drawers that open with a slight touch; lighting, window treatments and
appliances controlled by your cell phone; a cooktop that heats only
the area that comes into contact with cookware — these are just some
of the latest innovations being incorporated into today’s kitchens,
bringing speed and efficiency to families’ daily hustle and bustle.
With the digital age firmly entrenched on the home front, technology
plays a significant role in enhancing residential living spaces —
especially in the kitchen. More than ever the kitchen is the central
family hub, says Alex DeToro, co-owner of TechTeriors in Mequon. And
these high-tech amenities promise to make life a little easier.
More and more,
kitchen appliances and utilities can be controlled remotely either by
a central control panel in the home or with a handheld smart device.
"People love to be able to do everything on their phone,"
Internet or a cell phone, homeowners can communicate with an appliance
and activate it to begin cooking, clean the dishes or alter the room
temperature, delivering both convenience and comfort.
from window treatments to ice makers can be programmed," DeToro
says. "We’ve programmed kitchen lighting and shades to follow
the astronomical clock." The solution helps maintain a
comfortable indoor environment and protects flooring and furnishings
from the harsh effects of direct sunlight.
ever-increasing selection of LED lighting applications, homeowners can
easily save on energy without skimping on style. Convenient and
versatile, energy-efficient LED lights are being incorporated all over
contemporary kitchens, from out-of-reach overhead cans to accent
lighting for display cabinets.
And LEDs stay
cool, so they’re ideal for under-cabinet task lighting, DeToro says.
"You can leave a loaf of bread under LED lighting and it won’t
go stale," she notes.
often use an extra hand when disposing of kitchen scraps during meal
preparation. Enter powered drawers that are activated by the knock of
a knee or the nudge of a foot. The drawer automatically opens, you
dispose of your garbage and your cabinet woodwork stays clean.
is an important aspect in modern kitchens," says Rob Radiske, a
designer and vice president of Wisconsin Kitchen Mart in Milwaukee.
are all about ease of use. At a single touch, drawers and pull-outs
open by themselves. And if your hands are full, you can simply use
your hip, knee or toe. How’s that for practicality?
cooking surface that lets you heat a pot of spaghetti, yet remains
cool to the touch where there is no cookware. Induction cooktops rely
on an electromagnetic field to heat cookware, providing fast, even
heating at any temperature. "Induction technology uses the power
of magnets to cook food," DeToro says. "You can boil a pot
of water on the same surface as an ice cube and the ice cube won’t
surface of induction cooktops makes for easy clean-up and the
technology is as reliable and consistent as natural gas. One drawback
— the technology requires pots and pans with a certain amount of
iron to work. "Your cookware has to have iron content to allow
the transfer of energy," Radiske says.
become a primary function of today’s kitchens, and homeowners are
embracing built-in sound systems to deliver mood-setting background
music. But audio systems’ sometimes unsightly speakers can create an
interior design conundrum. Enter modern sound systems that can be
concealed behind a thin layer of drywall, eliminating the visible
presence of speakers and allowing complete interior design
flexibility. The invisible, in-wall solution can be wallpapered or
painted right over, DeToro says. "It doesn’t change the
aesthetics of the room."