Three Ideas for a Smarter, Greener Kitchen
From Our Colleagues @ Schroeder Design Build in Virginia
Have you already gathered lots of ideas for how you'd like your new kitchen to look, once it is remodeled? Maybe you've thought about the style of cabinets you prefer and the beautiful materials you envision on your countertops and backsplash.
You should also consider these three important kitchen trends that add both safety and convenience, plus they are green in a way that goes beyond the usual energy and water savings.
1. Hands-free Controls on Faucets - touch or motion activated
A kitchen faucet with hands-free technology is a tremendous boon to meal preparation. Advanced sensors detect movement or a slight tap on the faucet itself, and will automatically start the flow of water. If your hands are too full or too dirty to turn on the faucet, a simple wave of your hand, the touch of your arm, or the presence of your hands under the spout will start the water flowing. Hands-free technology saves water, since these faucets will shut off automatically, unless instructed to do otherwise. It also provides a Universal Design solution for people with restricted reach and/or limited hand mobility.
2. Induction Cooktops
Would you be surprised to learn that induction cooking technology was developed right here in the United States? It didn't immediately take off here, as it did abroad--possibly because of the cookware requirements. But that seems to be gradually changing as US consumers become better acquainted with the technology.
Induction has many advantages: it cooks food very quickly; 90% of the energy produced is used in the cooking process; it heats up only the pan and the food inside the pan, rather than the kitchen environment; the cooktop surface remains cool to the touch, so spills are wiped up easily; there are no open flames or hot burners that can cause safety issues.
3. LED Lighting
LED lighting has opened up amazing new opportunities for placing light in your kitchen wherever you desire and however your imagination dictates. It doesn't produce heat and is therefore perfect for inside refrigerators and food storage cabinets. It is available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes--from long, narrow strips that fit under a cabinet toe kick to the round pucks suitable for cabinet interiors. LED provides white light in warm and cool tones, as well as a wide variety of other colors that can add drama to your kitchen décor.Quality LED products typically last longer than CFLs, and are therefore preferable for hard-to-reach areas such as ceilings. The long life of LED lights make them an eco-friendly product.