What is happening to home appliances like refrigerators, ovens and washing machines? Those dang big old things are getting smarter. And you know what happens when things get smarter: They want to be like other things.
Ovens get touchscreens. Refrigerators get flexible (what?). Washers get makeovers.
What’s next? The Electric Dryer with Spa Control and Steam®?
Don't laugh, it’s probably coming. But seriously, we think homebuyers will take a fancy to these practical appliance features that look like great upgrades.
Mom’s New Best Friend
You’ve got to love LG’s door-in-door feature that opens a small door within a door to most-used items like drinks and fruit. (You are going to leave healthy fruit amongst all the juice boxes, aren’t you?) LG is adding this feature to its entire line, and the reasoning is unassailable: Its research found that families open and shut the fridge more than 20 times a day—and we know it’s not always to cook a meal. Opening just a small portion of the fridge for quick grabs saves 35 percent in energy, and keeps energy wasters from standing there with the fridge wide open. We can see homebuyer eyes alighting if they haven't seen these.
Samsung asked Michelin-rated chefs what they wanted in kitchen appliances, and you can be sure the fridge got special treatment. So what do top chefs want?
Metal cooling to help regulate consistent temperatures inside, a chef’s pantry draw where they can place dishes like marinades, and two bottom compartments, one a freezer and the other a flexible fridge to freezer that can be a freezer or a chiller. Numbers appear on the front of the Chef Collection fridge showing the temperature of each compartment when you near it or interact with it. Coming in April for $6,000.
Oven's Own Chef
How smart is Dacor’s new 30-inch, 4.8-cubic-foot wall oven? You can use the oven’s touchpanel to download a recipe and let the oven cook it at the optimal temps and time. When it’s done, it sends a message to your smartphone, so you can actually watch the Super Bowl or big game. Ahhhh. System updates and self-diagnostics are sent via Wi-Fi to mobile devices as well. It comes with a Pure Convection System to reduce cooking time, a steam technology to clean light buildup, and two stainless steel door-handle options. Starts at $4,300 for single wall oven and $7,399 for the double.
White is out. Stainless is in. And why not Whirlpool’s Chrome Bubbles finish for its washer and dryer?
It won’t be available until 2015 but in the meantime there’s a gorgeous black diamond finish that will make you want to do loads of laundry with style—at least for a while.
We dig Haier’s built-in refrigerator drawers and wine cooler that are great under-the-cabinet conveniences for a kitchen islands or game room/rec room/home theater/man cave. Think about the entertainment possibilities. The best part: flexible and removable dividers for no-slide fridge opening. And yes, we’d use the contents of the wine cooler to celebrate once our team wins the Super Bowl. Champagne, anyone?