Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their dreams – New Year, New Decade…Let's add some GREEN!

Rather than being instantly propagated by viral memes, most trends gain momentum slowly, sometimes taking years to gain widespread adoption. For kitchens and residences, the first signs of change often surface in concept homes which are often indicators of what’s ahead in the home, design and shelter space.

This year is all about green, and how individuals are incorporating green design and features in to their homes. One of the concept homes built and designed for Design and Construction Week 2019, a ranch in downtown Las Vegas, featured a butler’s pantry/back kitchen that included an appliance designed to grow herbs and microgreens inside the home. Another concept house was developed to promote wellness and included a green wall adjacent to the kitchen to enhance air quality and provided a space to grow fresh food. With grow walls becoming more prominent in the shelter space, we may see this trend make its way from concept homes to high-end kitchens across the globe.

The New Farm to Table

In kitchens today, there is an emphasis on wellness and healthy living that extends beyond simply buying items that are unprocessed, extending to preparation, storage and even in-home food production. All of which gives new meaning to the term “farm to table.”

The tipping point may be well in the future, but a growing interest in organic, fresh and responsibly produced food is expected to create more change in kitchens over the next few years.  It’s easy to see indications in the marketplace already, from concepts at design shows to new appliances. Along with the Urban Cultivator, an undercounter appliance introduced for residences in 2015 that can grow herbs, microgreens, vegetables, and flowers for residences and commercial kitchens, the New American Remodeled Home, showcased at the National Association of Home Builders’ 2019 trade show, featured other opportunities for gardens and growing including fruit trees surrounding the perimeter of a rear yard, turning it into an orchard and an artfully designed chicken coop.

“Wellness is the new luxury,” says Mary Jo Peterson, an award-winning author, educator, designer and president of Mary Jo Peterson, Inc. Wellness might be on the verge of being another overused catchphrase, but Peterson says, “There is genuine concern about the health of food in the kitchen.” 

From Concept to Kitchen

Greenery was very much in evidence at the last EuroCucina, a biannual kitchen trade show in Milan. In part, this is a nod to biophilia, the integration of nature into interiors and designs, but several exhibitors also edged into the food production arena. In a forward-looking exhibit focused on the kitchen of the future, Electrolux featured Air Garden, a ventilation fan that incorporated space to grow herbs. Other exhibits showcased options for open shelving or floating shelves configured for plants. “We all know that plants contribute highly to our wellbeing,” says Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets, who sees the desire to include kitchen gardens and growing food at home as an important microtrend, but one not driving the mass market.

Consumers are still reticent about the practicality of growing food at home, according to kitchen designers, even though green walls and biophilic design garner quite a bit of interest. “I think it’s a big micro trend, meaning it’s well-known and it’s not something that you have to look very hard to find or to see. But I don’t think it’s widely utilized, because I think there is some reservation from a lot of people about whether they have the capability to grow things,” explains Pierce. 

The Urban Cultivator, which was piloted as a commercial appliance and is used by the Four Seasons and Fairmont hotels as well as Microsoft, Google and Martha Stewart, attempts to bypass these reservations with automatic cycles for watering and grow lights — both integrated into the appliance.

Also emerging is the notion of the Wellness Kitchen, and a green kitchen is only part of the broader vision. “If you want to talk about total design in the kitchen, you have to pay attention to a lot of things including social aspects as well as acoustics, light, water, air quality and other factors”, says Peterson.

In the most forward-looking vision, the Wellness Kitchen completely revises any current notions of cooking and storage, according to Veronica Schreibeis, chair of the Global Wellness Institute’s Wellness Architecture Initiative and a leading proponent of the Wellness Kitchen. Ultimately food storage would incorporate attention to climate and temperature as more space is devoted to dormant and fresh living foods.

Appliance manufacturers are also focusing on better food preservation, according to Peterson, and the desire to keep food at its peak, is fueling innovation. This year, Perlick, a leader in bar and beverage systems, introduced a column refrigerator with an innovative preservation system in four separate, temperature zones that includes humidity monitoring. Unlike traditional models, Perlick electronically monitors the humidity in the produce bin, since produce loses water as it ages. The unit is equipped with the intelligence to push moisture back into the compartment to maintain the freshness of leafy greens and other produce prone to wilting. Additionally, the unit has a filtration system that removes odors and scrubs the air of ethylene gas, which accelerates the ripening of some delicate vegetables.

In some areas of the world, a composting appliance is becoming a must-have for high-end consumers and mainstream manufacturers are beginning to take notice. Two years ago, Whirlpool introduced an appliance that turns a week’s worth of food waste from an average family, including meat and dairy, into fertilizer that can be spread on plants in as little as 24 hours. The countertop-height unit is self-contained and includes an app for remote operations.

Trends for homes often start in the high-end and trickle down, but Peterson sees strong proponents for organic and fresh among Millennials. “It’s a trend that is being absorbed up,” she says.  In itself this might indicate a new path in the world.

Add small at the end:

  • Article contributed by Camilla McLaughlin

Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams – OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING TRENDS 2019

As warmer weather approaches, party planners start buzzing about outdoor entertaining. For many people, nothing can beat a springtime garden party, mid-summer poolside gathering, or early fall bonfire. With good planning and vision, your outdoor gathering can boast just as much luxury and style as any indoor soiree.

In general, the trend for outdoor entertaining in 2019 will be a blend of comfort and elegance, with well-designed outdoor spaces, thoughtful food and drink, and bursts of creative flair like unique flower arrangements or craft cocktails.

If you’re interested in incorporating some upcoming trends into your outdoor entertainment plans, here are some ideas to get you started:

JUST ADD FIRE

Attractive and functional fire pits are a popular choice for those who frequently entertain outdoors. Safer and more elegant than an open fire, the right fire pit can enhance your patio decor while providing a cozy spot for guests to gather. Outdoor dining tables with built-in fire pits combine functionality with comfort and fun, and fire pits can be found in many styles to match your taste. Toasting marshmallows can be a luxurious activity with specialty flavored marshmallows and whimsical skewers.


ECO-FRIENDLY ENTERTAINING

Sustainability is a trend across the board, and for outdoor entertaining that means sustainable decor and tableware. With more and more companies offering eco-friendly products, hosting a sustainable party can still be both elegant and tasteful. Melamine dishes come in a spectrum of colors and patterns and are perfect for outdoor dining. Try fun patterned paper straws instead of plastic ones. As a bonus, these alternatives feel much more luxurious than plastic.

Local food is a big part of the sustainability trend, and it fits right into the atmosphere of an eco-friendly outdoor gathering. Find a high-end catering company that sources local ingredients, and let your guests know where the food is coming from. From quality grass-fed steaks and locally caught fish on the grill to seasonal fruits blended into cocktails, sustainable food can elevate your festivities.


CAPTIVATING CORAL

Adding color to outdoor spaces is an exciting trend for 2019 (no more greige!), and what better way to embrace this concept than using Pantone’s Color of the Year? This year, the color is Living Coral, a mellow, uplifting shade. Try incorporating coral into your outdoor design with throw pillows, blankets, outdoor rugs, and tablecloths. You could even work it into your flower arrangements or cocktail recipes. Bold color choices are also trendy, so don’t be afraid to use colors that pop for your outdoor entertaining.


CREATIVE LIGHTING AND FLOWERS

Now that more extravagant lighting solutions are available and accessible, expect creative hosts to ramp up their lighting style when planning outdoor gatherings. Layered lighting, projections, and strong lighting statements are all ways to create an impressive atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.

Floral arrangements have moved beyond simple tabletop centerpieces and are often a striking piece of design in and of themselves. Monochromatic floral designs, flower ceilings, and unique plants like succulents will be gracing patios and gardens in 2019. If floral design is beyond your own comfort level as a host, hire a good local florist to help prepare for your outdoor parties.


INNOVATIVE COCKTAILS

Nothing enhances an outdoor gathering like the perfect cocktail. For outdoor entertaining in 2019, cocktails will have surprising ingredients – think turmeric or mushrooms. Locally-produced spirits (especially gin) will be a hot ingredient and educating guests with tastings and flights will be a highlight. Even mocktails will be elevated beyond the standard Shirley Temple as more sophisticated nonalcoholic mixers and recipes are available.

Whether you follow some of these trends or bring your own creative touches to your outdoor parties, this entertainment season is sure to be full of fun, comfort, and luxury.

Looking for more entertaining inspiration? Check out our tips on how to Pamper Your Party Guests with The Finest Offerings.

For more information on outdoor entertaining, just connect with us by calling or texting 214.769.2142.