Appliance Design · Innovative Features · Refrigerator

GE came up with the absolute laziest way to make coffee — and you’re going to love it

As a recent bride, I observed single-serve coffee brewers gaining ubiquity among peers’ registry lists. Nearly all my friends now enjoy the convenient pick-me-up afforded by the Buick of a coffeemaker parked in a space formerly reserved for kitchen prep.

According to a 2014 National Coffee Association coffee drinking trends survey, 29 percent of respondents who drank coffee said they used a single-cup brewer, up nearly 50 percent from the previous year.

Per usual, I bucked the trend because how convenient can a Keurig be when you still have the same amount of steps?

  1. Add coffee
  2. Add water
  3. Brew

(but seriously, we all know the real reason is I’m just too cheap to shell out for K-cups)

So imagine my distaste for crow when GE Cafe announced its Keurig-integrated refrigerator (available fall 2015.

Brewing System 1

IT’S PLUMBED, PEOPLE! Inserting a K-Cup become the only step of your morning coffee routine, as the refrigerator’s dispenser supplies fresh, filtered water for every cup with no need to refill. One-step coffee. Game-changer.

Better yet, using your refrigerator as your coffeemaker means you can reclaim your coveted counter space.

Perhaps for this.
Perhaps for this.

 

dogtreatmaker
Or this.

The partnership evolved from the GE Café French-door refrigerator with a hot water dispenser (also cool for tea drinkers or baby bottle preparers) after current owners saw coffee brewing as the refrigerator’s natural progression and suggested it to GE.

If you want to talk about really fancy, your mobile device connects to the fridge so you can preset your brew time so the water in the reservoir heats up in anticipation of your groggy self impatiently pushing the button the next morning.

Genius.

Side note: Miele began selling a built-in coffee system years ago that had the ability to work with coffee pods

Dishwashers · Innovative Features

GE dishwasher jets pulverize residue in bottles, annoyingly narrow cylinders

If you’ve ever tried to clean baby bottles in your dishwasher, the game-changing-ness of GE’s latest Profile Series dishwasher needs no explanation. This is probably the best dishwasher ever. OK, maybe I’m overreacting a little, but just bear with me. 

New, dedicated jets have been added into the top rack to clean dried milk from a baby bottle or, say, the spinach that gets stuck to the bottom of your smoothie jars in case you’re juicing or whatever.

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No use crying over dried milk, here.

Tines on the upper rack are topped with a blue node that sprays water up into its hard-to-reach area. You load the bottle or other tall, narrow opening cylinder on top of the tines and the water will directly spray into the bottom of the containers.

Or if I’m to explain it in another way:

peanutpeanutbutterandjelly

But why stop there?

Silverware jets obliterate yesterday morning’s peanut butter-covered knives and side jets say adios to that stuck-on enchilada mess left on the casserole dish.

best-dishwasher

For those of you keeping score at home, GE touts 54 percent more cleaning jets than any other dishwasher in the industry — 102, total.

Not only is that a big number, but the wash arms reverse and vary speed to ensure better coverage. It’s also a really good way to confuse the mess left on the plate: just when it thinks you’re coming at it one way…BAM! REVERSING JET!

GE profile dishwashers

It also doesn’t hurt that it’s really pretty.

GE Profile Series PDT750SSFSS
$1200 says you never have to handwash a bottle again after you buy this…

Sleek stainless and hidden controls, because it’s modest like that.

Appliance Design · Dryer · Innovative Features · laundry · Washer

The laundry pair that’s got your back…literally

It’s the reason I was set up with my now-fiance: height. He’s tall, I was told. But I digress…

I’m not the only one who thinks height matters. GE just got taller.

GE’s newest laundry innovation acknowledges that only 60% of consumers buy the washer dryer pedestals recommended to front-load laundry owners to prevent uncomfortable bending and hunching when loading and unloading.

white laundry pedestal

The RightHeight washer and dryer’s built-in risers raise the machines 7 inches off the ground, making it just under 4 feet tall. A traditional laundry pedestal will raise the top of the machine to about 4-½ feet tall, which GE argues limits the function of the top of the machine to storage space instead of a folding surface, as illustrated below:

laundry-pedestal
*Disclaimer* Laundry-doing man & well-behaved child sold separately.

There are a lot of other features that are worth considering, but my favorite is single-item wash, promoted like this:

“Ditch the environmental guilt with this uniquely designed cycle that offers great wash performance for single items.”

In my house it’d be more like:

“Stop feeling like a failure for never getting around to the laundry and just wash outfits on demand!”

Perhaps most importantly, the RightHeight washer and dryer come in fun colors that either match a beautiful, trendy laundry room or grant respite from a hideous basement dungeon area like mine. Introduce some tall and handsome to your dark laundry room 😉

Appliance Design · Innovative Features · Kitchen Design

Colored appliances that trump stainless steel

In recent years, stainless steel appliances gained ubiquity in kitchens throughout Minnesota. Heck, I’ve switched out all of my outdated, white appliances from the last millennium to a stainless steel refrigerator, range and dishwasher.

But despite — or perhaps because of — stainless steel’s popularity, not everyone is looking to replace colored appliances with stainless.

In fact, some publications hint that white is the new stainless, bolstered by manufacturers’ efforts to modernize a color recently associated with outmoded kitchens.

Whichever camp you fall into, here’s a selection of neutrally colored appliances that no one will call mundane.

GE Slate

GE Slate looks similar to stainless steel, but is darker and more matte. Not only is it a visually a departure, but hey, fewer fingerprints to clean off!

geslatekitchenset
GE’s new Slate finish

Because I appreciate using a thesaurus to cure writer’s block as much as GE’s writers apparently do, I’ll re-publish the official copywriting about Slate:

Welcome GE’s new fashion-forward finish, Slate: a color that is just as stylish and sophisticated as stainless steel but with a strong, earthy feel. Sophisticated, modern with a twist of verve, and a dose of stunning. It’s a timeless new finish that beautifully blends in, to help you truly stand out.

I don’t know about you, but that sure inspires some design FOMO in me. My kitchen certainly lacks earthy, twisted verve. To Warner Stellian I go!

Jenn-Air Oiled Bronze

Personally, the first time I saw Oiled Bronze in a showroom, I thought that someone ironically paneled the fridge using plywood found on 1970’s basement walls. But in the right application, as you’ll see below, it’s truly something.

cJennAirOiledBronzeAppliances
Jenn-Air’s Oil Rubbed finish, featured in the hood, ovens and refrigerator.

GE Artistry

GE Artistry Series Black
GE Artistry Series in Black

Though they look like a throwback, GE Artistry appliances were designed for the millennials, specifically first-time home buyers. GE said it felt this modern generation (my generation) would appreciate the reinvented retro look and the “entry-level” price tag of mid $2000s.

geartistrywhitekitchen
GE Artistry also comes in white with stainless steel accents.

Whirlpool Ice Collection

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Whirlpool Ice Collection in Black

Whirlpool modernized its colors from textured white or textured black that was so bumpy, you could cover imperfections with glorified nail polish known as “touch-up paint.” Whirlpool Ice Collection however, is impeccably sleek.

From Whirlpool: “Our contemporary form flows into modern colors elegantly energized with metallic finishes and subtle textures.” So, supposedly the handles are energized but I think they just mean “shiny.” Oooh pretty! Whirlpool Ice comes in White Ice, Black Ice appliances and yes, Stainless.

whirlpool-ice-white
Whirlpool Ice Collection in White
Innovative Features · Refrigerator · Things I Want

3 refrigerators that will make you hate the one you have (sorry)

Remember when refrigerators were just a cold spot to keep your milk? Well, a few brands are recognizing the changing tastes of Americans and the growing role of the kitchen in today’s home with innovations that are convenient and just plain cool!

If you’re like me, you might start second guessing your current model and cursing it for not anticipating your every beverage or grocery shopping need.

Samsung SodaStream refrigerator

samsungfridge462x347_feature2For others like me who like a little pep in their water, the idea of a sparkling water-dispensing Samsung refrigerator is amazing.

You may select up to three levels of carbonation for sparkling water using the same control panel you would use to select water or ice. The sparkling water dispenser uses a standard SodaStream 60L CO2cylinder that rests in a small, concealed area inside the left refrigerator door, which is easily accessible to change when empty.

No more taking up precious fridge space with bottled and canned sparkling water nor creating all that packaging waste; now water dispenses on demand. In addition, you’ll ultimately save money (ultimately…) because sparkling water gets pricey and the cylinder refills aren’t that bad.

GE hot water dispensing refrigerator

gefridgeJust as easily as you can have cold water at the touch of the button, the GE hot water dispenser fridge means no more microwaving water or heating it on the stove for common needs! Think baby formula for gosh sakes. You’ll pour hot, filtered water from your fridge dispenser in minutes. How easy is that?

With four pre-programmed settings for the most common food and drinks, hot water is dispensed at a perfectly accurate temperature every time.

hotwater_temps

Simply select your temperature setting, then use the knob to dispense up to 10 ounces of perfectly heated water.

Plus, water is purified through the only refrigeration filter tested and verified to remove 98% of five trace pharmaceuticals* from water and ice, offering added peace of mind for your family.

The refrigerator comes in both standard-depth and counter-depth styles to suit your kitchen.

LG WiFi LCD screen fridge

lg-refrigerator-lfx28995st-large01lcd-food-management465x265Don’t you hate it when you’re at the grocery store and you think you have sour cream in your fridge but how old is it really? Wouldn’t it be sweet to access that information and an inventory of all your fridge’s contents from your smartphone? (Answer: yes, it would be sweet).

This LG French door refrigerator uses a 10″ WiFi enabled LCD display to manage calendars, check the weather, download recipes from The Food Channel, leave digital notes (“stop drinking out of the milk carton!” or “save that cake for Saturday’s party!!!”) and display family photos. Oh and yes, the “food management system” will help you remember what you have and how long it’s good for. From there, you can create shopping lists that can also be accessed via your smart phone. Super smart, right?

Appliance Design · cooking · Cooktops · Energy Efficiency · Innovative Features

Burner-less induction cooktop senses the shape and location of cookware to heat anywhere on surface

Induction cooktops, already the hottest way to cook, just got hotter.

The new Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop heats up your cookware wheverer you place it - no burners.

No more being limited to four or five burners of the same shape.

The new Thermador Freedom cooktop lets cooks place their cookware anywhere on the cooking surface — even oddly shaped items like griddles or roasting pans (think of the gravy making possibilities).

The cooktop will intelligently recognize the cookware size, shape and position to deliver heat without boundaries.

If you’re wondering, ‘What is an induction cooktop?’ Induction cooking rivals gas cooking’s responsive temperature control while being much more efficient, safer (the surface stays cool to the touch) and the smooth surface naturally is easier to clean.

If you’re really into specifics, here’s more info from Thermador:

  • 48 individual 3-inch induction heating elements translates to a 63-percent more effective cooking area on the surface by eliminating the conventional standard of predefined elements.
  • A 6.5-inch, full-color touchscreen display that recognizes pot shape, size, and controls power setting and cooking time
  • Surface area to accommodate a 21-inch x 13-inch pan with the largest cooking surface in the industry
  • A range of 4,600-watt maximum power output with Boost feature and 15-watt minimum power output

But what would a super innovative product be without a color touchscreen these days? The obligatory touchscreen doesn’t just control temperature but shows the position of all cookware.

The Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop will be available July 2012 with a MSRP of $4,949.

Appliance Design · Design · Innovative Features · Kitchen Design · Refrigerator

Vintage refrigerator for the modern retro kitchen

Move over Big Chill. There’s another brand of retro fridges called Northstar (part of Elmira Stoveworks, which also makes antique appliances).

Those decorating their houses in midcentury modern style want to continue the retro look into the kitchen. But it’s not the best idea to use actual retro appliances.

Why? They’re extremely inefficient, offer smaller capacity than conventional appliances and often run loudly. Plus, if it breaks, good luck finding decades-old parts.

Luckily, Northstar makes retro refrigerators with all the modern features:

  • Modern configurations like bottom freezer style, which keep the food you need most often in easy reach
  • Energy Star rating saves you money on your utility bill
  • 19 cubic feet accommodates way more food than an antique refrigerator
  • Comes in your choice of colors (shown – Cherry Red, White, Bisque, Flamingo Pink, Robin’s Egg Blue, Buttercup Yellow, Textured Black, Mint Green and Quick Silver)
  • Interior lights and freezer baskets
  • See more features and benefits

We’re showing this model, the 1950 in Cherry Red, at our appliance store in Edina across from the Galleria if you want to take a peek. And we deliver and install these for free to our local customers 🙂