The coolest appliance technology demo we saw at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was Whirlpool’s induction countertop cooking concept.
It’s October, which means it’s time to celebrate Kitchen and Bath Month. Yes, that is a thing, thanks to the National Kitchen and Bath Association who coined it in 1982. According to the association, October is the most popular time of year for homeowners to remodel their kitchens and baths. Homebuilders can also use this as an opportunity to market those high tech foodie kitchens and spa-like bathrooms.
Let’s start with January. The coolest appliance technology demo we saw at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was Whirlpool’s induction countertop cooking concept (or prototype), where one can cook right on a countertop, thanks to powerful induction magnets mounted beneath it—while downloading recipes, sorting through social media and playing your favorite tunes.
One of the biggest hits at February’s Builders’ Show was LG’s Ultimate Kitchen, where the electronics giant showed off its Studio series of “aspirational but attainable appliances,” in a setting that blended design and functionality.
“People want simple, great function, wide aisles, natural light, and I try to bring in a lot of organic materials,” says Ultimate Kitchen designer Wendy Johnson of Designs for Living in Manchester, Vt., and a 2013 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) design winner.
A perfect turkey? That was one feature of the 30-inch electric double wall oven that Aaron Firestone, Electrolux general manager, was proud to show at PCBC. The 30-inch electric double wall oven can be programmed for Perfect Turkey at any temperature between 170 and 550 degrees, with a default temperature of 325 degrees. The probe default temperature is 180 degrees. Then you should feast on a moist, delicious bird.
The company also touted its built in dishwasher with the Proclean wash system that cuts the standard wash time of 90 minutes down to 30 without leaving food residue.
“You have this rotating arm that actually produces 400 percent better washing in the dishwasher because it has a rotating blade of water that goes around,” he says.
Want to see a luxury kitchen perfect for the Las Vegas vibe? Look no further than one of Thermador’s finalists for the Kitchen Design Challenge.
“The kitchen has the latest Thermador appliances, many of which are concealed in sleek cabinetry, combined with two kitchen islands that acts as the home's command central,” says a Thermador representative. “Thermador's appliances are like the ‘jewelry of the kitchen.”
The Foodie Revolution is here, and Dacor’s 30-inch Double Wall Discovery iQ satisfies. This wall oven utilizes a 7-inch LCD multi touch-screen Android interface and Dacor iQ Cooking app so chefs can easily look for recipes and get cooking. Easy to use control features such as the built in recipe book program Guided Cooking that automatically sets the cook time, manual and preset temperature and timer adjustment and Dehydrate Mode, which preserves the natural nutritional value and taste of raw whole foods without using artificial preservatives.
Cooking pasta just got a whole lot easier with Delta’s pot filler faucets. These faucets can be mounted to the wall, right above the range. This means no more carrying water from the sink. The dual handle turns on and off with a quarter turn. The spout length is about 24 inches, while the height is about 8 inches. The spout height deck to aerator is about 3 to 6 inches. It flows at 4 gallons per minute.
Bringing Bling to the Bathroom
Sure, the bathroom needs a toilet, shower and some sort of ventilation. But let’s look beyond that, to ways builders can make the bathroom more like a spa.
Robern knows how to keep its offerings cool … literally. Some of Robern’s M Series cabinets, which come in different heights and widths, also come with cold storage compartments and TVs. The mini-fridge is used for makeup, medicine, cold compresses, vitamins and even water bottles. (No milk and eggs, please.) The compartment can be set to 42 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit—and it runs quietly without a compressor.
Maybe you want to step it up a notch when it comes to the toilet, which doesn’t get enough credit in our opinion. To really create a kingly experience, you might want to invest in Kohler’s Numi. This thing has it all. A motion activated cover and seat, integrated air dryer in the bidet wand, deodorizer, heated seat, illuminated panels that can set a specific color for each day of the week … it even has a foot warmer and can play music. Users can stream music to it wirelessly with any device enabled with Bluetooth technology, store MP3 files to the SD card or plug in their device using an auxiliary cable. And yes, there’s a bidet.
You need to see this thing to believe it. Be sure to check out the video.
The makers of Joulia—a shower floor designed to capture the heat from the used water draining at your feet and use it to heat the water about to spray over your head—are working to attract distribution in the United States.
Joulia’s ShowerDeck, which was recently featured at the Watt d’Or exhibition at Swissnex Boston, is designed to be integrated into an existing shower floor. The heat exchanger is based on the same technology as solar thermal collector. A system of pipes called a “fresh water meander” through which clean water is sent, collects heat from the wastewater as it sheets over the tray floor and down the drain.
If your client is more of a bubble bath person, Kohler’s BubbleMassage Air Bath Hydrotherapy uses staggered air jets in a 360-degree array to fill the bath with thousands of bubbles.
This creates a balanced, all-encompassing body massage, Kohler says. A surge feature can increase or decrease intensity, and Zones of Control can focus just on the lumbar, legs or feet. Bored with bubbles? Add LED chromatherapy mood lighting and VibrAcoustic sound and vibration therapy so the beats and tones of your music can soothe via underwater speakers. Starts at $2,100 for BubbleMassage and up to $8,100 for the works.
Chromatherapy can also be incorporated into steam showers. The Steam Sauna Bath website explains that light is the language by which our body communicates through its chakras, or primary energy centers, that resonate to the frequency of a specific color. Violet is said to help relax muscles, while yellow can aid in metabolism.
A steam shower has a steam generator located outside the room and infuses steam inside. Steam showers run between 105 and 115 degrees F with roughly 100 percent steamy humidity goodness.
And don’t forget about ventilation. Delta Breez BreezSignature Ventilation Fans now feature a humidity sensor that knows just when the bathroom mirror is about to get steamy. The VFB25AEH model moves 130 CFM at its highest speed while remaining relatively quiet at 1.3 sones. The sensor sends a signal to the DC motor to adjust the fan speed based on humidity levels. The fan features blue and amber LED indicator lights to show humidity sensor mode and full speed mode. It’s also Energy Star qualified.
What are your favorite kitchen and bathroom products to incorporate into homes? Let us know in the comments section.