Smart, Hidden Appliances That Have Changed Our Lives
The latest home technology enhances daily life without all the extra distractions.
Embracing the Future
Devices are becoming more and more intelligent by the day—from smart thermostats that learn your temperature preferences to compact, sleek designs that make appliances less of a focal point. One example: more affordable counter-depth fridges that sit flush with cabinet fronts. “They’re an excellent way to instantly remodel a kitchen on a budget because of their clean, built-in look,” says Lee Lagomarcino, marketing director of refrigerators at GE Appliances. Dishwashers are also growing less obtrusive, thanks to pocket handles and near-silent cycles. “They keep getting quieter because of the way we live now:
In an open floor plan, people may watch a movie 10 feet away from where the dishwasher is running,” Eric Hagerman says. Meanwhile, in the laundry room, a second washer can be added without taking up too much space, thanks to models such as the LG SideKick Pedestal Washer and Samsung FlexWash washer. But the biggest game changer might be Wi-Fi-enabled voice control, which has gone mainstream due to Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. “Alexa was just the beginning,” says Dan DiClerico, smart home strategist and home expert for HomeAdvisor. “We’re seeing whole-house solutions where all components—climate, security, appliances, entertainment—are controlled by voice command.”
5.5 Total Capacity LG TWINWash Bundle with LG SideKick and Electric Dryer
You can now wash two loads at once: a large one in the main compartment and a smaller one in the machine’s base.
Buy It: $4,009; lg.com
72" Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator with Obsidian Interior
Say goodbye to the awkward empty space over the fridge. Jenn-Air designed this 6-foot-tall, slide-in, counter-depth refrigerator to align with standard cabinetry heights.
Buy It: $4,499; jennair.com
39 dBA Dishwasher
Normal conversation clocks in at 60 decibels, but this dishwasher only registers 39 decibels.
Buy It: $1,199; kitchenaid.com
Nest Thermostat E
This thermostat features many of the same temperature-adjustment capabilities as Nest’s original version, but the sleeker design almost disappears when placed on your wall.
Buy It: $169; nest.com
This device has been redesigned for smart-home newbies. Just say, “Alexa, discover my compatible devices,” and the product syncs itself to them automatically so you can look up a recipe or call an Uber without having to use any other apps.
Buy It: $149.99; amazon.com