It seems like an oxymoron, high-end kitchens in tiny houses, small apartments, and condos. Unlike sprawling suburban spreads with refrigerators resembling luxury SUVs, those in increasingly dense cities have long been versed in the fine art of balancing style with space. Shoebox-sized dwellings in pre-war walk ups or newly constructed micro apartments, can make shopping for appliances torturous. Spare inches are prized as highly as precious gemstones.
The tiny house trend, however, has not fallen on deaf ears when it comes to appliance manufacturers. Recently 24-inch refrigerators and 18-inch dishwashers have been invading the luxury condo sphere enabling owners to turn their pint-sized pads in princely urban retreats. Here are some of the best according to online test-based results and other reviews.
Liebherr specializes in refrigerators. In fact, when it comes to the kitchen it’s all they make. Known for upscale wine refrigerators and pro-freezers, the company doesn’t downsize the quality with the smaller model. Tall and slim, like the supermodel of the kitchen it is, this 24 1/8-inch wide by 79 3/16-inch high take up a small footprint while making up for it with vertical space.
LEDs illuminate frosted glass shelves and metal accents. Surprisingly for such a compact unit, there’s also an ice maker. The review also highlighted the consistent temperature over 72 hours eliminating freezer burn, an issue with other freezers.
This is the equivalent of putting a Ferrari inside an Oldsmobile. Don’t let SMEG’s retro design fool you. This is a high end, slim line refrigerator with LED lighting, no frost, fast freezing and a “snowflake” setting, which means no heating is possible anywhere in the appliance. Dependable and consistent cold all the time, every time.
Also from SMEG is this svelte range in gleaming stainless steel. Its no-nonsense look belies its versatile capabilities. On the stovetop, the right rear gas element is a double inset super burner with a maximum power of a blistering 15,000 BTUs so you’ll be able to sear your meats and fishes to perfection. The range also includes a wok ring so you can use this high heat for delicious stir-fry.
The oven is no less impressive. It has a surprisingly spacious capacity of 2.8 cu. ft. It puts this space to good use with 3 cooking modes – defrost, gas convection, and broil. The Ever-Clean enameled interior prevents food from sticking and burning so you won’t have to spend time on your knees scrubbing.
This compact cooktop from Wolf packs a powerful punch. The three heating elements vary in size to accommodate pans large and small with a scratch resistant surface to keep things looking good. Our review notes its “lightning fast high heat or very low lows” and a simmer setting to ensure the only thing scorching in your dishes is the taste.
The cooktop is mounted flush with the countertop for a seamless, clean look. As with all induction cooktops safety weighs heavily in its favor. The only way the burners can be activated are with induction-compatible pans. And of course, no flame means no fires.
Like the Wolf cooktop, this one by Miele (which would be nicely complemented by Miele’s DG6600 24-Inch Electric Wall Oven from their PureLine Series or the H4682BBL 24 Inch Electric Single Wall Oven) has three powerful cooking zones activated by induction-compatible pans.
This differs though, because of Miele PowerFlex zone which combines two zones into a unique large zone, making it more amenable for larger pans. It also features Con@ctivity 2.0 which allows communication between the cooktop and a hood.
A logical partner for the previously mentioned induction cooktop, this wall oven is the first 24-inch built-in model from Wolf. Highlights include 11 cooking modes for greater variety in food styles, multiple design options meaning small can also be sleek, convection heat for consistent cooking, a self-cleaning feature an overall capacity of 2.4 cu. ft. and a quick pre-heat, around 50% faster than many other ovens.
Featuring a large 3.3 cu ft oven, this model from Frigidaire carries all the features of larger oven – Ready-Select Controls for easy temperature settings, a Vari-Broil Temperature Control with two heat levels, and Dual Radiant baking and roasting
Bosch appliances are extremely popular in Europe where kitchens are generally smaller. They have a variety of models – the entry level Ascenta Series, the 300 Series and 500 Series. For the purposes of this review we will focus on the 800 Series.
Primarily the 800 Series is quieter, has more folding tines – and this is the kicker – there is a water softener option higher up the line and also a model with smartphone connectivity. You’ll need to do your research if you want to buy a 800 Series dishwasher as there are brain scrabbling 30 models in the line. To put it all in perspective, reviewed.com makes this emphatic statement: “The Bosch 800 Series is the best dishwasher we’ve ever tested.”
This dishwasher drawer from Fisher Paykel means that even if you can’t fit in a tall dishwasher, you can still get your flatware cleaned. Believe it or not, you can fit up to 12 plates inside – a half load for quick turn arounds.
One of the best facets of these drawers is its flexibility. It can be placed at counter height for minimal kneeling and bending. There are 6 wash programs, fan assisted drying and quiet operation.
This model from Blomberg has all the elements you’d expect in quality washer including 15 different programs such as Heavy Duty, Whites, Jeans, Woolens, Delicates, and more. It also boasts an LED display and various spin speeds. However, one of its greatest uses is that it’s a wonderful accompaniment to Blomberg’s same sized electric dryer as seen below.
One of the biggest hang-ups about getting a drier installed is the need to run a separate gas line and vent outside. Blomberg have designed the solution many space challenged condo owners have been craving – an electric drier which can go toe to toe with its gas guzzling counterparts. There are many positives about owning one of these: It’s Energy Star® certified and the most energy efficient model in its size.
Of course, being ventless means huge flexibility on where to place it in your home. A ventless heat pump technology boots efficiency and for its size it can handle an impressive 13 bath towels in one load which makes it perfect for summer pool parties. We hasten to add, though, bath towels are not all it washes!
Another manufacturer known for their compactness and efficiency is Electrolux. The 6 wash cycles, IQ-Touch controls and 1400 RPM spin capacity along with its energy star rating make it a compact but capable washer for small spaces.
This electric dryer is a perfect pairing for the washer (above) of the same size. The ventless model utilizes has a condensation dryer which uses a heat exchanger to cool the air and condense the water vapor into either a drain pipe or a collection tank, making it eco-friendly.
A direct drain kit is included. Other features include 7 dry cycles and Gentry Dry which uses lower heat for greater care with clothes, protecting them over-drying, shrinking and wrinkling.