For those of us who don't have a live-in housekeeper like Alice on The Brady Bunch, household appliances that allow us to do less cleaning and still have a tidy home are a necessity.
From self-cleaning ovens to steam dishwashers to refrigerators with technology that prevents smudges and smears, multifamily developers and owners are installing appliances that make it easier than ever to avoid dirt and grime.
In fact, one of the biggest trends in appliance design—stainless steel—has its roots in hygiene, points out Mercedes Farrando, director of design services for Beacon Communities, a Boston-based firm that develops and owns both rental and for-sale multifamily communities. “Stainless steel appliances have been popular in commercial kitchens for years because of their durability and the fact that the surfaces are non-porous,” she explains. “Stainless steel gives a sense of cleanliness.”
While stainless steel might be easy to clean, it's very hard to keep clean. It attracts fingerprints and smudges like dogs attract fleas. Oils and other cooking ingredients make it a streaky, icky mess. flat's why Beacon Communities chose Frigidaire's Easy-Care Genuine Stainless Steel line when it renovated the 380-unit Rosemont Square in Randolph, Mass. The company installed dishwashers, refrigerators, and ranges from the EasyCare collection.
“The technology makes it easy for residents to maintain the appliances and keeps the surfaces looking like they are brand new,” Farrando says. “It's an investment that is worthwhile because its stays newer for longer, and you don't have to replace them as often.” In addition to Frigidaire, both GE and Samsung sell stainless steel appliances with a protective coating. GE's CleanSteel line (below) includes refrigerators, cooktops and microwaves, while Samsung's popular French-door refrigerator features the company's platinum stainless finish, which is easier to clean than stainless steel.
Perhaps what is most important is the ability to have a nice and tidy home without spending all your free time with a sponge in hand. “It's a quality of life issue,” Farrando says.
1 ODOR EATER: Kick stinky trash cans to the curb with a trash compactor from KitchenAid's Architect Series II line. The built-in S Series compactor reduces trash volume by up to 80 percent. It features an odor management system with a charcoal filter, odor-control fan, and air freshener to help trap and remove odors, and a Whisper Quiet Plus Insulation System for quiet operation. For more information, call KitchenAid at 800-334-6889 or visit www.kitchenaid.com.
2 GET STEAMED: Ensure spotless dishes with Jenn-Air's Steam-Clean Dishwasher, featuring the exclusive UltraClean wash system that uses steam to sanitize and clean dishes and stemware. The dishwasher offers a filtration system, an automatic temperature control, and a fully integrated control panel. It also boasts a sound-silencing system and is Energy Star qualified. For more information, call Jenn-Air at 800-Jenn-Air or visit www.jennair.com.
3 COOK'S DELIGHT: Part of GE's CleanSteel product line, the Spacemaker microwave oven offers the look of stainless steel without the heavy duty clean-up—wiping up splatters is a breeze. This microwave oven features 10 power levels and a removable oven rack. It's large enough to accommodate oversized, oblong-shaped dishes and makes multi-dish cooking a snap. For more information, call GE at 800-626-2005 or visit www.ge.com.
4 BREATHING EASY: Breathe easier with LG's SteamWasher and SteamDryer. Steam cleaning keep fabrics looking brand new, and the washer features LG's exclusive Allergiene cycle. It is the first washing machine certified as asthma- and allergy-friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The dryer features SteamFresh, to reduce wrinkles and odors. For more information, call LG USA at 800-243-0000 or visit www.lgusa.com.
5 CLOSE REACH: Disorganized refrigerators can be a thing of the past with Samsung's French Door refrigerator. Its wide-open access and larger space puts food items big and small within easy reach. The refrigerator is available in Samsung's platinum stainless finish, designed to eliminate the fingerprint smudges often associated with stainless steel products. For more information, call Samsung at 800-SAMSUNG or visit www.samsung.com.