According to the award-winning team at Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero/Wolf/Cove Showroom and Test Kitchen, appliance trends are all about function. In a recent survey of those who visited a Clarke showroom over the past three years, 69 percent of homeowners report that “functionality” is the top consideration when selecting kitchen appliances.

So, while the look of stunning appliances in a kitchen design is important, the way an appliance performs and enhances food preparation is driving new trends and appliance selection. Here are today’s top appliance trends in New England and beyond….

Convection Steam Cooking

The Wolf Convection Steam Oven continues to be the showstopper for kitchen lovers. When homeowners discover this amazing oven, they add it into their kitchen design plan more than any other appliance. In fact, homeowners with limited space are opting to incorporate the Convection Steam Oven rather than a traditional oven.

You have to experience it to believe the results.  Juicy, golden roast turkey, vibrant steamed asparagus (that retains 22 percent vitamins than traditional cooking), and bubbly, crisp-crusted casseroles are just some examples. Perfect for your modern cottage, complex multi-pot dishes can be created automatically in one dish.  Simply choose the cooking mode, combining steam and convection that’s ideal for your dish.  Then, the oven’s unique digital technology senses the amount and size of the food. It automatically adjusts all the details of cooking.

Customized Refrigeration

Sub-Zero actually pioneered built-in refrigeration. Then, the company evolved the concept to make it disappear – engineering refrigerators and freezers to accept custom panels to integrate refrigeration seamlessly into your kitchen cabinets.  Next, they they introduced refrigerator and freezer drawers (still a designer’s favorite, based on a recent survey of Connecticut architects and designers.)

Now, the trend is to “build your own food preservation.” Sub-Zero’s modular refrigeration offers more sizes and configurations than ever before. With integrated models measuring 18″, 24″, 27″, 30″ and 36″ wide, you can pair up a 30″ refrigerator with a 24″ freezer and an 18″ wine storage unit. Or, create a stunning wet bar with a 30″ Sub-Zero wine storage unit and Sub-Zero undercounter drawer refrigerator and freezer with ice, soda, fruit garnishes and other mixes within reach. Gone are the days that the appliance dictated how much freezer vs. refrigerator space you would get. Today, you can customize each food preservation element in a beautiful and very functional way.

Sous Vide Cooking

Cooking “sous vide” is becoming very popular in home kitchens.  It’s a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath at an accurately regulated temperature.  Typically, a home chef would have to purchase an expensive single-purpose appliance to achieve precise sous vide results.  However, Wolf offers two ways to accommodate sous vide cooking techniques.

Wolf’s Countertop Steamer Module has a Sous Vide Basket. Using the basket accessory, you can enjoy this professional cooking method to create the most succulent, perfectly done steaks, chops, chicken and more. The module control panel adjusts in 1° increments to provide the steady, accurate temperatures you need.

Also, you can cook sous vide in the Wolf Convection Steam Oven using a “steam bath” environment. The oven offers 1° temperature adjustments from 90 to 120 degrees. It works like this: you seal a steak or other food in a plastic bag, extract the air, then place it on a wire rack in the Wolf convection steam oven. Using the Steam Mode, set the oven at the exact right temperature. For instance, 130°F for a medium rare tenderloin.  Then,  just leave it alone. In about two hours, the steak will be perfectly cooked.

Induction Cooking

Long a staple in Europe, induction cooking is now trending in the U.S.  Simply turn an element up or down, and the response is instantaneous.  In fact, it’s up to 40 percent faster than gas or electric.  Wolf’s Induction Cooktops, for example, provide lightning fast heat and low-end finesse that other induction cooktops were never engineered to deliver.

Electricity flows through a coil to generate a magnetic field under the glass ceramic surface. When an induction-compatible pan is placed on the cooktop, currents are induced in the pan and instant heat is generated.  Therefore, the cooktop doesn’t heat up, the cookware does.  By the same token, when you remove the pan, the stove is no longer hot.  It’s a great benefit for those with small children and seniors.

Professional chefs who have long been “gas is the only way to cook” proponents are incorporating induction cooking into their own homes. It’s a cooking technology of startling precision, power and efficiency.  Once thought to be only a cooktop option, an Induction Range is now available through Wolf.

Personal Cottage Coffee

No need to run out to the corner coffee shop!  You can enjoy professional-quality brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, and macchiato in the comfort of your modern cottage.  The Wolf coffee system lets you craft a cup precisely to your taste from real coffee beans with just the touch of a button.  At any given time, brew two types of roasts.  Use the built-in bean reservoir for whole beans or add pre-ground coffee a scoop at a time. From extra-mild to extra strong, you control the strength and the size of the grind with the 13-setting stainless burr grinder. Simply dial in your parameters, push a few buttons and you’re ready to savor.

There is no plumbing required. So, this beautiful coffee bar can be installed anywhere in your home.  For example, install it in your master bedroom or bath within reach as you step out of bed in the morning. Or, install it in the kitchen or next to a beverage bar. Whether making a simple cup of black coffee or a double no-foam latte, the Wolf coffee system is a joy to use and simple to maintain. Even the brewhead and milk frother clean up with pushbutton ease.

Whether you’re replacing a single appliance or designing the kitchen of your dreams, a visit to a Clarke Showroom in South Norwalk, Connecticut, Boston Seaport or Milford, Massachusetts is a great first step. Visit for more information.