By Refilwe Boikanyo
Designed and developed to reduce the amount of time spent on mundane tasks, while being visually pleasing and simple to use, small kitchen appliances were once considered “would-be-nice-to-have” products, but are now must-have items for the 21st-century home owner.
Touch and go
Electrical appliances are woven into the fabric of our modern world. We depend on them to help us perform daily tasks, and as time goes by, we become familiar with the switches, buttons and dials that control these appliances.
And just as our needs and lifestyles evolve, technology adapts too. Touchscreen control panels are now being introduced into small kitchen appliances and are changing the way we interact with them.
From kitchen scales to slow cookers, manufacturers are incorporating touchscreen technology into small kitchen appliances to offer enhanced user-friendly experiences, validating the adage “as easy as the touch of a button”.
All about the craft
Functionality remains a top priority for discerning home owners purchasing small kitchen appliances; however, there is now also a growing appreciation for how these items are crafted.
An increasing number of consumers are willing to invest in good-quality artisanal products, and according to Nicole Lombaard of The Culinary Equipment Company, “these often reflect personal tastes, and great pride is taken in displaying the ‘pieces of art’ in the kitchen”.
Be your own barista
The increasing popularity and appreciation for a good “cuppa” has seen a rise in the sales of household coffee machines. Improved designs, functionalities and user-friendliness of the latest machines not only ensure convenience but value for money as well. And with some models even allowing you to grind coffee beans or create your own blends, rushing out to get your morning fix is now a thing of the past.
Nicole Driver from BSH says: “The option to have a cappuccino at the touch of a button or a delicious espresso prepared in your own kitchen will make you feel like a true coffee barista.”
And since coffee machines come in a variety of bold colours and chic designs, you can even display yours on the countertop to be showed off as a decor piece.
While stainless steel remains a popular choice, due to its durability and easy-to-clean properties, it can sometimes be limiting in appearance. The recent desire for personalised spaces has sparked a need for appliances that offer varieties when it comes to aesthetics. Manufacturers have heeded this call and have developed appliances in ranges of bright hues, allowing you to add pops of colour in your kitchen for a guaranteed visual feast.
The trend of the open-plan kitchen and living area is one of the many factors that has inspired a return to classic and retro designs in small appliances. With blurred boundaries between these spaces, the kitchen now has to seamlessly integrate with and complement the overall interior design scheme, resulting in a greater interest in top-of-the-range appliances with a classic or retro influence.
These nostalgic designs are also making a comeback as consumers are seeing the value of investing in timeless pieces that can be incorporated into any interior, while being reminiscent of what was once considered a much simpler time.
Since green living has gone from being a trend to a lifestyle, manufacturers are not only concentrating on the creation of eco-friendly appliances, but are also finding ways of lowering their carbon footprints in the production process.
VOC-free – or at the very least low-VOC – paints, which ensure minimal environmental impact, are just one of the ways manufacturers are being more eco-conscious.
There have also been great advances in energy-efficient products, with benefits including monetary savings. For example, sensor-flow heating is a technology that is integrated into some appliances for quick, efficient and accurate heating – with this type of technology, you will be able to use less energy and at the same time save money.