Upgrading to Touchless TechnologyMoving into the future, touchless solutions are on the rise. While devices with hands-free on/off activation have been around for some time, current products are taking this idea a step further, offering many more ways to control and personalize the use of a device without ever having to touch it.
"In light of the increased focus on hygiene during the pandemic over the past year, it's not a surprise that hands-free solutions in the home are becoming more popular," says Birchfield. "At Moen we've looked at how we can effectively take the idea of a hands-free faucet and make it a real focal point of the kitchen."
In fact, Moen offers a variety of products with a focus on cleanliness, such as the Moen Smart Faucet. Its touchless functionality and intuitive voice-controlled technology allows homeowners to work hands-free throughout the kitchen and complete tasks with precision. It's equipped with the ability to set presets for common tasks, such as measuring water for recipes or filling a pasta pot, as well as the option to request specific temperatures and amounts of water. It even features a helpful "wash hands" command to encourage more complete handwashing, all while saving water.
Ramping Up Visual CleanlinessTaking care of mental well-being is increasingly important to consumers, with many moving to incorporate design elements that help reduce anxiety by minimizing clutter and mess.
"Visual cleanliness is about using space in the best ways possible to support relaxation and limit stress," notes Birchfield. "At Moen, we're incorporating this trend into our products by designing kitchen fixtures that seek to reduce stress around clean-up and are easy to clean, while adding sleek, streamlined design to the most hygiene-conscious rooms in the home."
A great example of this trend is the rise of the scullery or pantry kitchen. These small kitchens, used in addition to a main, larger kitchen area, can conceal the mess of cooking, baking and dish washing, plus create an open floor plan for entertaining or other kitchen activities. Coordinating kitchen accents with functional space, such as by choosing a healthy balance in materials between a faucet and countertop, is another way to embrace visual cleanliness in the home. By creating visually pleasing, but useful, organization, homeowners can optimize small spaces and encourage peace of mind while in the kitchen.
DeBoe Harper and Birchfield also have observed that consumers are moving towards materials and surfaces in kitchens that are easier to keep clean such as quartz and quarzite over high-maintenance marble.
"Not only are these materials easier to maintain, when chosen in the right color scheme, they also can help boost a visually clean design," adds DeBoe Harper. "For instance, by swaying towards countertops in lighter shades of off-white with graceful veining, homeowners are able to brighten spaces while showcasing a sleeker design aesthetic."
Incorporating Layered NeutralsGrowing in popularity and branching off visual cleanliness, layered neutrals create a fresh, warm, homey environment that can still feel elegant and timeless – and is in keeping with a hygiene-conscious space. By focusing on less color and bold accents, you can brighten up the room giving a more unified, clean design style.
"A layered neutrals effect can be created with different shades of whites or by mixing whites, grays and wood tones," says DeBoe Harper. "For a slightly bolder, more modern take, accentuating a layered neutral with black accents gives a distinctly more contemporary appeal."
Reducing Clutter with Warm Minimalism"Warm minimalism" uses warm textures and matte finishes to breathe new life into otherwise sparse environments, helping a space appear less cold or severe but instead feel cozy and visually clean – all accomplished without adding unnecessary or distracting elements.
"Warm minimalism is all about limiting what is in the environment to what is truly useful or providing an organic accompaniment. You can accomplish this by reducing the number of accents such as throw pillows or blankets and incorporating greenery like plants throughout the space," says DeBoe Harper. "Another effective way is through choosing the right color palette and paint, such as using lime wash paint in warm, yet light-toned colors like greige and other earth tones to give the walls subtle movement and natural textures."
The idea of minimalism also is driving the movement of technology to a supportive role working in the background. In fact, according to the New Home Trends Institute, "Tech will become more silent and more predictive, working in coordination with the rest of your tech as an invisible butler." While technology – especially smart home devices – continue to resonate with consumers, those embracing warm minimalism will look for ways to integrate them seamlessly into their designs.
The growing focus on home hygiene is unlikely to go away any time soon, with wellness likely to stay top of mind for consumers when it comes to design choices.
"The pandemic has led to changing lifestyles which are inspiring new innovations and trends for the home," says Birchfield. "We'll see the effects of the pandemic for many years to come as we look at how future trends influence home décor as well as Moen product design."
For more information about these trends and Moen products, visit moen.com.
ABOUT MOENMoen is the #1 consumer faucet brand in North America, offering a vast array of stylish and innovative kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products, kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, leak detection products and connected home offerings for residential applications that give consumers more power than ever before to understand and control the water that flows through their homes. These thoughtful designs deliver an exceptional user experience and elevate the way people interact with water every day. In addition, Moen Commercial offers superior-performing products that can deliver lower lifetime costs for today's facilities.
Moen is part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), which creates products and services that fulfill the dreams of home. Moen anchors the Global Plumbing Group (GPG), which also includes several brands under the House of Rohl® including Perrin & Rowe®, ROHL®, Riobel®, Shaws® and Victoria + Albert®. Fortune Brands' other brands include Fiberon® composite decking and railing products, Master Lock® and Sentry® Safe security products, LARSON® storm doors and windows, MasterBrand Cabinets® and Therma-Tru® entry door systems. Fortune Brands is part of the S&P 500 Index and a Fortune 500 Company. For more information, please visit www.FBHS.com.