Many of us have been living in our homes since the beginning of time—or so it seems. While some people update their appliances often, others have had the same refrigerator and dishwasher forever. For those who have not replaced their kitchen appliances recently—maybe it’s time. There are lots of new trends and amazing new technology.

Though some kitchen design trends come and go, other elements become instant classics. Take stainless steel—once found only in  commercial kitchens, stainless appliances and counters now work in almost any home kitchen.

Flexibility is at the forefront of cutting-edge kitchen design. All the state-of-the-art appliance companies are now offering 15” to 24” cooking modules that fit into the countertop on their own, or side-by-side, to create a custom cooking environment.

Refrigerators and freezers are going modular. Many companies have separate all-refrigerator and all-freezer options, as well as the glass door/stainless interior units. Combo units are raising the bar on keeping food fresher longer while conserving energy. One current must-have is a built-in or integrated refrigerator. You have the option of wood panels matching surrounding cabinets to make the fridge look like a piece of furniture, or you can opt for stainless steel as a shining accent in your kitchen. Also trendy are retro-style refrigerators for traditional or whimsical kitchens. These refrigerators look great paired with an old-fashioned style range, all of which come in fun colors to match the refrigerators.

Double ovens can be very functional, two single ovens, in a side-by-side installation, are proving to be even better. Side-by-side ovens put both units at a comfortable height, and if one breaks, it can be replaced without having to address the entire unit. Side-by-side ovens are a perfect solution if you want the appliances to be unobtrusive in your overall kitchen design. These are imperative for every hostess.

Everyone should have a steam assist oven, which utilizes steam in the cooking process to produce better tasting food and faster cook times. Because they use steam to cook, usually with convection heating, they reduce almost all need for basting. These ovens are also fully computerized, and electronically monitor the amount of steam used based on the dish type you enter in on the keypad. These appliances practically cook dinner for you!

Kitchen appliances have evolved into some of the most sophisticated, technologically advanced, and convenient home appliances on the market. If you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, here are more cutting edge and innovative kitchen appliance ideas—installing any, or all, of these wonderful inventions will transform your kitchen from out of date to futuristic.

Induction cooktops are a must-have. They generate electromagnetic fields to heat up your pots and pans rather that the cooktop itself. You can boil a pot of water on a burner and then set your hand on it moments later. Add to that the fact that induction cooking is up to twice as efficient as natural gas or traditional electric heating elements, and it’s easy to see why this futuristic cooking method is catching on fast.

Microwave drawers are undercounter microwaves that electronically slide out like a drawer. The benefits of these units include saving space, blending your microwave seamlessly into your cabinet design, easier microwave access, and more kid-friendly operation. Dishwasher drawers operate on the same principle as microwave drawers. Instead of a traditional dishwasher, you can install dishwasher drawers fitted with your own custom cabinetry. The drawers look like any other drawer in your kitchen, but pull out to reveal a functional dishwasher.

Have you seen an oven refrigerator? It sounds like an oxymoron, however it’s an actual product that is taking the kitchen appliance industry by storm. These ovens refrigerate food during the day then convert to an oven at a pre-set time so your dinner can start to cook while you’re away. They’re perfect for busy families.

Remember when having a fridge with ice and water dispensers on the door was exciting? Now one of the most modern appliances is the computerized refrigerator which comes with a computer and screen built right into the door. You can access the Internet, bring up stored recipes, and even check e-mail while you prepare dinner! Imagine what’s next!

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