Looking for tasty new detailing for your new-build or renovated kitchen? The smart, sleek, luxurious kitchens of autumn/winter 2020 display lip-licking good taste and intelligence.
The Big Freeze
Freezers are having a moment, with sales spiking with our stay-at-home habit changes. Having thrashed around for the top shelf of a standard upright or struggled with the 1,000mm girth of a broad American shoving the 60cm units aside — the couture lines of a French fridge freezers are bienvenue.
French models stack a generous fridge over the freezer rather than placing them side-by-side, retaining two doors in the top storey to open the fridge.
Drawers to the base, pull the freezer contents out in one sleek move with an internal drawer set. Fresh zones to super-chill meat and certain fruit and vegetables are now standard, and look out for quick-freeze pads and smart sensors to maintain an even temperature as you stock the cavity. Top buys include the Haier’s HB18FGSAAA, just 83cm wide with 351l/157l -fridge/freezer- capacity, €1,599.99, Currys PC World
Extractor fans have flown the tented ceiling hoods and taken to the counter in retractable in-set models by visionary leaders like Elica and Smeg -Downdraught-.
Now the hob itself is swallowing up steam and odours commercial style. Once you’ve seen the extractor or ‘venting’ hob in action – it makes delicious, ergonomic good sense. From standard induction hobs to foodie Teppanyaki, an in-hob model keeps aspiration out of your eye-line, not fogging your view.
Perfect for sleek, island installation as you cook and chat out to an open-plan room. Top-mounted filters make a breeze of changing the charcoal, freshening the air in general. Take a look at the iF Design Award and a Red Dot Design Award-winning Bora X Pure with intuitive control, the Elica Nikolatesla Prime, and the brand new Smeg Hobd4 due to hit the market later this year. Prices €1,500–€3,099 -Neff Flex – DID Electrical-. Ceiling mounted – try Falmec frames in Albas styles – almost invisible profiles.
Analysis by Cardiff University of 2012 consumption patterns found that 34% of the electrical energy used for cooking went on kettles or 6% of a UK power bill -252kWh-. Boiler taps have left the luxury bracket and are increasingly an expected servant in super-kitchens and squeaks of an apartment with ergonomic galley greatness.
Apart from their convenience (hot/cold, chilled, filtered and even sparkling water), it’s worth noting their superb energy-saving potential for a nation depressing the kettle control like piano keys – day long. A good example is the beloved pioneer – the Quooker, which stores water at 110C in a highly insulated under-counter tank.
The Quooker Combi tank (A-rated) keeps water at boiling point for a miserly 10w, using a reasonable 511kWh per year for beverages, pre-heating cooking water and cleaning stubborn cook-ware. Prices from €1,380, http://www.quooker.ie
The warmth of raw, oiled wood and inclusion of hand-made, individual elements from textiles to ceramics, gift character and individuality to those metres of sleek, uninterrupted minimalism.
From pantry fronts to boards and utensils, find ways to bring timber figuring into your new kitchen as a counter-point to its manufactured perfection. Try ash, cherry and spalted serving spoons and crumb -Gumati- brushes from €25, and boards from €60, http://www.slowmadegoods.com.
Want to take the woodlands further? The birch ply kitchen or a signature cabinet is a mid-century style rebuttal to turned, panelled classic wood styling - fabulous with the trend for dusty flat pink kitchens sweeping London and Paris. Look up talented Irish cabinet-makers to build to your highly personal spec.
For budget inspiration take a look at the work of plykea, crafting ply fronts for standard Ikea carcasses — brilliant -and cheap!-, http://www.plykea.com
From leather pulls to gold plating, handles are seeing a come-back to challenge push performance and recessed grabs. Dinka stamped cowhide handles in looped and suitcase forms -€8 from nkuku.com- and the glittering kitchen jewellery of firms including Pullcast (Skyline shown, POA) are encouraging us to reach out and touch again.
If you want to lose your mind completely and dive directly into '70s metropolitan luxury, match up the cabinets, drawers, main door handles with brass or even gold plate and look for engine-turning visually as sharp as cut glass. Yes, of course it will date, but you know you’re ripping out that kitchen in ten years, http://www.pullcast.eu and http://www.thekitchenhandlecompany.ie
The "smart" oven 2020 presents some relevant performance beyond the gimmicky W-fi phone app’ appliance platforms that “send an email to all the friends you’ve invited for dinner, telling them it’s time to enjoy your delicious meal” (Neff).
Digital, touchscreen controls and programmable timers are the base-line. A step up: HD cameras, intuitive control from pre-loaded recipes, and in-oven weighing options for roasts etc. For checking the progress of the meal - finessing time, temperature, and humidity, the use of a tablet operated app’ for your oven is useful in the cloud operated intelligent home of a rabid entertainer who doesn’t want to nip in and out of the kitchen.
Obviously, if you’re sending notions to the cooker at 50m, the app and appliance need to "talk" — likely you’re already in negotiations with the fridge and committed to one brand. Check out the voice command/Home Connect abilities of Siemens and Bosch ovens and coffee makers including remote diagnostic repair. Entry point — the impressive W oven collection from Whirlpool with 6th Sense tech’, from €740, (W7OM44BPS1P), suppliers nationwide. A handy bit of culinary logic: The Meat+ can be used with any oven to provide app-based temperature readings, €120, Amazon.