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Interior designer Jamie Banfield tells us what's new in the world of kitchens and baths.
Forget keeping up with the Joneses—with such rapid innovation happening in kitchen and bath technology, we’re almost outpacing the Jetsons. In this brave new world of sinterized particles and wireless light controls, it’s easy to feel out of the loop—so we caught up with the founder of Jamie Banfield Design to get the scoop on where technology is going in 2015. Thanks to him, we’re washing any insecurity over tech trends away…using our brand new touchless faucet, of course.State of the Art Gets StylishLauded for his warm, West coast aesthetic, which employs reclaimed wood and varied textures, Banfield’s work doesn’t immediately mesh with that stereotypical image of cold, function-first high tech design. But these days, manufacturers are making sure that high tech options are as stylish as they are useful. Take Kohler’s Moxie showerhead, which Banfield has in his own bathroom. With its built-in wireless speaker, you might expect the Moxie to look bulky—but as Banfield says, “It doesn’t look like a speaker, it looks like a showerhead, and it looks very smart.” In fact, the Moxie comes in a slew of “bold, trendy colours”—from chartreuse to cherry red. Similarly, Moen offers hands-free faucets in styles that will please traditionalists and modernists alike: finishes range from oil-rubbed bronze to sleek and shiny chrome.It’s Spa Day, Everyday“We’re seeing a push for bigger, more spa-like bathrooms,” says Banfield. “We can make it more of an experience than just a place to wash, brush your teeth, and get out.” Looking to add a little luxury to your life? Install NuHeat mats under shower tile, then preset them to warm up just in time for your morning routine. Overhead, Philips’s Hue lights can help create the perfect ambience for some R and R: a single bulb offers light in every colour of the spectrum. Indulgent? Sure. But as Banfield points out, “There’s positive take from that spa-like atmosphere for people that are dealing with health issues, whether they’re mental or physical.”Hold the PhoneForget remote controls. When it comes to the newest technology, your smartphone is all you need. “App technology is making many gadgets so customizable,” Banfield explains. Philips’s Hue lights, for example, can be programmed to colour-match a photo you upload on your phone. If you love entertaining, check out LG’s Smart ThinQ range. You can adjust the oven’s temperature through your phone, which means you’ll never have to abandon your dinner party guests mid-conversation again.Timeless TechOne perceived problem with tech-ing out your kitchen or bath is that it can seem like a spottier investment—something newer is always just around the corner. But many of today’s high tech options are becoming less trendy and more timeless. Case in point: Cosentino’s brand new Dekton countertops. Sinterized Particle Technology—which mimics stone’s natural metamorphic changes—results in a super thin countertop that’s non-porous, even without sealing. Banfield is currently installing the very first of its kind in B.C.—but given Dekton’s gorgeous colour options and unique advantages, we have a feeling there will be a lot more of these installations in his future.Catch Banfield at the Edmonton Renovation Show, running from January 23-25, to learn more about what’s happening in the world of high tech kitchens and baths.
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