By Mark Eglington
Art, customization and connectivity have entered the appliance world in a big way over the past 12 months.
Fiat created a bar fridge in the shape of its iconic cars. Dolce & Gabbana brightened up the kitchen with artful SMEGs. And, my new fridge and my phone learned to talk to each other. All just the beginning, according to our experts.
High fashion meets design
Dolce & Gabbana came into kitchen with SMEG to create ‘Sicily is my Love’, a stunning collaboration that has creative experts from the fashion and design world creating eye-catching domestic appliances that tell a truly Italian story.
Last year’s Made in Italy project saw 100 unique hand-painted SMEG refrigerators created for clients around the world. Each retro special edition of the FAB28 refrigerator became a collectible work of art by Sicilian artists; featuring meticulous floral and fruit motives, medieval knights and battle scenes as well as the distinctive elements of the poetic marionette theatre and the Sicilian Cart.
Now, the team has collaborated on a line of SMEG small appliances that are expected to sell out quickly: toasters, citrus juicers, coffee machines, kettles, blenders, stand mixers and slow juicers. Each is also decorated with the aesthetic style of Domenico Dolce and Stafano Gabbana, their folklore interpretations: the typical food of southern Italy, lemons, prickly pears, and bright red cherries framed in triangular motifs known as crocchi. The designers have also incorporated delicate floral motifs and images of Mount Etna, surrounded by ornamental friezes, and decorative acanthus leaves.
Smart cooks need a smart kitchen
So ultimately, can you talk to your fridge and buy kitchen appliances instead of art? Seems so.
Liebherr’s new Monolith refrigerator comes with a ‘SmartDeviceBox’ that you can control with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. And, the optional fridge can help you see what’s currently in your fridge from anywhere you are connected. It’s a whole new way for us to be clever in the kitchen.
The folks at Fiat have brought us their own sexy little accessory that’s bright red, part car and part bar fridge. A hot seller this season for the guy who has everything. Also, Gorenje has followed suit with its own stylish VW fridge.
And, speaking of clever, in a world where our homes are increasingly connected, our fridges will soon let us build grocery lists, check on items that are stale/expired and receive alerts when our supplies are running low.
How smart is that!
Mark Eglington is the son of a South African who taught him how to sell the very best European appliances to Canadians. He grew up in Oakville, got his MBA in Australia and, along the way, interned at the Liebherr factory in Germany.