At the press of a button
Today, appliances in the kitchen are not only there for functional purposes but are also a true reflection of your lifestyle and personality. In the true essence of a kitchen, your appliances should be both stylish and functional, and therefore define how you use your kitchen space. There has been a clear movement towards technologically intelligent, multifunctional and energy-efficient appliances.
“More and more homes are becoming smart, and with home automation quickly becoming the norm instead of a unique feature, home appliances are becoming integrated into the smart home ethos. Appliances are offering more functionality and specialised programmes that are increasingly easy to operate and access – this makes the jobs these appliances do ever more refined,” explains Mercia de Jager, Miele’s product manager.
Long gone are the days when appliances were bought at whim and solely included a kettle, toaster, blender and snackwich maker, for those lazy Sunday nights.
Advances in technology and our fast pace lives have ensured that modern-day appliances are faster and smarter while still being user friendly.
“Today’s appliances are more time and energy efficient. Touchpads and moisture sensors have replaced the knobs of yesteryear. There is also an enormous emphasis placed on design, ensuring that appliances are not only functional but also stylish,” agrees Roland Granitzer of Kitchen Passion.
Kitchen appliances are there to create comfort and ease of use while assisting us in daily kitchen tasks, saving us time and effort through their efficiency and simplicity.
When it comes to what is driving these innovative trends, Thandeka Ngoma, the senior marketing manager of Philips Consumer Lifestyle, explains: “It is the consumer’s need for convenience and integration of technologies within one’s life in order to simplify and reduce the number of devices one interacts with; as well as the need to find products that seamlessly support one’s lifestyle.”
As the current market is saturated with myriad appliances, it may leave you bewildered as to what is the best option for your kitchen. Always keep in mind that the appliances of today are designed in such a way that they are not only functional and aesthetically pleasing but they also save you precious time.
“An intelligent appliance has the ability to adapt its functions to the characteristics of the user, becoming very simple and relatively foolproof to use,” says Mercia.
Yet, although there to assist, most of today’s appliances are geared towards promoting a healthier lifestyle, agrees Ngoma. “We focus on new technology that first and foremost enhances people’s lives and adds value to their health and wellbeing. We don’t only develop products for today’s needs, but also get consumer insight into potential future trends and desires,” she explains.
From blending, chopping, slicing and dicing to toasting, roasting, grating and mixing, anything is possible in the world of appliances; and if you can dream it, there is an appliance for you.
It is not all fun and games when it comes purchasing to appliances. Investing in appliances is something that should not be done at whim. Quality and performance are key in the longevity and functionality of your item and should be essential in the deciding factor so that you can gauge how long the appliance will last. “The ability of the appliances being used should take the guess work and time consuming elements out of everyday activities. We all want more for less; a balance between highly specified appliances versus the cost to own such desirable appliances. ‘Value for money’ without compromising on quality and performance is a must,” says Garth Tiltmann, product manager at Whirlpool SA.
Keep in mind that price does not define the quality of a product, therefore you should take the time to compare certain products in order to find the one that is right for you.
Also remember to compare warranties or guarantees to ensure that you are covered for any technological manufacturing errors. “Quality guaranteed means you don’t need to worry about your appliance breaking down and having to fork out money to have it fixed,” explains an LG representative. Know your needs, ask questions and you will find a machine that is not only perfect, but feels as if it has been customised just for you.
The final touch
Although performance and quality will influence what appliance you finally purchase, the look and design of every appliance is also a major deciding factor for most home owners. Aesthetics plays a big role, so seamless integration is paramount when you are adding those final touches to your kitchen.
“As consumers move towards more open-plan kitchens they are becoming a lot more conscious as to the design, colour and aesthetic appeal of their kitchen appliances – where they are exposed to the overall design of the home,” says Tracy Gordon, senior product manager for Samsung Digital Appliances. So when choosing a kitchen appliance, not only is it important to keep the functionality in mind, but it is also imperative to consider how the product will enhance the look and feel of your kitchen. Part of our everyday life and providing us with utmost convenience, a kitchen appliance is our left hand and little helper. Whichever way you look at it, appliances have assumed much control over our daily functions in the kitchen. With such reliance on appliances, whether small or large, the kitchen of today is defined by the appliances within it.