Let me guess — your mobile devices are less than two years old, right? And your audio and video equipment isn’t older than five? But when last did you upgrade your home appliances? I bet you haven’t bought a new iron since the one you got as part of a bundle deal on white goods when you moved here. Correct? Your cooker was a hasty purchase driven by necessity, just like your washing machine, toaster and kettle. And the latter sits next to another impulse buy — your coffee machine.
Well, maybe it’s time to rethink your home appliances. Manufacturers around the world have spent billions rethinking the products we hardly think about. Nowadays, they’re more energy-efficient than ever, they do much more than their predecessors and they’re pretty to boot.
Inspired by tablets and smartphones, the new Kenwood Chef Titanium White Gloss (expected in the UAE next year, retailing at about €749 or Dh3,720) adds a futuristic touch to an all-rounder. The glass mixing bowl also means you’ll be able to see exactly what’s happening as you stir, mix, fold and knead. It handles extreme changes in temperature with aplomb and is powerful — driven by a 1,400W motor.
For something more retro, De’Longhi’s Icona Vintage breakfast series combines the present with the past with design that’s decidedly modern while paying homage to Italian design from the fifties. It comes in soft pastels and features wooden and chrome embellishments. The 1.7-litre kettle and two-slice toaster can be combined with a fully automatic coffee machine and a percolator or portafilter for espresso traditionalists. Seize the day, la dolce vita-style.
While you’re getting ready, the Braun TexStyle 775 TP iron claims to make light work of persistent creases especially around buttons and collars with > a precision tip that brings steam up to 50 per cent closer to the tip of the iron.
And since we’re on steam, studies have shown that steam cleaning is more effective against bacteria than traditional methods, and Kärcher’s newest models — the SC 6.800 C and CB — were effective at eliminating 99.99 per cent of common household bacteria, according to a study by Enders Laboratory. The upside: you don’t need cleaning agents, so it’s safe if you have children or allergy sufferers in your house.
One of the products I find most exciting is the Dyson Airblade Tap, a gadget that makes it possible to wash and dry your hands without leaving the sink. Some £40 million (about Dh237 million) went into the research, design and development of the Airblade dryers that use motion detection through the infrared sensors to sense how much water or air is needed and when. The tap hand dryer (around €1,399) is said to cost only €48 to run per year. If you’re going green, think of the paper you’ll save.
Smart homes are all the rage. But until Miele brings its Qivicon here — the device takes home automation to its ultimate level through a smartphone app — we’ll have to make do with intelligent appliances such as the Samsung T9000 (Dh13,999). This fridge allows you to set the temperature for separate compartments through a display panel on the door — you can freeze items one day and chill things the next, in the same drawer.
It also features smart sensors that monitor the climate humidity and temperature of the fridge, enabling it to adjust the temperature to maintain optimum freshness throughout and adjusting the compressor speed according to usage.
Siemens recently launched what it calls the most intelligent washing machine in the world. The IQ500 ecoExclusive range features sophisticated 3D sensors that detect the amount of water needed for every cycle and every load. Its energy-optimised programmes have also led to an A+++ rating from the EU.
The company’s new cookers — the giant Gourmet HG73G8356M and Elegant HG73G6355M — top the free-standing gas stoves class. Proof that form following function needn’t be bad on the eye, these stainless steel units make light work of whatever feast you are preparing and have thoughtful features including one-hand ignition, flame failure safety devices, pan supports and self-cleaning liners.
Dyson, the first company to eliminate bags in its vacuum machines, has now released a machine without filters, the DC52. Some £7.5 million and 2,000 prototypes over six years resulted in the Cinetic cyclone technology that means one less thing to worry about — no filters to wash or replace. And its hygienic bin emptying function sends dust and dirt directly into the trash can at the press of a button.
Then there’s the not-so-humble air conditioner. The stylish Samsung Q9000 (Dh12,999) uses jet engine aerodynamics in three fans that operate independently or together, based on the surrounding temperature and the activity you’re busy with. It adjusts automatically to sleeping, reading or after- exercise mode among others. It also has a built-in dehumidifier, while the washable filter attracts bacteria and dust particles.
So go on, your new home awaits you.