More and more appliance manufacturers aren't afraid to think small–and for good reason. Mini-sized appliances are in high demand as developers and architects outfit a growing number of smaller apartments and condos.
"When we get to the more urban applications, that is where we are seeing a lot of folks asking for smaller appliances," says Mark Johnson, manager of architecture and design marketing for appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. The company's smaller product offerings include single and double dishwasher drawers, in-sink dishwashers, under-counter beverage centers, and stackable laundry machines.
Just because a product is smaller, however, doesn't mean the price tag is any cheaper than its full-size counterpart. The majority of today's smaller offerings today tend to be luxury appliances targeted at the high-end buyer or renter. "Oftentimes, small appliances are seen as being relegated to folks who are just starting out in life," says Johnson. "But what we are seeing is folks paying a lot for these [urban] places, and they want a high-end appliance to go along with their high-end urban dwelling."
And to meet this high-end demand, manufacturers are packing all the punches into these small products. New offerings from Bosch and Thermador include a 30-inch high-powered PGL gas cooktop (previously offered in a 36" model), a 24-inch depth duel-fuel Pro Harmony Professional Series Range, and an 18-inch dishwasher–all equipped with premium features. "The 18-inch dishwasher will fit perfectly in any small kitchen and still give you the performance that you need," says Marni Hale, public relations manager for BSH Home Appliances, which includes both the Bosch and Thermador brands. "It still holds nine settings, and you still have the performance and the quietness that Bosch is known for."
Condo buyers typically have no complaints about smaller-sized appliances because they are so functional, says David Burstyn, president of Burstyn Properties, a Miami Beach, Fla.-based condo converter. Six of the company's latest projects (with 550-square-feet to 600-square-feet units) will feature compact GE and Frigidaire washers and dryers. "These days, they even have a product that does the washing and drying in the same unit," says Burstyn. "We are looking into using those." Now that's the ultimate space saver.
For more information, contact KitchenAid at 800-422-1230 or visit www.KitchenAid.com.