Michelin-rated chef Christopher Kostow and his wife, Martina, are in the process of building their dream home in California’s Napa Valley. The couple, who together run two critically acclaimed restaurants in the heart of the scenic wine country, are creating a connected living space that fuses the best of smart technology and beautiful design.
The Kostows' love of technology is shared by a new generation of millennials who are starting families and buying homes. With millennials expected to make up about 43 percent of homebuyers taking out a mortgage by the end of this year (according to Realtor.com), their expectations of design and technology are changing the way we think about the home.
"Pretty much every conversation we have these days is about the new house," says Martina, who, in addition to working with Christopher to operate their restaurants, is a mother of two daughters. "From the type of concrete countertops in the kitchen, to the smart technology we want, this home will reflect who we are. One of us will say, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we could write our grocery list right on the fridge and be able to access it from the store.’ And the other will answer, ‘why not?’ We can do this."
The Kostows are not alone. This desire for technologically connected homes is on the rise. In fact, according to ABI Research, around 280 million households will be equipped with at least one wireless-connected smart home device in the next three years. These devices are changing our behavior at home. We rely on them to tell us the daily weather, protect our homes when we’re away, turn on our evening music playlists, and set our mood lighting. But perhaps most dramatically, technology is becoming part of the daily routine in the kitchen.
In the "smarter" home, the kitchen is no longer just about cooking. It is the room where we spend the majority of our waking hours when at home, making its form and function more important than ever. "The kitchen has always been the room where we nourish, recharge and build memories -- and it still is," says John Herrington, senior vice president, general manager of Home Appliances, Samsung Electronics America. "But for this new generation, experiences that connect and enrich their lives are just as important."
With architects and designers reporting a strong surge in millennial requests for homes that are "smarter," professionals are incorporating connected technology into new home construction and renovations. Samsung’s kitchen innovations, including the Family Hub refrigerator and Chef Collection line of built-in appliances, are right at home in these projects.
Chef Collection offers a new level of elegance to the home with technology that goes beyond cooking to create the perfect kitchen space, one in which home chefs can truly take center stage. Thanks to thoughtfully integrated technology, Chef Collection is the first connected line of modern luxury home appliances. View Inside cameras take advanced connectivity to a new level by enabling you to bring your kitchen with you in your pocket to the store. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities in all appliances provide connected control whether at home or afar.
Chef Collection’s beautiful, simple design enhances the look and value of any kitchen. Wall ovens are flush mounted, cooktops have beveled edges, and the refrigerator and dishwasher are panel-ready and customizable to meet the individualized aesthetic tastes of homeowners. All appliances are available in stainless or matte black stainless steel.
Chef Collection also brings the kitchen to life like no other appliance line before it. LED Frame Lighting in the refrigerator presents food in the most flattering light. Bold backlit illuminated knobs on the ranges, Virtual Flame on the induction cooktop, and tastefully integrated analog and digital controls on the wall ovens all allow you to see at a glance the exact state and status of your appliances.
The Family Hub refrigerator is the definitive way to live the connected lifestyle, managing groceries, keeping in touch with family, and experiencing your favorite entertainment like never before. Equipped with apps and other services that provide access to what you want, when you want it, the Family Hub brings the outside world into the kitchen, and the inside out while you’re on the go. You can bring your child’s ballgame into the kitchen by sending a photo right to the refrigerator’s 21.5-inch digital screen. You can bring the family room into the kitchen by mirroring your favorite TV show on the digital screen, thereby never having to miss a moment of programming when getting a snack. You can bring the front porch into the kitchen, even if you’re hands are full from cooking dinner, by seeing who’s at your front door with the Ring doorbell app. You can also bring the inside out through the connected mobility of three View Inside cameras. So if you are stopping off at the grocery store or farmer’s market on the way home from work, you no longer have to guess if you’re out of fresh vegetables for dinner.
"When I was growing up, the kitchen was where we cooked meals and that was pretty much it. Now it’s so much more," says Martina Kostow. The Kostows rely on Samsung appliances like Chef Collection to make life easier as they prepare meals for their children and gather together as a family. "We spend our professional lives in the kitchen, and still it’s the place where we gather at home with our girls," says Kostow. "At the end of the day, Christopher and I want our new home to be a reflection of how we live our lives, now and in the future."
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