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Summer Sale | Take 15% Off ALL House Plans | Code: SUMMER15
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Kitchen Trends and Innovations of 2017

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Do you know what today’s homeowners want in their kitchens? Between appliances, countertops, and fixtures, innovation is constantly offering us more convenient, beautiful, and efficient solutions for this very important space, and it can be hard to keep up. Perhaps you’re looking for some tips or inspiration? Here are some of the growing appliance trends that you should keep in mind if you want to create an up-to-date kitchen that looks great, stands out, and offers intelligent low- and high-tech features for a much more user-friendly experience every day!

KitchenAid Black Stainless Built-In Side by Side Refrigerator with PrintShield

This Black Stainless Built-In Side by Side Refrigerator with PrintShield™ Finish from KitchenAid® is bold and sleek, ENERGY STAR® qualified, and offers storage features that will help keep food fresh for longer.

Going Beyond Stainless

The stainless steel finish will always have its admirers and it definitely isn’t going anywhere, but appliance manufacturers have updated the classics to make them sleek and appealing to today’s market. Black and white are back in fashion because now they’re available without the look and feel of plastic—and you know these colors are here for the long term! When dressed up in a universally attractive finish, everybody has something good to say about them.

KitchenAid® introduced the first ever line of Black Stainless Steel appliances in 2015 and it has been growing ever since. These models are professionally inspired, but their brushed steel exteriors put forth a much warmer vibe that looks great in the home. The trend caught on, of course, and Whirlpool® recently introduced their own take on black stainless at CES® 2017. Theirs is an especially matte finish that resists fingerprints and easily wipes clean, so it is a great option for the family looking for low-maintenance style that matches everything. If the brushed, matte metal look isn’t right for you, check out Jenn-Air’s® floating glass appliances—they are glossy like regular stainless steel, but available in black and white, they are a fantastic choice for creating a sophisticated, high-contrast modern design.

Jenn-Air TriFecta Dishwasher

The TriFecta™ Dishwasher with 40 dBA from Jenn-Air® has a removable third level rack that is perfect for large serving utensils, awkward tools like whisks, and overflow silverware. When there’s a place for everything, cleaning up won’t seem so daunting!

Precise and Flexible Packing Potential

Everything begins and ends with the refrigerator and dishwasher, and while their functions are different, you’ll find that some of their features should be comparable. It’s all about what you can fit into them and how! Appliance manufacturers are really upping the game for shelves and racks, and that means awkward items don’t have to be a challenge any longer.

When it comes to refrigerators, look for more smaller and slide-away shelves and multiple drawers to help make organization easy. Whirlpool® released the French Door Refrigerator with Infinity Slide Shelves in 2016, and they recently announced a brand new fridge that will debut later in 2017—the “door-within-door” French door refrigerator that channels the coldest air to the door, where drinks can be stored and cooled more efficiently. These models are designed with small items in mind, so they don’t get lost or in the way of larger items that can only really go in one place. KitchenAid® has Multi-Door and 5-Door fridges that take it a step further with externally accessible drawers that help keep everything orderly and also keep contents colder, because less of the interior is exposed each time a door is opened.

Small items are also a concern when it’s time to clean up. Ladles, knives, spatulas, and other long, relatively flat pieces don’t fit well in racks designed for plates, bowls, and glassware and were often destined for hand-washing as a result—until a third rack came onto the scene. Now available across the industry, this upper level basket creates a secure place for culinary odds and ends. Just lay them down—they don’t even take space away from items in the rack below!

Whirlpool 2017 Smart Suite

The Whirlpool® Smart Suite is packed full of features you have to see to believe. Not only can these appliances take voice orders through Amazon Alexa, but they can make suggestions based on what you’re trying to do—by using a built-in touchscreen or scanning a barcode.

Voice-Controlled Connectivity

First, you had to be next to an appliance to give it directions and check its status, then you could control it through an app on your smart devices, and now all you need to do is speak. This is a new development that hasn’t yet been rolled out, but by mid-2017, you will be able to delegate some of the tasks you do in the kitchen to a familiar hyper-connected personal assistant: Amazon Alexa.

Whirlpool’s® smart appliances have, until now, been focused on laundry, and Jenn-Air® made waves with their connected kitchen appliances. In both cases, Nest® and an app make it possible to do things even when you’re not at home, so long as you have a Wi-Fi signal. But who wants to be totally connected to a smartphone all the time? If you have Amazon Echo, a new partnership with Whirlpool® means you can set and check temperatures and timers vocally—and that is particularly convenient if you’re doing chores elsewhere in the house or your hands are dirty. Check out what Whirlpool® brought to CES® 2017 to get a taste for the possibilities.

ZERA Food Recycler

For homeowners especially concerned with reducing waste, the Zera™ Food Recycler makes it possible to produce compost right in the kitchen so less organic material goes to the landfill. This nifty new appliance is available for pre-order and will start shipping in summer 2017!

Convenient Extras

If you’re all set on the major appliances, have you ever thought that perhaps you were still lacking something that could make your kitchen better? There are actually plenty of built-in and freestanding appliances that aren’t included in the average suite, so be sure to ask around and explore what’s out there. You’ll probably find yourself surprised!

Busy households might enjoy the flexibility of a portable dishwasher that can be hidden in a closet when not in use, and hooked up to the sink to work when there’s an abundance of cleaning to do. Those who produce a lot of waste would find plenty of utility in a trash compactor, which condenses garbage into smaller loads to reduce how often it needs to be taken out and help it fit in the bin. Anybody concerned with environmental impact will love that composting has never been easier, and that it can even be done in the kitchen itself! And the demand for undercounter appliances—like warming and refrigerator drawers, microwaves, and beverage coolers—has opened the door to more personal and practical kitchen designs.

Once you know what you have to work with, consider some of these latest and greatest appliances! And be sure to do some research—shopping for a major purchase isn’t as simple as it used to be, given the increased rate of modern invention. So, get out there and find the components of the perfect kitchen, because the selection has never been wider!


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