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Trends of Kitchen appliance(1)

What do remodelers need to know about the world of kitchen appliances? In discussions with a number of them, three areas emerged:
• What are the real appliance trends today?
• How do I understand the value of each brand, quickly and fairly?
• How do I handle any initial problems and make them go away?
Each of these areas could be the subject of its own article, but I will attempt to cover all of them within this article.
Trends are so … today. They are real. You might say, “Yes, I know that” if I were to mention a trend. Then there are fads. These come under the disguise of what’s new and may even make good practical sense, but somehow the prototypes don’t make it to the marketplace let alone stand the test of time. A trend in my eyes means lasting at least a year or longer — enough time for it to be accepted almost universally across the country.
Some of the national appliance trends today include: the stainless steel finish, the integrated look for everything, drawers for better ergonomics, French door refrigerators, wine storage everywhere, speed and steam cooking for better quality, the popularity of hoods and appliance-driven outdoor kitchens.
Stainless steel is now classic. We can argue until we are blue in the face about fingerprinting, but the consumer sees this as a natural-neutral, to be designed as sleek, sophisticated, warm or cool, offering a texture and statement at the same time.
Integration for refrigeration emerged about 15 years ago and the dishwashers, ice machines, trash compactors, wine/beverage coolers, cooktops (with some ovens) and laundry are following in its footsteps. There will be more, not less, of this phenomenon, some depending on the designer’s creativity with cabinetry.
Drawers for warming, dishwashing, refrigerating, beverage cooling and microwaving are here to stay. The pace of OEM production is lending full packages to certain other brands. As drawer appliances become more popular on the wish list of the average consumer, you can bet that the ergonomic factor is being weighed and appreciated.
French door refrigerators, being produced by increasing numbers of major brands, will be here as long as the consumer wants them. The concept of a “walk-in closet for refrigeration” is not new, and its appeal lies within customer perception, as it does with anything.

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