitchen yourself.
2. Ergonomic appliances
Research shows that 80% of people will suffer from back problems in their lives due to their sedentary lifestyles. Being sat in front of a computer can take its toll on our necks and backs, worsening with time. Manufacturers should have a motive to design appliances that are ergonomically orientated around making homeowners’ lives easier. We predict that appliances in drawers will become a core feature of the future of kitchen design. It’s essential that you surround yourself with products that aid your long-term health rather than hinder it.
3. Quiet appliances
We are seeing a massive demand for quiet appliances. The last thing you want on your Zoom or Teams call is the washing machine starting to go into a spin cycle. We recommend looking for appliances that have been Quiet Mark-approved to ensure they do not distract you from living your everyday life – especially now that we are spending more time at home.
4. Products that adapt to your lifestyle
The kitchen is no longer just a place where food is made. It is where we meet to talk about our day, where homework is done and where we engage and interact as families and friends. Appliances should embrace your life rather than complicate it. Look for appliances with intuitive controls and easy-to-use functions – after all; we want to be able to use an appliance straight away without having to worry about a complicated interface that takes weeks to understand. We also know that human connection is more important now than ever, so appliances should do the hard work for you at the end of the day when you want to socialise with your family. Products that can function at the touch of a button are a must-have in a kitchen if you are designing it to be a social hub.
5. Sustainable/eco-friendly products
At Fisher & Paykel, we harbour a deep curiosity about the life lived around our appliances that drives us to design better, more sustainable products. We have seen that people’s needs and wants have changed in favour of the environment. There is a lot to consider when looking for sustainable appliances, but one of the first things you should look at is the energy labels to make sure the products are energy efficient. It is also essential to look at the different appliances on offer. Some people love the open flame that comes with a gas hob, but an induction hob is more eco-friendly as it uses much less energy. You can also save a lot of water by investing in dishwashers with eco options. Dishwashers generally use a lot less water than you would use when washing up in the sink – the average kitchen sink will hold about 20 litres of water. In contrast, our DishDrawer uses only 6.7l of water per cycle.
6. Design for a changing world
We all know that the working environment has changed forever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether they live in urban or rural areas, people want to improve their home environment. We have seen that the majority of self-builders and renovators are open-planners who wish to increase their downstairs space and seamlessly open out into a garden. They want to escape by looking out into their gardens and sit in the kitchen area while helping their children with their homework – or relax at the end of the day after a sea of Zoom calls. Through this, we have seen a trend for appliances that are easily hidden away behind furniture doors or are so aesthetically-pleasing that they take centre stage in their kitchens. We are consistently told by our retail and A&D partners that we have some of the most beautiful products on the market. Those looking to create a more beautiful life at home must invest in aesthetic and timeless appliances that make life at home visually pleasing.
7. Longevity/durable products
Appliances are an investment, so you want to make sure these will stand the test of time. Choose appliances that have been designed and engineered using only the finest materials, finishes and manufacturing methods for lasting qualities. You should also ask the retailer about the warranty options available – after all, we want them to go the distance. Fisher & Paykel UK, for example, offers a five-year manufacturer’s warranty on all appliances, which is great for peace of mind.