The most in-demand kitchen appliances combine both form and function—sleek, modern looks and smart, trend-forward features. More than ever, homeowners expect appliances to offer customizable capabilities to meet, but not complicate, busy lifestyles. Those features must come without sacrificing style.
Here’s a look at four trends to expect in the new year to meet design and performance expectations.
1. Unique finishes
Though stainless steel continues to be popular, some consumers are seeking new options that are still sophisticated. One of the most in-demand alternatives is black stainless, with a rich, matte look that puts a new face, and a sleek edge, on traditional stainless steel. Its popularity hasn’t waned—in fact, it continues to be a popular and growing color at Whirlpool Corporation.
2. Purposeful innovation
Like many aspects of the home, smart features are infiltrating the kitchen—and homeowners expect them. But consumers aren’t looking for a “gadget” or technology just for the sake of it; they want innovative features that are meaningful and helpful within their lives. Smart appliance advances must enhance their experience with the product and be meaningful to their lifestyle and needs. Also, the technologies must be easy to use, intuitive, and customizable
For example, Whirlpool Smart Ranges help make cooking more accessible and convenient. Select smart ranges feature a touchscreen that learns and adapts to the homeowner’s cooking style, and allows for instant access to their most-used settings. In addition, voice control capabilities allow cooks to control their range with Google Assistant or an Alexa-enabled device, keeping hands free for prep and other tasks. With some models, homeowners can use their smartphone to access cooking features such as Keep Warm and Yummly Guided Cooking.
3. Compact appliances
As homeowners downsize and de-clutter, manufacturers are responding with compact or multi-use appliances that don’t skimp on capabilities. For example, the Whirlpool 2.8-cubic-foot Smart All-in-One Washer & Dryer washes and dries laundry in the same unit. And because it’s vent-less, it can fit into a range of spaces including closets and bathrooms for those with limited amounts of room. Builders also can save overhead costs by not having to install external ducting/venting and a blower.
Another solution is the Whirlpool 1.1-cubic-foot Low Profile Microwave Hood Combination, which allows building industry professionals to replace bulky, traditional hoods with a microwave hood combination with performance. Despite its compact size, the hood delivers a powerful 400 CFM motor class*. Plus, homeowners free up precious counter space.
4. Side-by-side refrigeration
Though French-door/bottom-freezer refrigerators have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, builders are reporting growing demand for traditional side-by-side refrigeration that keeps most-often-used items at eye level.
Above all, builders and home buyers have more options than ever to meet nearly any lifestyle and style preference. Learning what clients are seeking most in their appliances will ensure you can specify the right package to fit their needs while enhancing the look of their favorite room.
For more information about Whirlpool Corporation, its portfolio of brands and other offerings for industry professionals, visit WhirlpoolPro.com.
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 Appliance must be set to remote enable. WiFi & App Required. Features subject to change. Details and privacy info at whirlpool.com/connect.  Appliance must be set to Remote Enable. Select recipes only. Look for recipes with the Connected Fork icon in the Yummly app. U.S. Only.