The Living Kitchen Trend: How to Make the Most of your Home

Family cooking in the kitchen

House Beautiful magazine has called 2020 “The Year of the Living Kitchen,” emphasizing the blend of function and technology transforming this important workspace.

Now, rest easy: A “living kitchen” does not mean that the appliances will suddenly move or talk or help with chores. Instead, the living kitchen concept matches the homeowner’s lifestyle with a combination of materials, colors and efficiency to create a fresh, functional, beautiful and convenient design.

High performance is one of the hallmarks of a living kitchen, and this is one area where propane excels. Propane cook stoves provide the benefit of cooking over a real flame, which is preferred by 96% of professional chefs. This means that the cooktop heats faster and heat is applied directly to the pan, which helps reduce cooking time. Also, a flame allows for more control while cooking, so from a low simmer to a high boil, temperatures are easily adjusted and maintained.

Style and technology are two important aspects of a living kitchen. Design considerations include “flextension” and family-first layouts that future-proof the space for a family’s changing needs. For many types of families, from multi-generational households to couples marrying later to considerations for aging-in-place, a living kitchen anticipates those needs.

A flexible layout is important to accommodate future changes, while new technology is available today to speed up time spent in the kitchen. For example, propane-powered infrared cooktops use gas combustion to heat a ceramic surface that cooks food faster than traditional methods. This technology allows chefs to use higher temperatures, giving them more options in the kitchen. A propane range allows for easy control and faster cooking, as well as greater energy efficiency than electricity. As far as style, propane appliances come in a variety of sleek, professional designs which bring a high-quality feel to a kitchen. With designs in stainless steel and other finishes, propane appliances are sure to fit with the aesthetics of any home.

Convenience is key to the living kitchen trend, from concealed storage spaces to kitchen island dinner tables. Instant hot water taps and on-demand water heaters eliminate the wait and waste of conventional sources. For instant heat, there’s no better fuel than propane, and the convenience doesn’t stop there. Stored on-site at your home, propane provides energy independence and security from power outages or service disruptions. Propane appliances can be used even if the power goes out making them both convenient and reliable.

The living kitchen concept is reflected in outdoor spaces, as well. Patios, decks, porches and backyards are being transformed to create new gathering places that extend the seasons. Propane brings the convenience and performance of a living kitchen outside with a propane grill or outdoor kitchen. Propane grills provide the same advantages of cooking over a real flame without the mess of charcoal or wood. Plus, with the ability to adjust the burners independently, the chef can grill several dishes at once, even if they require different temperatures.

Indoors or out, propane is a natural fit in a living kitchen. With a wide variety of modern designs and performance features, propane appliances make cooking convenient and enjoyable.

Finally, the living kitchen trend emphasizes a growing commitment to eco-friendly materials, finishes and appliances. A sustainable and low-impact kitchen saves both energy and money, putting the focus on everything from dedicated recycling bins to high-efficiency appliances. Clean-burning propane delivers yet again. It can reduce a kitchen’s CO₂ output by about 30% compared to electricity. For home chefs who do a lot of cooking, a switch to propane in the kitchen can make a big difference in reducing a home’s carbon footprint. Propane is a low-carbon fuel recognized by the EPA as a clean, non-polluting energy source. It’s also exciting to note that sustainable bio-propane, made from crop waste, is on the horizon as well.

The “Living Kitchen” concept highlights the housing market’s latest preferences, elevating functionality, convenience and environmental considerations over more formal and traditional designs. The attributes of propane and the benefits of the propane lifestyle make it an ideal fit for living out the Living Kitchen trend.

Learn more about home design trends and building with propane at