Kitchen Evolution: Balancing aesthetics and functionality

The kitchen was once a room that guests tended to avoid, but it has now become one of the feature rooms of homes due to innovative, practical and trendy settings.

This is the view of Rajan Gungiah, Business Unit Lead: Digital Appliances at Samsung Electronics South Africa. As can be expected Gungiah throws the role of appliances into the centre of the kitchen evolution. That is not to say Gungiah’s emphasis of appliances is misplaced but acknowledge the fact that he is getting paid to do that.

There is just one more reason to be pedantic before laying out Gungiah’s thoughts. Where we came from, the kitchen was always the heart of the home. It was the living room. Most guests were hosted in the kitchen. Only the VIP’s were shuttled into the living room which was mostly used to host awkward conversations. Do you get our drift?

We divert! The pertinent point is, in the unfolding kitchen evolution aesthetics must be balanced with functionality. Kitchen appliances are enroute to becoming computers in their own right.

Gungiah points out that “The role of any household technology should still be that of simplifying your life, saving you time and offering you more effective ways of preparing your food or go about your day to day life.” 

  He adds that kitchen design drifts have proven particularly exciting throughout 2013. “One of the overriding themes we have seen has been the convergence of several design philosophies, resulting in the style of this space becoming highly personal.”

He notes that as styles and décor continue to evolve in order to accommodate changing lifestyles, so the style of technology is also changing to meet this need.

“Some of these trends come and go, while others fast become instant classics. The stainless steel finish is a prime example – once only found in commercial kitchens, is now a staple in the modern home.” This trend is growing in popularity.  “This can be seen by the fact that manufactures are making ranges available that have identical aesthetic appeal including steel grain, colouring, uniform buttons as well as identical LED lighting.”

Gungiah says for consumers looking to identify what is a stable trend and what may be a fad, it is important to sift through all of the various emerging developments and find the ones that will stand the test of time.

“Often a concept that will stand the test of time will be one that combines the best elements of design with effortless functionality.”

“Many homeowners who are renovating their kitchens rate ‘convenience’ as the motivating factor. Those who regularly cook and entertain are looking for a functional, efficient and beautiful ambiance, and want their appliances to help make this possible. It is important for the cooking area in a home to perform as effortlessly as possible under various types of pressure – multiple cooks, entertaining, extended cooking sessions, social cooking and more.”

“Devices need to allow users to do more with less in the interest of saving time. Functional and essential appliances  such as a microwave, now have the option of  a ceramic interior and round corners, making it far easier to clean, whilst modern dual cook ovens enable someone to cook two dishes at the same time as well being self-cleaning, combing great functionality and saving the home chef time and energy, while still delivering amazing food.”

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