Check out the latest timesaving, style-improving gadgets for the home.
by Matthew M. F. Miller
Delicates, colors, whites, your child’s muddy-yet-fragile teddy bear – the various and mountainous loads of laundry can keep the average family washing, drying and folding every day of the week. According to Home Water Works, a project of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry per year – nearly six loads every week.
To help reduce laundry days, Samsung has introduced the FlexWash + FlexDry system, which allows users to do two cycles of laundry simultaneously. The 5-cubic-foot capacity lower washer is designed to handle a normal load of laundry, while the 1-cubic-foot capacity upper washer is ideal for smaller loads, especially those items that need washed on delicate. FlexWash requires one water line hookup similar to most other units. You can even schedule cycles using your smartphone.
FlexDry’s bottom compartment offers a fairly standard 7.5 cubic feet of laundry drying space. The top compartment is designed for delicate items, which can be laid flat to dry, which means they won’t be tossed around.
FlexWash is available in black, stainless steel and white with the MSRP starting at $1,599. FlexDry is available as gas and electric models, and comes in black stainless steel and white with the MSRP starting at $1,599.
Say ‘Oui’ to Baking
Be it a double wall unit or the classic underneath-your-cooking-range model, the average home oven has featured a standard bottom-hinged, pull-down door for decades. In an effort to infuse the heart of the home with commercial kitchen and high-end bakery style, General Electric has introduced the Café Series 30” Built-In French-Door Single Convection Wall Oven. Pull one handle to open both doors at the same time. Built-in WiFi allows users to control the oven’s functions, such as preheating, using the voice-controlled Amazon Alexa or a smartphone. A compact 5 cubic feet, the unit includes one self-cleaning heavy-duty rack and two self-cleaning roller racks, and allows for six different shelf positions. Style comes with a price – the MSRP is $3999.
Microwaving to the Future
It’s a must-have in every kitchen, but let’s face it – the microwave isn’t the most attractive of appliances. And aside from it being a clumsy looking reheat, defrost and popcorn popping staple, it’s everyday utility can be fairly limited. For those home cooks looking for a little more function and a lot less of the ugly, cumbersome door handle, LG has created the NeoChef microwave. Designed with a matte exterior and a minimalist design (no door handle!) to blend into a modern kitchen aethetic, the true highlight here is LG’s “Smart Inverter” technology, which not only reduces cook time, but also allows for more creative uses – think yogurt making, dough proofing and chocolate melting. Replacing the standard circular rotation ring that sits beneath the warming tray is a hexagonal-shaped ring aimed to stabilize the turntable even when heavy objects are placed on the perimeter. It’s also, apparently, easier to clean. According to LG, the “Anti-Bacterial EasyClean™ Coating inside NeoChef eliminates 99.99 percent of harmful bacteria with just three wipes. MSRP starts at $139.99