While style drives interest in the high-end appliance segment, innovation is also a factor, according to Cynthia Crego of Siano Appliances. “The latest trend is eco-friendly appliances that offer intuitive user applications,” she says. “Buyers want green features with measurable benefits. They are looking for a return on investment in the form of energy or water savings. Steam cleaning and auto convection conversion are functions that are eco-friendly and
save consumers time.”
According to Carla Taylor of Hermitage Lighting Gallery, there are two main factors in high-end appliances. “First is the ‘look’— whether the homeowner wants the pro styling for a traditional kitchen or the slim profile with sleek handles for a contemporary one. In many cases, they want to integrate the appliances and make them disappear into the cabinetry for a furniture look. The second factor is performance—how well it cooks or how well it cleans the dishes.
Crego adds that the graying of the baby boomer generation raises issues relating to functionality and user-friendliness. “Drawer appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves are gaining popularity because they are easy to reach and offer a variety of usage options,” she says. “KitchenAid offers a warming drawer that also serves as a slow cooker. Dishwasher drawers use less than two gallons of water and offer small and large load options.”
Taylor says homeowners choose appliance drawers for convenience and appearance. “A growing trend is to buy two single dishwasher drawers and mount them on each side of the sink to minimize bending over to load,” she adds.
As with all kitchen décor, trends in kitchen appliances are influenced as much by design as by technical innovation, says Crego.
“High-end appliances are purchased mostly for the look. Stainless steel is still number one. Dishwasher design trends include stainless exteriors and interiors, quiet operation and LED-lit fully integrated hidden control panels.”
High-performance wall ovens with touch-pad controls and convection capabilities are trendsetters and continue to grow in popularity, according to Crego. Cooktops now merge stylish looks with innovative features such as induction capabilities or sealed gas burners with electronic ignition. Dual fuel ranges offer cooks options for stovetop cooking and baking.
There are a number of sources for high-end appliances in the Greater Nashville area:
Cenwood Appliance Distributors
Hermitage Lighting Gallery
615/ 771-0596, 615/ 771-5666