Kitchen Tour: Smarty Plans
Clever kitchen ideas
The kitchen has long been a proving ground for technology. The microwave, the food processor, the refrigerator and the dishwasher—all of these now-commonplace features were once merely ideas in an engineer’s head. Today, the high-tech options seem endless, but Shireesh and Saritha Reddy focused on innovative kitchen features that simplify their lives. Intelligent appliances, low-maintenance materials and a wireless home-automation system bring comfort and convenience to their suburban Chicago kitchen.
Form and function
A high-tech kitchen doesn’t have to look futuristic. Designer Denise Hauser blended technology seamlessly with warm woods, cream-color recessed-panel cabinetry and elegant accents.
To make up for cabinet space lost to windows, drawers built into the island keep pots and pans close to the cooktop and serveware on the walkway side. A worry-free quartzite countertop on the 12-foot-long island won’t stain or scratch. Above the range, tile in a waterjet-cut swirly pattern is a focal point of the room.
Backsplash tile Danse Lucido Glass and Stone Water Jet Mosaic. Artistic Tile. artistictile.com Cabinetry and hood Designed by Denise Hauser. denisehauserdesign.com Made by Architectural Wood Expressions Inc. archwoodex.com Cabinetry hardware Top Knobs. topknobs.com Cooktop Wolf. subzero-wolf.com
The Reddys designed the island so that barstools could be arranged on one end—instead of in a row facing the cook. This allows their kids (and guests) to interact.
Hot topic counter
A 3-inch-thick quartzite countertop underlit with dimmable LED strips turns the island into a conversation piece. Sunlight hitting the surface during construction inspired Shireesh to re-create the glow through his company Digital Living, which specializes in smart-home technology.
Room to rinse
Clever features add up to one user-friendly sink area. Tall pots and vases fit under the high faucet spout; a magnetic docking system guarantees the hand spray locks in place. An apron-front sink made of stainless steel won’t rust, stain or chip. Its zero-radius design (meaning straight, not rounded, corners) maximizes usable space.
White walls balance the natural texture of walnut shelves; dangling glass lighting adds glitz. The rest of the kitchen uses recessed LED lights to illuminate work areas. LEDs use 75 percent less energy than old-school incandescents and last 35-50 times longer.
Across from the cooking zone, a baking area keeps cookie-making contained. Get better leverage rolling dough on a 32-inch-high walnut countertop (the standard is 36 inches). An appliance garage stores a heavy stand mixer, which slides forward. Dinner and dessert are made simple with the convection-steam wall oven, which detects the shape and size of foods for just-right roasting, baking or steaming.
The Reddys browse recipes and adjust lights, window shades, music and more from an iPad integrated into a cabinet around the refrigerator. Food stays fresh longer in a dual-temperature refrigerator that beeps if you leave the door ajar. The smart features integrate seamlessly with the warm, modern style.
Refrigerator 48-inch built-in side-by-side. Sub-Zero. subzero-wolf.com
Window shades QMotion. qmotionshades.com
Synced keypads throughout the house have custom settings for specific times of day. When Shireesh hits the evening button, kitchen lights dim, shades lower and music plays.
In a beverage bar (as well as the kitchen), motorized roller shades controlled from an iPad raise and lower together to bring in natural light or provide privacy. Their minimalistic design lets the view be the star.
Window shades QMotion qmotionshades.com Backsplash tile Hastings Tile and Bath. hastingstilebath.com Cabinetry hardware Creations by Alno Inc. alnoinc.com Faucet Karbon Articulating. Kohler. us.kohler.com Refrigerator Sub-Zero. subzero-wolf.com Sink Elkay. elkay.com
- Courtesy of Dekton
Make it happen
Love the convenience of this kitchen? Our smart-home product picks can up the efficiency of your kitchen, too. Check them out here.