The following post is brought to you by BLANCO. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
The kitchen as we know it is evolving. What has long been solely the domain dedicated to cooking is now a multi-utilitarian space where socialization, entertainment, and technology all intersect. It’s the living room of today, with many of the same accouterments for comfort and entertainment…but with the bonus of snacks at an arm’s reach. Alongside this emergence as the centerpiece of the home, kitchens have become more beautiful, thoughtfully planned, and technologically connected, as showcased by this selection of some of our favorite smart kitchen solutions available today and on the horizon.
Looking for a statement piece that distinguishes a kitchen from the standard and expected? The BLANCO IKON is the first Apron Front sink constructed from SILGRANIT, a patented material scientifically proven to withstand everything a kitchen sink has to endure on a daily basis: stains, scratches, chips, heat, acid, and impact. The apron front design’s durability is matched by a monolithic aesthetic characterized by a smooth surface technology that feels silky like natural stone, but is engineered to be more resilient than any normal sink. If you were to peer with a microscope, you’d find quartz particles arranged precisely and tightly; the result is a non-porous and hygienic surface resistant to bacteria and dirt.
BLANCO reports they’ve dedicated years of research to produce this Apron Front sink out of granite composite, a demonstration of the company’s initiative to engineer new and innovative materials worthy of a 21st century kitchen.
Chefstep Joule: App Controlled Sous-Vide
The use of a precisely controlled temperature water bath to cook meats and vegetables slow and evenly has been a longtime favorite technique of molecular gastronomists globally; the technology is now trickling down into home kitchens with the arrival of affordable and app-controlled appliances like the Joule – an 1100 watts immersion wand developed to work in coordination with a cooking app that instructs and informs every step of the way. The developers have done a commendable job of demystifying the sous-vide technique with a well-designed and clearly instructive app, extremely helpful if you’re prone to overcook meats into the category of “bland, tough, and inedible”.
Thingk GKilo kitchen scale
In the future many smart home devices won’t reveal their microchipped DNA at first glance. Designs like the GKILO hint of these covert functionalities. A WiFi-enabled dual clock and kitchen scale, the slab of wood is designed to display the weight of any objects placed upon it, then push measurements to a compatible app for review. Then when flipped over, the GKILO turns into a digital display clock. In either mode users can access the scale-clock’s features using simple hand motions, a most welcome feature for anyone cooking with the threat of messy hands.
Oliver: The next generation slow cooker
Slow cookers have made an unexpected comeback, partially due to nostalgia, but also because slow cookers inarguably produce extremely flavorful results with minimal effort. That crock pots/slow cookers have snuck back into the cooking collective alongside the re-emergence of mom jeans cannot be coincidence. We don’t know if San Francisco design firm Matter have a preference for high-waisted denim, but they do get credit for updating the traditional cooking appliance with a streamlined, modern design matched with smart internet-connected and automatic cooking features that upgrade “the set-it-and-forget-it” process with finer control and notification options.
GE WiFi-connected ranges and ovens
It’s not just small kitchen appliances that are getting a smart home makeover. Kitchen stoves and ranges are benefitting from an explosion of interest in connected devices. These GE WiFi connected appliances include remote operation and timer alerts via app, but perhaps more notably, compatibility with IFTTT instructions that can connect the kitchen with other devices like Hue lightbulbs or the Alexa smart hub for a variety of “If This, Then That” operations.
Tipic’s Tulèr Smart Kitchen for Offmat
The Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan has traditionally been slow, if not suspiciously averse in welcoming technology into their expansive halls exhibiting global design, decor, and home accessories. But over at Eurocucina, Salone’s bi-annual kitchen show, it’s a whole different story. “Technology For the Kitchen” is both motto and an embraced emerging trend in the market, as represented by this experimental kitchen “workshop” revealed at this year’s show. Developed by Marmo Arredo Group in partnership with Tipic’s creative direction, this kitchen island is outfitted with an array of hidden sensors embedded across the quartz kitchen surface work top, together with flush induction cooktops, wireless device charging surfaces, and an integrated scale for measuring food items. A disappearing sink with a touchless water operations feature completes this kitchen of the future.