By Holly Barry @HJBarry

Kitchens used to be closed areas in the home, designed to simply be functional for food preparation.Today, the kitchen is the hub of the home, especially with the trend for open plan living areas. The kitchen is now on show to visitors with the host sharing a glass of wine with guests as they cook. Central island units are popular for socialising with low hanging designer shades and inviting bar stools, allowing the party to congregate in the kitchen. It’s no longer a surprise to find someone in the kitchen in parties as the song goes – the party is in the kitchen!

Technology has adapted to meet this social change and the modern desire for comfort and speed in every area of the home. Homeowners who are planning on redesigning their kitchens are often influenced by new technology and they are changing the style of their kitchen to match the latest gadgetry. It is unsurprising that we look to bring the constantly updating technology that we are used to having at our fingertips into the kitchen.

Here are some modern kitchen trends to inspire your dream technological design and inform your choices:

Smart Kitchens

Smart kitchens are a continually changing aspect of design. It’s not just the latest gadgets, but technology has become fully integrated into design from smart fridges and ovens to lighting.

New kitchens are built smart from concept now, with older kitchens having to be redesigned to fit the needs of the technology loving owner. There are numerous additions that you can add to your ‘must-have’ list, including:

  • Kitchen taps on a motion sensor
  • Dishwashers which wash glasses gently and pans with more force on the same wash
  • Washing machines that are quiet even on a spin cycle and that you can control using your mobile phone
  • Refrigerators that play music, take ‘shelfies’ and send you a photo of the contents when you are in the supermarket and alert you to low stock
  • Taps which dispense boiling water
  • Coffee makers that have coffee ready when you walk into the kitchen
  • Smart ovens and microwaves that know how to cook different types of food, which you can control via a mobile app
  • Integrated music systems as part of an open plan living and socialising area
  • Lighting that you can control from your phone
  • Automatic kitchen blinds

Clever appliances

Stainless steel appliances have been popular for a while, but a dark brushed metal finish is one of the hottest trends in 2018.

Being health conscious is a trend that is set to continue and that trend also influences kitchen design. Steam ovens are growing in popularity as they retain the nutrients in food better than a conventional oven. Ovens now come with Bluetooth functionality so that you can control your oven from your mobile phone.

Clutter free countertops

Homeowners who love tech want a kitchen to reflect their modern style. Clutter free work surfaces are desirable – the only things wanted on work surfaces are voice controlled personal assistants like Amazon Alexa.

To keep work surfaces free, clever storage is a high priority. This includes hidden pull out separate recycling bins for easy recycling, revolving shelves, and deep pull out shelves.

Countertops have been made from granite in the last few years for that sleek shiny look. However in 2018 we will see more engineered quartz within home design with homeowners looking for their kitchen to be on trend.

Sleek designs, materials and textures to match the new technology

While the traditional eclectic country kitchen complete with Aga is still popular, if people are redesigning their kitchens the trend is to make life more comfortable with new technology. The smart appliances look out of place in a traditional style, so the kitchen designs are matching the modern aesthetics. New technology is aimed to simplify life and make life easier, so the style reflects this. The style is refined, simple, calm and stress-free. Think sleek, glossy surfaces free from traditional wall cabinets to open up the space.

However, your kitchen doesn’t have to look like a spaceship with all this new technology! People are experimenting with textures – from natural elements like driftwood to metal tubing for an industrial look. Ornate Moroccan tiles are also popular. Plants are adding colour to the kitchen as people are becoming keener to grow their own vegetables. NASA inspired technology has influenced indoor gardens and walls that feed and water themselves that you can display in your kitchen.

There is a sense of ‘keeping up with the Jones’’ for some when it comes to kitchen tech, with an interest in the latest fridge being talked about in social circles which normally would have been limited to the latest laptop, games console or smartphone. It is no wonder that kitchen designs are evolving to meet our love for tech – and why not for a more stress-free life? The kitchen is now a fun place to be!

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