Tom Mirabile, vice president of global trend and design for Lifetime Brands, pointed out several home trends he's expecting for 2010. Below are five trends he predicts for the kitchen and beyond:
- The live-in kitchen: Consumers spend three to four hours in the kitchen every day, not only cooking there but using it as a place to entertain, work, craft and spend leisure time, Mirabile said. The kitchen is being reinvented as a second living room, he said, as appliances are camouflaged and functional objects are hidden or minimized, allowing people to create ambiance in the room.
- Living within our means: The recession is changing long-held opinions on how we spend our money. Consumers are looking for quality and durability in products -- a shift away from disposable consumption, he said. They're canning food more and growing their own herbs, they're brown bagging lunches and they're shopping in bulk at warehouse clubs or stocking up during grocery store sales to save money. AK has long designed kitchens around factors just like this! In fact, it's one of the first questions on AK's client information sheet: "Do you shop in bulk?" We need to know seemingly odd information like this because it can dictate how your unique kitchen will be designed and how we can help your family live within your means.
- The green kitchen: Americans continue to make their lives more environmentally friendly, but they're increasingly confused and frustrated about what is really "green," Mirabile said. AK delved into this issue some time ago and tried to alleviate some consumer confusion about creating a green kitchen. You can read this published piece about how to create a green kitchen!
- The wellness kitchen: Buying local food and/or growing your own often means it will be fresher and free from pesticides and preservatives -- in short, more nutritious, he said. Today's consumers are also interested in purifying their water and air. These are all important questions any good kitchen remodeling company would ask before renovating your kitchen, as simple accomodations can be made to handle additional produce and/or special filtration systems. The important part is to work with a company like AK that asks these questions before the work begins!
- Cooking for fun: We're a nation of foodies, Mirabile said, quoting a Nielsen survey that found one in every five households has a "budding gourmet chef." It's not just women spending more time in the kitchen, either; "gastrosexuals" are men who consider cooking more of a hobby than a household chore, and use kitchen skills to impress friends and prospective partners. The popularity of the Food Network has helped to inspire a new love with food and cooking, and he expects consumers to continue to search for new recipes, techniques and cooking tools.