As interior designers, we’re always looking for the next big thing to help our clients improve their quality of life, and 2017 has been the year for steam. Whether it’s steam cleaning, cooking, or showering, steam technology is growing in popularity as a way to make your home and body healthier.

Steamy-Clean Appliances

We predict that in a few years, self-cleaning appliances will be largely replaced by steam-cleaning counterparts, and covering your cooking surfaces in chemicals will be a thing of the past. Classic Kitchen and Bath designer Gabby Koontz is rooting for steam-cleaning ovens, in particular. “For years and years, everyone has gotten used to self-cleaning ovens, which are chemical-based and can get as hot as 800°, and we’ve had people come in saying it melted their counters and cabinets,” Gabby said. “The new steam cleaning method is much healthier and safer. Using water and the new AquaLiftÔ self-cleaning technology, you can clean your oven without harsh chemicals while cutting the cleaning time and temperature almost in half.”

Cooking with Steam

Many people are also replacing their old ovens with smaller steam ovens for healthier cooking. Steaming, a moist heat cooking technique, has been around since 5000 BCE, and it’s not just for broccoli. Cooking with steam can benefit you and your food in many ways! “Since water turns into steam at 212°F, overcooking or burning food in a steam oven is easily avoided, and your food can actually cook quicker,” Leslie said. “You can cook so many things with steam, like vegetables, chicken, and seafood, and it’s exponentially healthier than frying. It’s also a great alternative to boiling food, such as vegetables, because you get to keep nutrients that you would lose in the boiling water.”

Steam Showers

Another popular trend we’ve seen is steam showers. Imagine coming home from a long day and all you want to do is relax — instead of spending 15 minutes filling your bathtub with 50 gallons of water, you can hit the digital controls in your shower and use two gallons of water to fill it with warm, relaxing steam in just a few minutes. “Steam showers are good for hydrating skin, removing toxins, clearing sinuses, increasing circulation, and more. And they use water more efficiently than baths or regular showers,” Leslie said. “You can add a steamer to your already existing shower with only a few modifications to seal in the steam, or opt to go with a standalone steam-ready enclosure. Either way, you get to control the temperature and amount of steam, and you can even add extras like aromatherapy, lighting, and music to make the experience even more relaxing!”

Full Steam Ahead

We’re happy to see that steam technology is on the rise, and that it’s not just for high-end kitchens or expensive luxury spas — or for cleaning carpets or removing wrinkles. More and more, steam is being used to improve peoples’ homes, health, and quality of life. Count on Classic Kitchen & Bath to recommend appropriate steam technologies that fit best with your family’s way of life.