The people behind the Parade of Homes (the Builders Association of the Twin Cities) awarded 14 of the best homes on the tour with the coveted Reggie Award, as chosen by peers and the members of the public.
Because of our help with two of those projects, we’ve got a Trillium Award for each hand (in case one gets jealous).
We’re so proud to be involved in these award-winning projects and honored to be recognized. Thanks to all involved!
For your wino friends (or wannabe winos), this compact wine cooler ($150) stores and displays 16 bottles behind a sleek, mirrored finish door. Adjust temperatures for various wines with the soft touch controls with digital display.
How awesome would this Weber Q gas grill ($150) be for all those early morning grill outs and picnics? It’s also a very discreet option for those whose apartments or condos don’t allow grills (speaking from experience). This mini grill crams 889 sq. inches of cooking space into a 27″x16″ footprint of only 60 pounds. And you can purchase the optional Weber Q Grill rolling cart for $45.
For friends and family who’ve recently gained a furry friend, the Dyson Animal DC25 ($550) is probably the ultimate gift. This root cyclone vacuum is designed for homes with pets and is certified asthma and allergy friendly with a washable lifetime HEPA filter.
Miele vacuums, rated to last 20 years, are a great gift for someone just starting out in her home. Plus, they come in cute colors, like this Miele Polaris vacuum in light blue ($399). I’ve blogged about them before, because I love how quiet they are, how well they clean, and how long they last.
There aren’t many grills that produce the a fanatic with their own name, like the Big Green Egg does. “Eggheads” rave that this ceramic smoker is the ultimate for meats, fish, vegetables and any other creation grillers cook up.
The Liebherr humidor XS-200 is definitely one of those big, spendy holiday gifts, at $2,599. But it’s completely distinctive, with European-style stainless steel and glass displaying cigars housed with premium preservation elements (humidity, temperature and hygienic conditions).
This summer, I’ll be receiving a box of fresh produce weekly from a farm share, which makes Liebherr’s dual-compression system an ideal choice.
Standard refrigerators first cool the freezer — meaning the moisture is pulled out of the air as its cooled (think about your skin in the winter) — and then send that air into the refrigerator compartment. So, instead of produce getting the moisture ideal for preservation (think about the sprinklers in the grocery store produce displays), dry air actually draws moisture out of your food.
In Liebherr refrigerators, separate compressors keep colder, dry air in the the freezer away from the moist air in the refrigerator. Produce “keeps” much longer, meaning you throw out much less expensive fresh foods.
Not keen on veggies? You can keep fresh meat and fish in the refrigerator days longer before it needs to be used or frozen.
One by one (or two), I’ll replace each of the appliance, either to improve efficiency and performance or because one simply konks out. And in the case of the fridge, that could be sooner rather than later…
Appliances don’t come cheap, and though I get a discount on them, they’re still an investment. So I’ll have to decide where to spend my money and where to save.
Because it’s dominating my thoughts the last few days, I’m going to channel my forthcoming appliance purchases into a series of blog posts called “Things I Want.” I’ll write them based on what I’d pick if I were going shopping today.
My criteria considers performance, features, aesthetics, durability, efficiency, price and warranty — not equally, however. And they all must be sold at Warners’ Stellian, obviously. But there’s really nothing I’d want that we don’t sell.
I’ll split it into two categories, one aspirational and the other more achievable. I’m trying to think of what to call each category, and I keep thinking I’m ripping “Desired/Acquired” from something. But until I find out for sure…
I stress to customers the importance of selecting a product based on individual personal needs, rather than simply following Consumer Reports or a friend’s suggestion.
These sources can help validate a decision, but ultimately, your lifestyle is not your friend’s lifestyle — and I’m sure it’s certainly not Consumer Report’s lifestyle.
Saying that, I think it’s interesting to know what we sell the most of in each category. And in dishwashers, it’s the Bosch Evolution 300 series (models SHE43P02UC white or SHE43P05UC stainless steel).
It makes sense for the value. This European dishwasher is packed with features for $600 (stainless costs $100 more):
Energy Star qualified
Engineered to be super quiet (52 dBa)
14-place setting capacity, with adjustable upper rack for taller pots, etc.
4 wash cycles, including 30-minute Quick Wash
OptiDry for spotless drying
NSF Certified – Eliminates 99.9% of Bacteria
Of course there are a ton more features, but I’m only highlighting the ones I found most interesting.
And some features require more explanation, mostly because they’re branded (note the ™) with names that don’t really explain what they do, like AquaStop™.
So, for those keeping score at home, AquaStop™ detects leaks in the solid molded base of the dishwasher, shuts down operation and automatically pumps out water before contact with floors. Some won’t understand why this is important. And the rest of you had to replace an entire kitchen’s worth of hardwood floors and cabinetry due to leaking. Trust me: it’s important.
The Flow-Through Heater™ warms water (up to 161 degrees) more efficiently by having it flow through a heating chamber. Other manufacturers use conventional heating elements where water falls randomly onto a coil, warming it inefficiently. This is bad.
And, for the smart feature with the stupid name win: EcoSense™. Standard dishwashers constantly bring fresh water into the dishwasher, which could be completely unnecessary — the water might not be that dirty. So Bosch, being the energy efficient thinker it is, put a sensor in that checks to see how clean or dirty the water is and decides whether a fresh water refill is necessary and will customize the selected cycle to the individual load of dishes.
Again, this might not be the dishwasher for you, but there are a ton of different Bosch dishwashers so perhaps you might find that works best for you.