According to an independent Future Kitchen report* by The Future Laboratory, commissioned by home furnishing specialists IKEA, by 2040 your kitchen will be your personal trainer, dietician, psychologist and lifestyle coach. It will respond to your energy levels, nutritional needs and mood. Even with a high use of technology, it will also be sustainable and eco-friendly.

In thirty years time, the kitchen will be so technologically advanced that it will almost be alive, responding actively to our needs like only a mother could. To reflect this IKEA has created an image of the future kitchen – INTUITIV.

In thirty years time, the kitchen will be so technologically advanced that it will almost be alive, responding actively to our needs like only a mother could. To reflect this IKEA has created an image of the future kitchen – INTUITIV

As you walk into the INTUITIV kitchen of the future, LED light projections adjust to your mood – it will know if you have a hangover via sensors that will read your brainwaves. Aromatherapy infused walls will be synced to your calendar, calming you before a big meeting or energising you before a gym session. The fridge will have selected some breakfast options, identifying the essential vitamins for your day via sensors. When you get home, a ‘hologrammed’ chef will be on hand for recipe inspiration.

“The INTUITIV kitchen is a possible kitchen of the future with over one third of the UK population (41%) expecting that by 2040 we won’t even have to cook for ourselves,” says Carole Reddish, deputy managing director of IKEA UK & Ireland. “Two more possible future kitchen scenarios are the ELEMENTARA, a kitchen which sees a return to nature, and SKARP, with seamless smart technology.”

ELEMENTARA – The Back to Nature Kitchen

this is a kitchen

The ELEMENTARA kitchen will encourage you to grow your own food and be self-sufficient with a garden or mini allotment as a standard extension of the room. Food will be kept cool through cold larders and recycling facilities will be seamlessly incorporated into the kitchen.

Over two thirds of UK consumers (67%) try to buy energy efficient appliances suggesting that ‘green awareness’ is on the rise. IKEA already has products such as the RINGSKAR taps with a flow control function to avoid water waste and the RATIONELL recycling bins which help make household recycling easier.

The ELEMENTARA kitchen suggests that we will be going back to basics, making the most of natural physics rather than technology and avoiding energy consumption where possible. This is a core design principle at IKEA with products such as the oven hood extractor fans which can go in the dishwasher (a clean fan is much more energy efficient than a dirty one), the PS RESKEN bench which is composed of just three pieces of wood with no nails or screws (your weight simply locks the construction when you sit on it) and the PS BRUSE coffee table that looks solid but actually has hollow legs (to reduce the amount of wood used.) All IKEA appliances are also Energy class A rated.

SKARP – The Smart Kitchen

"Over half of us (57%) think that technology will boost our kitchen experience"

This kitchen will be intelligent, predicting its inhabitants’ needs with smart technology. Synchronized appliances will make everything happen at the touch of a button, communicating through iPad-style devices which will act as the brain of the kitchen, making our lives easier.

For the one third of Brits (41%) who expect that by 2040 they will no longer need to clean, their dreams are set to come true with smart surfaces creating self-cleaning kitchens.

SKARP will also encourage energy efficient behaviour with devices like phone-apps which control our carbon emissions and thermostats which respond to our voices and fingerprints.

“With the majority of us spending the total of nearly a month in the kitchen over one year, it is the heart of the home,” explains Carole Reddish. “We think that the economy, social changes, concerns for our health and especially the environment will greatly influence kitchen design in the future.

About the project

*The Future Laboratory and the Future Kitchen report

This research was commissioned by IKEA and carried out by The Future Laboratory in June 2010. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research and analysis underpins the report, spanning extensive desk and visual research, a consumer survey and expert interviews to expand on key themes. The survey polled the opinion of 1,895 respondents aged from 18 to 65+ years old living in the United Kingdom, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.