With 2018 in full bloom, it's time to start planning your 2019 kitchen. Yes, you're dreaming about the wall color (gray), the countertops (low-maintenance quartz), the backsplash (ever-popular subway tile), and the black stainless steel appliances. That's a good start toward creating an excellent kitchen, but there are a lot of new things you'll want to add to your list.
As Reviewed's home design writer, I've had the chance to attend a number of design shows this year, and my eyes are always open for the coolest kitchen ideas that may be coming to your home soon. Take a look at your kitchen's future.
1. Ranges that do new cooking tricks
Since so many people have purchased the Anova sous vide, and started vacuum sealing their food to cook in a water bath, sous vide is popping up everywhere. I saw a demo of a beautiful 48-inch range by Signature Kitchen Suite (from LG) with built-in sous vide. Everything about it seemed outstanding.
I also saw that Electrolux has a new 30-inch electric wall oven offering air sous vide. And Gaggenau has a vacuuming drawer that seals your food, so you can use it for sous vide cooking, or even to reseal wine bottles. That would be nice to have!
2. Dishwashers drying better
Your current dishwasher is driving you crazy. It doesn't have room for the dishes and glassware you use most, it redeposits food particles, and worst of all, it doesn't really dry the dishes. New dishwashers are addressing all of these issues. This goes way beyond the coveted third rack, which more and more dishwashers are including, even on budget models.
After five years, Sub-Zero Wolf has finally released its Cove dishwasher, the machine that aspires to do everything, for a price. I love its three spray arms and 43 jets—they ensure that food particles are washed away. The racks and tines adjust to make room for square dishes and tall glasses. The angled second rack lets water run off. And to get dishes really dry, Cove has a hotter last rinse, and a fan.
There are other high-end dishwashers that can meet specialized needs.
For people who like to party, Thermador offers the Entertainer's dishwasher, which has room for 24 wine glasses. It will be great to see features like these in dishwashers at a more affordable price point.
3. Tall column refrigerators
Column refrigeration has been around in the commercial and luxury markets for a while, but with more brands getting into the game, we can hope it will be coming down in price. Kitchen designers are already recommending these for eager clients. The brilliance of these stand alone columns is their adaptability.
If you have a side-by-side fridge now, and the skinny freezer side doesn't have room to store frozen pizzas and lasagna pans, columns can take you to the next level, because you can buy a wider freezer column if you need one. You don't even have to keep the fridge and the freezer next to one another, so you have more flexibility in your kitchen's design.
4. Cooking on the counter
Hidden induction cooking just blows me away. The induction elements are installed beneath a durable SmartStone countertop, and when you're not cooking, you can use the counter to serve.
Chefs have fully embraced induction cooking, which uses electromagnetism to heat pots and pans efficiently. The general public hasn't come around in large numbers. But think about it: in addition to the great cooking you can do with induction, this kind of cooktop lets toddlers put their little hands right on the cooking surface without getting burned.
5. Metal mixups
It used to be that most faucets were chrome. Then came the nineties, which brought tons of shiny brass hardware. Satin nickel heralded the 2000s. Now, you can have any color fixtures you'd like, from velvety matte black to gorgeous rose gold, and you can pick more than one finish for the same kitchen. One of the nicest finishes I've seen is a warm gold tone that complements the cool colors in today's kitchens.
6. Sink accessories
Your sink is the most functional spot in your kitchen, the heart of the heart. You go there to rinse your salad greens, fill a pasta pot, and wash the dishes. And now, your sink can get some extra love with a sink system like this one from Franke.
What's a sink system? It's a way to make the most of your sink, turning it into an integrated workspace. Accessories like a sliding glass cutting board, multi-level sink grids (to maximize space), a colander that sit on the edge of the sink, and a compost bin/scrap collector with a drain that lets you wash it out make it easier to prep and clean up. Hey, don't we need all the help we can get?
7. Surfaces that bring the best of new and old
Terrazzo, which dates back to ancient times, is making a major comeback. You've probably seen it on the floors of old buildings—the ones that have chips of glass, marble, and other materials embedded in them. The new porcelain terrazzo looks amazing, and it's available in polished and matte finishes. It's interesting to look at, and you can use it on the backsplash, the walls, or the floor.
8 The handleless kitchen
I've seen refrigerators that open when you press against them with your hip, and dishwashers that open when you knock. Since your hands are often full while you're cooking, that could be a convenience in any kitchen.
9. New kinds of ice
Everybody loves nugget ice. When Opal came out with the ice maker that made Sonic's chewable nugget ice available on the counter, we all went wild. Next icy trend is flaked ice, which is what snow cone fans love, aside from the psychedelic colors and flavors. There are snow cone machines out there now, but Opal hopes to own this segment. Last time we checked their site, their flaked ice maker was sold out, but it will be back. We need it so we can treat the family to slushies and frozen beverages next summer.
10. Everything smart
We want connected appliances to add value, and demand that they run as seamlessly as possible. While we've found that some of the apps available for appliances we've tested can be disappointing, I think we can expect them to keep improving. Alexa and Google Home can help manage our appliances, too.