Who: Fisher & Paykel
What We Noticed: What does the future hold for our kitchens? I, for one, hope the future includes a better refrigerator. Forget the jetpack; I want a fridge that doesn't take up an entire wall of my kitchen, freezes the lettuce, and costs an arm and leg too. When I talked with Thomas Johansson of Electrolux about the future of the kitchen last fall, the fridge was what he promptly focused on. And here's one way that new fridge could work out: Fridge drawers.
I'm pretty obsessed with these fridge drawers from Fisher-Paykel. Drawers seem inherently more space-saving in small kitchens. Instead of having a whole wall of refrigerator, what about having two large drawers under the countertop, leaving more workspace free?
Sure, drawers may not work for every kitchen — and could they be made so those big pans of lasagna and a triple layer cake fit inside?
But there's something really intriguing about drawers, especially if they were flexible in their programming. I actually bumped into Thomas Johansson again at KBB London and we chatted a little more about refrigerators and their role in modern kitchens. His point was that since people are focusing more on the quality of their ingredients, and often spending so much more on food these days, then they will demand that their fridge take better care of that food and keep it fresher.
One way I would love to see that happen is more flexible zones in refrigerators, with adjustable temperature settings to optimize a drawer or even turn it temporarily into a "root cellar" environment, warmer than a refrigerator and suitable for storing root vegetables and potatoes. Or perhaps a drawer that could be switched, at the touch of a button, from fridge to freezer, when you want to store more frozen foods.
Fridge drawers, like these from Fisher-Paykel, are smart and space-saving, but still quite expensive and not mainstream, however. Would you use them? How would you like to see your fridge fit your kitchen better?
(Images: Faith Durand)