Intelligent Appliances Bring The Garden Into The Kitchen


Everyone that knows me, is aware of my fascination for gadgets in the kitchen. I just love finding another star product that makes our lives easier, saves time or is just so clever it makes me smile.

The kitchen is a great place for gadget appliances as it is at the heart of the home, and so many activities take place making it a hub for family life.

We have already seen the introduction of many smart appliances, these products can be connected to the internet via a smart phone, allowing users to control them remotely.

In the kitchen this has led to ovens that can be switched on whilst you are away from home, and real time alert messages that tell if you have left the fridge door open. It is possible to know what’s inside your fridge with built-in cameras that link to your phone, watch TV whilst you cook or even control the rest of your home systems with voice control technology built onto the fridge.

All clever stuff but the news that LG launched a fridge freezer that grows herbs, at a technology exhibition in the States this month, caught my eye.

LG Indoor Vertical Farm, photo credit KTLA

This “indoor gardening appliance” is tentatively called the LG Harvester. It uses light, temperature and water controls to create an environment for gardening in your kitchen.


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The fridge will work with a line of all-in-one seed packages and with a monitoring app to keep watch over your garden from anywhere, manage settings and give you gardening tips along the way. Each package will contain seeds, peat moss and fertilizer, to grow your herbs and salad leaves.

With one of these in the kitchen there would be easy to create fresh, healthy home cooking, and it would save having all those plastic wrappers and bags!

We are likely to see this and other smart indoor gardening fridges hit the shops in the UK sometime soon, so watch this space.

Kitchen furniture that may have been more at home in the living room will become the norm. Options such as media furniture to hold TV’s and hide cabling, with associated shelving and drawers to keep entertainment paraphernalia at hand. New materials and modular systems will be utilized to create bookcases and tables that are designed to complement traditional kitchen furniture and create a relaxed living space.

Whilst open plan living will still be popular, rooms will take on a more relaxed feel with zoning to mark out areas for specific activities, such as play areas, home bars or chill out zones.

Storage will be key, with a mix of on-display solutions such as open shelves, or hidden storage with tall subtle doors that contain a utility area or a coffee station.

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Islands will often play an important role in these kitchens and will usually be multi-functional, providing clearly marked areas for food preparation, cooking, eating and socializing. Storage within the island will be varied with end racks for magazines or spices, wine racks and shelving being incorporated.

Contrast will also be popular this year, mixing materials, textures and colors. Matching bold metallic with the warmth of wood for example, or an industrial edge with soft colors.

Families will want their kitchens to be hard working and to provide a safe environment for everyone. Surfaces and materials will need to be durable and suitable for cooking every day. When designing kitchen spaces, we as designers will be looking for an intuitive logic to the layout and organization, to enable functional living.

The kitchen is an area with a lot of traffic and activity so a focus on materials and designs that help keep it super clean will be an essential part of future kitchen designs. One material that is likely to become more popular is copper because of its anti-bacterial properties. Often used to add a splash of glamour to a design, copper has properties that mean viruses do not linger for as long as on other metals. This makes it a great choice for light switches, handles, splash backs, even worktops and sinks.

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