Most of us view white goods as functional items, preferably not to be seen or heard. But times change, as Sue Cade discovers
In the world of laundry, the traditional white has been given the heave-ho by the brights. Slovenian brand Gorenje offers several statement colours: how about a sunny orange washing machine and matching tumble drier? Equally striking is the fiery red – so exhilarating even the kids will want to wash their clothes, at least until the novelty wears off. Matt Whalley, Head of Sales at H Carter & Sons in Exmouth, says Gorenje has a colour-matching facility, too: provide it with a sample and it’ll paint your washing machine, tumble dryer or fridge to match your décor. Smart. But it’s not just for show – Matt is quick to point out that Gorenje products all come with a five-year warranty. Gorenje’s Simplicity Collection washing machines are a minimum A++ rating with 8kg load and 1140 rpm spin, and the condenser tumble driers can handle a load of up to 8kg. The company also makes eye-catching ‘retro-coloured’ fridges.
With a close eye on environmental impact, the latest washing machines from Siemens use an intelligent water-management system ensuring maximum water efficiency: WaterPerfect Plus recognises fabric types as well as load size – great for your wash, great for the planet. Another exciting feature from Siemens is a new programme called, appropriately, ‘outdoor/waterproofing’. This is perfect for those of us who live in breathable or waterproof outdoor clothing, as it provides special care for such garments. Using a waterproofing agent, together with temperature control and the special drum movements, it will actually renew the waterproofing.
Helen Bartlett, Marketing Manager of award-winning kitchen specialist System Six, is mightily enthusiastic: “I’m really excited about the new wave of Siemens washing machines containing their intuitive iSensoric technology. Personally, I do at least one wash a week of breathable/wicking fabrics and I’ve seen their quality deteriorate through washing in my current basic machine. I have also tried re-proofing waterproof jackets a couple of times with little success. With the new Siemens technology focusing specifically on caring for these types of fabrics, and considering the cost of such clothing, I will certainly be investing in this washing machine.”
On to the chillier side of life and the Samsung Food ShowCase. It’s a fridge within a fridge with a showcase door. The ‘showcase’ is where you keep your family’s favourite foods and snacks, all easily viewed behind the glass door. Five cases allow you to have one per food type, or even a case for each family member; the dog can have one to itself. Deeper inside the fridge is the main store for fruit, veg and meat – and it’s all kept at a perfect temperature with independent cooling systems for fridge and freezer. Available online and at John Lewis.
Alex Newbery from Sapphire Spaces in Topsham is a big fan of fridge and freezer drawers that sit under the countertop. “Many of our kitchens include fridge and freezer drawers and they are very popular in smaller kitchens where space is a consideration. The fridge drawers are equally popular in large kitchens where the main fridge is situated by the food prep zone and a secondary fridge drawer is located in a dedicated drinks area.” There’s oodles of potential, including siting a fridge drawer in a bathroom. Why? So you can pour a bath and a glass of wine at the same time, of course. There are many options for bathroom fridge drawers: Americans swear by them to keep their serums, toners, moisturisers and even perfume in tip-top condition.
And, finally, to the coolest of the cool: a fridge under the bonnet of a car, sized to fit in your home. As you do. The SMEG 500 is a collaboration between Fiat and SMEG to celebrate a long-term partnership dating back to 1948 when SMEG’s first refrigerators were made on Fiat’s production lines. This crazy fridge is ideal for any man’s den, and is on display at the Arrital Kitchens showroom in Estover in Plymouth. Nick Manton from Arrital Kitchens says the iconic fridge is a superlative feature for the showroom, reflecting the design-led ethos of the company. “Arrital is not a conventional kitchen company – we prefer to take a fresh view on how a kitchen can look. We’re not suggesting every kitchen needs a SMEG 500, but it does reflect our idea of pushing the boundaries.” Given its pedigree, it’s not a surprise that this fridge is practical as well as funky, with 100 litres of storage, an A+ rating and automatic defrost function. It also has working headlights – very helpful when you sneak downstairs for an R White’s Lemonade moment.
Perhaps it’s time to change our thinking about white goods, and find a place in our hearts and our kitchens for them, once again.
Devon Home is published by We Make Magazines, a family-owned Devon company. The only specialist interiors magazine for the county, Devon Home is a celebration of homes, gardens and interiors, with expert information from local designers, architects and craftspeople. Together with our Devon-based writers and sales team, we show you how to improve and love your living space.
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