The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.
Picture this: Your son’s uniform needs to be washed in time for today’s game, and you know you’ll be cutting it close. You put it in the washer, set the appropriate cycle, then jump to other tasks around the house. You can check the time left in the cycle on your smartphone, and, when it’s done, you get a message so you can immediately move the load to the dryer. When the clothes are dry, you’re alerted again. His uniform is ready, and you haven’t wasted a minute or a step. It’s enough to make you love laundry day!
Smart kitchen and laundry appliances, which feature automatic functions and computerized control, are all about making life a little easier. That’s at the heart of our Innovation Kitchen, and a set of Internet-connected appliances from Whirlpoolplay a key role. They let you check on and change cycles, adjust settings, and track energy use on your phone or tablet. Monitoring and controlling the washer, dryer, refrigerator, and dishwasher with your fingertips is easy, convenient, and just plain fun.
We took the same approach to convenience with the windows in our kitchen. This awning window from Andersen operates by remote control. What’s really cool: If it starts raining, this window will close automatically. Talk about stress-free!
We love these innovative double-hung windows: They let you know when you’ve left the sash open, or even when the window has been left unlocked. It’s a great feature for security and energy efficiency. Motorized roller shades from Hunter Douglas operate on batteries so they’re easy to add to a window. An app lets you raise all the shades in a room at once or one at a time.
And how about a kitchen faucet that not only takes care of messes, it avoids them? This automatic Kohler faucet saves you from touching it or anything else with messy hands. It’s activated by a sensor under the spout’s arc so it turns on only when you want it too, like when you hold a pot under it or wave your hands. It also has a pull-down spray head for ease in cleaning the sink.
How about a little convenience in your kitchen?
Spotted! A small bath with style to spare.
Who says you have to skimp on style in a small bathroom? If you’re tackling a makeover, take a cue from this sophisticated bath. Classic elements–marble subway tile, a chrome faucet, and a three-light vanity fixture–create a timeless foundation, while a bold botanical shower curtain and a blocky open vanity give the room a modern edge. Swap out accessories, such as hand towels, baskets, and plants to update the look on a whim.
–Maria Charbonneaux, Real-Life Kitchens & Baths