Stove Eye
Courtesy of Thermador

A Smart Investment

Kitchen updates rank among the most popular home improvements. The reason? An excellent return on the investment. A renovated kitchen can deliver better storage, enhanced ergonomics, and higher resale value. Here are 10 trends to track when planning your remodeling project.

Miele's CVA coffee system
Courtesy of Miele

1. Built-in Coffee Center

The latest models deliver customized cups of coffee, espresso, and cappuccino with the press of a button. Sleek, built-in designs save valuable counter space. Miele's CVA coffee system is shown here.

Curvey Structural Stove Hood
Courtesy of Miele

2. Sculptural Stove Hoods

Once boxy and bland, stove hoods are taking center stage with curvy, sculptural shapes. The latest designs, like this wall-mount hood from Miele, combine stainless steel with new materials, such as treated glass. Some also incorporate features such as an overhead spice rack.

Bosch's Modern Cabinets
Courtesy of Bosch

3. 21st Century Cabinetry

Cabinets have gone minimal and modern with floating units, systems concealed behind sliding doors, touch-latch cabinet fronts that eliminate hardware, and innovative new surfaces, such as aluminum, bamboo, high-gloss lacquer, or semitranslucent glass. Bosch created the model kitchen shown here.

Six-Four Range in Claret Enamel Finish by AGA
Courtesy of AGA

4. Dual-Fuel Ranges

Culinarians used to debate the relative merits of electric vs. gas. Major manufacturers offer professional-quality ranges that combine the power of a gas cooktop with the even performance of an electric one. Styles can range from stainless steel to old-fashioned cast iron, like this Six-Four range in claret enamel finish by AGA.

An Ojex juicer in Tangerine from Williams-Sonoma
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

5. Appliances That Pop

Retro kitchen accoutrements in colors such as red, yellow, and cobalt blue inject today's kitchens with a shot of color therapy. This is an OrangeX juicer in tangerine from Williams-Sonoma.

A Krup's Panini Grill
Courtesy of Krups

6. Italian Cooking Gadgets

Many of today's most coveted kitchen accessories carry an Italian theme, such as state-of-the-art cappuccino makers, stainless steel truffle shavers, and industrial-quality gelato makers. The latest must-have: a panini grill, such as this Krups model, for cooking Italian-style hot pressed sandwiches.

A Samsung's HomePAD Refrigerator
Courtesy of Samsung

7. Computerized Appliances

Appliances of the next generation will be computer-regulated, interactive, cyber-smart, and multifunctional. One of the first prototypes out of the gate is Samsung's HomePAD refrigerator, which features Internet capabilities, e-mail, messaging, and TV/DVD features.

Fisher & Paykel Dishwasher
Courtesy of Fisher & Paykel

8. Designer Dishwashers

High-end dishwasher manufacturers like Fisher & Paykel now offer attractive versions, concealed by cabinet fronts, that both wash and store dishes without the need for transfer. Another brand holds up to 20 place settings within a compact unit, making the cleanup of large dinner parties virtually effortless.

Countertop Designed by Boffi
Courtesy of Boffi

9. Custom Countertops

Counters are going from common to couture with custom touches such as wooden butcher blocks and marble pastry slab inserts. Homeowners are mixing materials, such as concrete embedded with bits of glass and metal. Stone, such as soapstone and marble, remains a popular countertop material.

Likewise, stainless steel, sealed concrete, engineered quartz (which has many of the advantages of granite without the maintenance requirements), and woods, such as mahogany, are gaining ground. The model at left is by Boffi.

A Jenn-Air built-in Wine Chiller
Courtesy of Jenn-Air

10. Sleek Wine Refrigeration

The latest offerings in wine refrigerators include freestanding models that hold up to 147 bottles, as well as smaller attached units complete with built-in refrigerator drawers.

Models equipped with microprocessors provide benefits such as touchpad control and a digital cooling system that maintains ideal temperature and humidity levels in two separate zones, allowing for the proper storage of both red and white wines. A Jenn-Air built-in wine chiller is shown here.

Thermador oven
Courtesy of Thermador

Kitchen Resources

• Built-in coffee system and wall-mount stove hood by Miele

• Model kitchen by Bosch

• Dual-fuel range by AGA

• Tangerine-colored juicer by Williams-Sonoma

• Panini grill by Krups

• HomePAD refrigerator by Samsung

• Concealed dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel

• Stainless steel countertops by Boffi

• Built-in wine chiller by Jenn-Air

• All-star cooktop and dual-fuel range by Thermador

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