Integrating or universal design, means thinking through a design and approaching it with common sense. Some of this prediction is driven by the growing need for multi-generational design. The numbers of households that include several generations is growing at a rapid rate. This type of design must simultaneously cater to the elderly, children, and everyone in between.
Universal design is also very much about letting go of long-held kitchen design traditions that just don’t make sense. Homeowners are already beginning to question why they have to bend over to get dinner out of the oven and they are ready to do something about it.
The kitchen of the future will incorporate many more user-friendly features:
- Multi-level countertops
- Media worked into the design of the kitchen for an increasingly connected population
- Appliances moved to more accessible areas
- Less over-the-counter cabinetry for a more open and accessible work space
- Lighting that highlights the backsplash and puts light where it’s most needed
The goal with all of this is to bring functionality and aesthetics into the same space. It is possible for them to exist together. Skilled designers spent so long bumping up style in the kitchen that the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction. But designers are emphasizing a balance instead of one or the other.