Prosumer kitchens are all the rage in appliance and kitchen design. If you haven’t yet heard the term, you will, it’s a hybrid of the words professional and consumer that refers to appliances that bring the commercial features to consumer appliances. What they don't bring to the appliances are the commercial fire prevention features that are required in restaurants and professional kitchens and have kept many of the appliances out of residential kitchens.
With homeowners getting a taste of the good life in the kitchen through the popular celebrity chef cooking shows like Paula Dean and Emeril, more manufacturers are stepping up to the plate to offer commercial style products such as the high heat six burner gas cooktops, super capacity refrigerators, wall mounted potfillers by the stove and countless sinks for every type of prep work.
While kitchens in the past have been designed for one cook and laid out in the most efficient work triangle, kitchens are now bringing work zones into the picture for multiple cooks doing multiple tasks. And when they do these tasks, they want convenience, speed and efficiency in their appliances.
What the homeowner doesn’t want is to sacrifice style when it comes to outfitting their prosumer kitchen, and manufacturers are designing more appliances that look right at home next to warm wood cabinetry and throw rugs on the floor. While stainless is the finish of choice for prosumer appliances, expect to see some bright enamels on the appliances sneaking into the kitchen. While previously only available in the $5,000 and up Aga ranges, with the popularity of prosumer appliances, we hope to see the price start to come down on color and enamel options.
Unfortunately the look doesn’t come cheap. Although more models are being offered for lower prices than standard commercial appliances, those looking for the professional look and action will still be paying a high premium over standard appliances. Viking’s least expensive range runs in the $3,500 price range, and larger, decked out models can top $11,000.
Is there a way to get the look without spending the money? Buying used may be an option, keep an eye on online auctions and classifieds, but offerings are few and far between. If you want the look, a stainless steel finished appliance can make them look and feel prosumer, but don’t expect the performance. Other kitchen features that are more budget friendly to give a more professional feel:
- Installing deep, flush or unde rmounted stainless steel sinks;
- Storing pots and pans in the open, using wire shelves or pot racks for quick access; and
- Tall arching faucets.
As technology advances and consumer demand grows, keep an eye out for falling prices on prosumer appliances. It’s all about supply and demand in the appliance business, and if consumers want less expensive and more professional appliances, expect manufacturers to step up efforts to fill their demand.