With the recession still on the minds of many, the “less is more” movement continues to gain momentum. From Millennials delaying home purchases to Boomers looking to downsize, people are opting for simplified, economical living spaces. Unfortunately, downsizing has often meant giving up many of the comforts we’ve grown accustomed to in larger homes. Doityourself.com recently visited with General Electric (GE). The company believes they have a solution for this problem: The Micro Kitchen.
“As we watch what’s happening in the U.S., there’s a clear trend toward smaller, more efficient living spaces,” said Lou Lenzi, Director of Industrial Design for GE Appliances. “There will always be a need for larger appliances for existing homes; however, we can’t ignore the growing need in urban environments. GE Appliances is excited to tackle the design challenge of creating micro kitchen concepts that help people maintain or enhance their lifestyle in substantially less square footage.”
In response to the trend toward simplification and a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, GE held a contest with their designers, challenging them to create a micro kitchen that maintains modern functionality, iconic style, and modular options to meet consumers at any level – and it looks like they’ve found a winner.
While the kitchen is the focal point of many homes, its quality is often tied to its size. This means that it’s often the most noticeable absence when living in a smaller space. The micro kitchen aims to not just accommodate the downsized lifestyle, but elevate it through technology and smart design.
We saw examples of this impressive technology in GE’s micro kitchen with features such as a touch screen that controls the cooktop, microwave, and oven. Furthermore, a separate display will provide users with the ability to change and monitor refrigeration temperatures.
In terms of smart design, the modular approach they are taking is especially exciting. A consumer can buy the bare essentials and add on upgrades as their needs evolve. Don’t desire a microwave? No problem. If you change your mind later on, it’s as simple as ordering that specific module and hooking it up to the unit.
Consumers will also have the ability to swap between diverse panel materials, customizing the micro kitchen to fit their aesthetic tastes.
Lastly, GE has included a washer/dryer combo in the design that can either sit apart from the main kitchen unit, or seamlessly blend together at either end.
Slated to release towards the end of 2014, it will be exciting to see how consumers incorporate the micro kitchen and other micro designs into their home improvement projects. With a modular design, it may give DIYers of all skill levels the ability to tackle their kitchen remodel sooner, starting with the essentials and adding on luxuries as time and finances permit.
Would you consider a micro kitchen for your living space? What other areas of the house would you like to see made micro?