Changes in kitchen technology. Changes in human technology. Major breakthroughs in design techniques. Cabinetry that stores more. Appliances that do more. Kitchen components that make design statements while boasting easy-care for the 80’s. These are the changes, subtle and otherwise, that are taking place in kitchens:
Kitchen Space: According to the latest reports from builders and architects, today’s houses and apartments are being built 50 percent smaller than they were five years ago. The result: smaller kitchens. The challenge to create kitchens that do more in less space.
The Media Center combines an island kitchen with a media room–a focal point in the home for entertainment and leisure. The kitchen is compact and includes all the components for food preparation and clean-up. The media center includes a video screen that combines conventional television and a home computer.
The Kitchen with Computer Center is a complete kitchen that provides assistance in menu planning and food preparation. The computer can also be utilized for a variety of other purposes from budget and tax preparation to video games.
The Dual-Ownership Kitchen is a radical solution to the problem of smaller spaces in new homes. Attached housing units, condominiums, apartments and similar units might share a common kitchen. Occupants have their own refrigeratos, dishwashers and sinks as well as separate storage areas. A large center work island provides ample work area and a serving area to the dining room. A thermal drape controls heat gain/loss under a skylight.
Cooking: Smooth-surface induction cooktops with no burners or coils; easy-clean surface remains cool while pans heat and food cooks. Cooktop flexibility–a variety of dishwasher-safe cooktop cartridges offer cooking choices–snap-in grills, griddles, rotisseries. Down-draft venting offering cooking versatility and installation ease for kitchens that cannot use hood-vent systems. Range breakthroughs include electronically monitored designs that keep an eye on cooking operations, digital-timed technology, combination designs tht do more in less space such as range/dishwasher, microwave/convection, microwave/conventional; built-ins, drop-ins, slide-ins and free-standing models with a wide variety of convenience features. The microwave phenomenon is the wave of the future with dual-wave distribution systems, variable power systems, micro-computer touch controls, defrost systems, pre-set memory programming and improved browning featues. Counter and table top models, combination units with either conventional or convection capability, wall-mounts with ventilation and lighting for range tops. from pint size 1.5 cu.ft. to large, family-size.
Refrigeration: Door designs and electronic monitoring is the big news. Three-way designs and door-within-a-door provide quick access to food on adjustable shelves; French-door design allows freezer and refrigerator doors to open from the middle; in another, the third door theme emerges again when a small door atop the freezer section allows ice access; electronic monitors signal serious temperature drops; refrigeration a la mode offers optional self-contained ice-cream makers; convenience is borrowed from commercial designs in the form of pull-out, interchangeable trays, wire shelves and pans. Frost-free defrosting continues high on the list.
Dishwashing: Now our electronically controlled appliances have touch controls and digital-display panels that signal status or malfunction, programmed diswashing to set machine to turn on at a later time, cycle selection from post-scrubbing to fine china and crystal, sensors, booster heaters, improved sound insulation and water distribution systems, decorating convenience with easy-change front panel kits, and convertible designs for portability and eventual build-in.
Waste Disposal–Garbage Disposers and Trash Compactors: Newer, large-capacity models in garbage disposers handle more garbage, up to one quart at a time; improved anti-jam features allow more care-free use; removable splash guards offer cleaning ease. In trash compactors the big news is space-saving–small units measure from 12 inches up to 18 inches. Built-in litter bin doors allow for quick and easy disposal of small items. Built-in and free-standing models are available.
Sinks, Faucets and Dispensers: In kitchen sinks, enamel, cast-iron three-bowl varieties in colors as well as stainless steel help to organize cooking and clean-up; hard-wood cutting board tops are available as optional accessories; self-rimming designs eliminate dirt-catching seams and speed installation; there are rinsing baskets, spray units and soap dispensers. Sculptured sink designs with teak cutting boards are also available, as well as party sinks for bar or island-kitchen units. These include right- or left-handed built-in blenders and self-rimming designs. Round sinks in brass add a touch of class to bar areas along with their teak cutting boards and drain basket accessories.
Newest faucets include an adjustable faucet riser that slides to more than 10 inches above the sink deck, allowing easy filling or cleaning of large pots and pans; it fits three- and four-hole sinks and includes a washer-less cartridge system.
In hot-water dispensers new push-button units now offer up to 1-2/gallon or 60 cups of hot water an hour.
Major breakthroughs in space re-organization are taking place in kitchen cabinet design. There is virtually every kind of cabinet in which to store every conceivable kitchen ingredient or utensil. A place for everything and everything in its place is, indeed, the order of the day. As for styling, more and more cabinetry looks like fine, traditional furniture and offers the same elegant touch to kitchens that furniture offers to the rest of the house.
One cabinet manufacturer has given intensive study to this business of space and storage and has come up with a new solution for storing small appliances, spices, small utensils, coffee, tea, bread, kitrchen wraps, etc. By fitting special midway elements in the recess area between the countertop and wall cabinets, this otherwise unused space can be effectively of floor space but it gains “miles” of convenience. Another concept features a panel system that utilizes shelves and panels installed between otherwise wasted space between wall cabinets and counter-top.