Nothing spooky about new trends

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Photo courtesy Bosch at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

October has always been one of my favorite months. Not only does it contain my favorite holiday, Halloween, but our daughter was also born in October, three years ago. It is also the month that we can see all of the latest kitchen and bath trends start to come out.

Thirty-seven years ago, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) deemed October National Kitchen and Bath month. According to the NKBA, this is the busiest time of year for contractors, as homeowners revamp their kitchens and baths to prepare for the holidays. In keeping with the theme, I will dedicate the columns this month to everything kitchens and baths. This week, I consulted with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery’s Peg Hall Williams for the latest trends in the kitchen.

SWITCHING TO STEAM

“Some customers add the steam oven as a complement to their existing conventional ovens, others are replacing their microwaves with it and some are transitioning seamlessly to only a steam oven as a commitment to healthy cooking,” Hall Williams said. “The steam oven delivers delicious, nutritious cuisine and retains the moisture of food during the cooking process. You can see the benefits of the steam oven with your first use.”

Photo courtesy of Bosch at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

CONNECTING TO SMART FEATURES

“Almost every manufacturer has incorporated smart home technology into their kitchen products, what we call ‘the connected kitchen,'” Hall Williams said. “As voice activation platforms like Google Home or Amazon Alexa are becoming more widely adopted, it’s less of a novelty to control your oven through voice commands or view the contents of your refrigerator via an app on your smartphone.”

Hall Williams pointed to newer capabilities like verbally instructing the refrigerator to fill the ice machine or change the temperature. Other smart home kitchen items include coffee machines and faucets. Hall Williams notes Thermador’s built-in coffee machine, which lets you prepare your favorite beverage remotely, and Delta’s Trinsic pull-down kitchen faucet, which dispenses precise amounts of water with hands-free voice activation.

Photo courtesy Thermador

INCORPORATING WELLNESS

“Homeowners insist that appliances be energy-efficient, quiet and functional — and help them live better, healthier lives,” Hall Williams said. She recommends a dishwasher with stainless-steel interiors and a third-level cutlery rack. The stainless steel will absorb heat better than plastic, improving energy efficiency, and the cutlery rack streamlines the loading/unloading process. For healthy eating, she recommends Bosch’s French Door refrigerator, which has a VitaFresh system, guaranteeing your food stays fresh longer, and GE Profile’s 7000 series wall ovens, which include a hot air-frying mode.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.