Archive for the ‘Kitchen appliances’ Category
Monday, July 6th, 2015
Are you a fan of single, standalone tumble dryers? Or are you of the view that a combined washer dryer does the job okay? Opinions on tumble dryers versus washer-dryers seem to vary – there are those that love ‘em and those that hate ‘em – but investing in a tumble dryer, as opposed to a combined washer dryer, does have its benefits. Here’s an insight into why.
For a start, it’s a specialist machine and the single option tends to be more efficient overall than a machine designed to both wash and dry.
The amount of washing a tumble dryer can cope with is generally more than a combined machine (as I have found out, to my detriment). Although you may wash your normal load in the machine, in order to get the best out of the drying capabilities, you’re likely to need to remove some of the wet washing before you can dry the rest.
In fact, some combined machines are only able to effectively dry half the amount that they can wash. So unless you put it on for two drying cycles (which costs more and uses more energy), you’re left with some wet laundry.
Hot on the heels of a tumble dryer’s drying capacity comes issues relating to cooling. A good brand of standalone tumble dryer uk is designed to have an effective cooling down function. This means that by the time you open the door and take out your tumble dried washing, it’s cool.
In contrast, with many combined washer dryers, when the drying cycle has stopped, you’ll often find that your clothes are still very warm when you take them out. Yes, your items will feel cosy and warm to your touch on a cold day, but it does indicate that the cooling function on the machine isn’t as good.
Faster drying times
Thanks to their larger drum, a tumble dryer is able to dry items at a much faster rate than a combined washer dryer.
Plus, as there’s more room inside the drum, items are less likely to come out looking creased. So there’s more of a chance you won’t have to do any ironing – bonus!
When it comes to having two machines in a small home, space can be an issue. But there are ways around it that can help overcome space restrictions and give you the ability to have both a washing machine and a tumble dryer.
A tumble dryer can be stacked on top of a washing machine, for example (just ensure it’s done in a safe manner), or it could be installed in a garage or in an understairs cupboard.
We’ve even come across some instances where people have taken out the bath in their bathroom and installed a shower instead – leaving space in the bathroom for a tumble dryer (and if you don’t want it on show, it can be hidden in a built in cupboard).
And finally, it’s worth considering the technology involved in each machine. A tumble dryer benefits from being devoted to one type of function – drying your washing – and the technology and machine capabilities reflect this,
Although washer dryers are more advanced these days, as there’s two main types of technology involved, the drying part may be less sophisticated than the offerings of a pure tumble dryer. For example, it may have fewer settings and do a bit less.
The Fresh Design conclusion
There’s no denying that combined washing and tumble drying machines certainly do have their place and, if you’re not going to be doing multiple loads of washing and drying, do their job well. But if you’ve got lots to wash and dry, or want to benefit from being able to dry more in one go, the lack of a separate machine can be frustrating.
So if you’re in the market for a new machine, it’s definitely worth weighing up the pros and cons and seeing which could serve your needs better. A single tumble dryer may be a bit more of an investment, but it could well save you lots of time and hassle in the long run.
Saturday, May 16th, 2015
What would your perfect fridge design be?
Whether you’re a fan of simple and minimal, smart and sophisticated, or bold and bright, now’s the time to unleash your creative talents and take part in a fridge design contest.
It’s being run by Liebherr over at www.designyourfridge.com. You can either create your design using their 3D configurator or a Photoshop design template.
Once uploaded, your design will be put to a vote and at the end of the promotion, prizes will be awarded to the top three fridges with the most votes. The ultimate prize, of course, is that the winning fridge designs will be transformed into actual fridges.
It looks like a fun competition, especially for budding designers, so pop over and give it a go! We’d love to see your fridge design ideas too, so leave us a link to your creations in the comments below.
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
It’s been a few weeks now since we started testing out the Samsung Motion Sync 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner, so we’re back to provide you with a more in-depth review of its performance and our experiences.
To recap, the VU7000 motion sync 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner is a modern, sleek and well designed cleaner that promises the following key factors:
- Powerful suction
- Extra power
- Dust and allergen filtration
- Top technology for an easy cleaning experience
- A detachable handheld vacuum (the 2-in-1 element)
As our previous post outlined, on first impressions, we were particularly interested in its design, upright shape, dust and allergen fighting ability and the technology it offered.
So how did we get on with further testing?
Fresh Design tests the Samsung VU7000 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner
Christmas proved to be quite a good time to test out a vacuum cleaner.
All the celebrations and food and drink, not forgetting the Christmas tree, created mess that needed to be cleaned up – think crumbs, spillages and pine needles, plus lots of people traipsing in and out. So it was ideal to have a cleaning machine at hand ready to tackle the debris.
We put the VU7000 vacuum cleaner through its paces, exploring how it coped with cleaning a variety of different surfaces and debris.
We gave the cleaner a good workout on carpeted floors as well as stairs.
On the carpet setting, the effectiveness of the cleaning function did seem to be a bit variable. Some dirt got picked up well, but other bits of debris seemed to be left behind (e.g. there were various bits of thread from Christmas decorations and gift tags that ended up on the floor and these weren’t picked up properly when they were on carpet).
This was a bit disappointing, but after some experimentation, we discovered that the picking up ability was better if we changed the setting and lowered the brush wheel. This is allegedly designed for hard floors, but did seem to work well on carpets too.
The hard floor setting of the vacuum is ideal for cleaning on tiled floors. The machine glides well on the surface and successfully picked up all the dust, dirt and debris.
The vacuum cleaner is great at coping with going around corners and getting into awkward spaces.
It’s designed to have a nifty swivel brush and this feature works exceptionally well. It moves with ease and effortlessly swivels around the corners that other vacuum cleaners fail to clean effectively.
The stairs we tried the vacuum on were carpeted and, as mentioned before, it didn’t seem to pick up all the dirt when it was set on the carpet setting.
The vacuum is heavier than machines we’ve used previously, so this did make a difference too. It’s okay for carting up one flight of stairs, but we wouldn’t want to have to keep lugging it up and down more. This might be a personal thing though.
What was useful though was the smaller detachable handheld cleaner – this was lighter and easier to use on a step-by-step cleaning basis.
On blinds, curtains and behind furniture
The smaller, detachable cleaner has its own built in motor and is a great piece of equipment in its own right. In fact, it proved ideal for cleaning dust off blinds and curtains – areas that hadn’t been cleaned for a while.
It was also useful for getting in behind pieces of furniture, like cupboards and chairs, where you can’t normally get a vacuum. The nozzle is suitably slimline to squeeze around the back of furniture and along skirting boards to clean off the dust. The fact that there were no lengthy cables attached was an extra bonus.
Fresh Design verdict on the Samsung VU7000 vacuum cleaner
Overall, we’re fairly pleased with our experience of trying out Samsung’s VU7000 motion sync 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner.
The best bit by far is the mini handheld vacuum cleaner – what a fabulous design and great idea. It’s incredibly useful to have it built into the main machine, whilst also being completely detachable, and we can see this being used time and time again.
It worked well on hard floors and tiles, but was a little bit hit and miss with carpets.
We liked the fact that it had a long cable and plenty of room to be able to wind this around the back when not in use and the fact that it’s bagless, which makes emptying the dust out easy to do. Although seeing the dust collecting inside can be a bit of a shock (how much dust?! Where does it keep coming from?) it can actually be quite motivating to see that the work you’re doing is fruitful.
It’s also a good model in terms of height – no more getting an achey back when vacuuming.
It is heavier than vacuum’s we’ve been used to and this doesn’t make it so easy for carrying up and down flights of stairs. If you’re living in a multi-storey house, then it’s definitely worth trying it out in store before you buy to see if the weight of it works for you.
After only a few weeks use, it’s hard to tell if it makes a major difference in terms of allergies, but we’ll be interested to explore this further.
To find out more about the VU7000 and see it in action, take a look at this:
Disclosure: We were sent a VU7000 to review, but all views and opinions are our own.
This post is featured in the #loveyourhome linky:
Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
A few weeks ago, my laundry routine was overturned by the arrival of the WW9000 washing machine, a new product from Samsung, and I wrote at the time about my first impressions of this addition to my household arsenal. Now, the WW9000 and I have had time to get acquainted. Here’s how it went.
Features of the WW9000
* One of the most promoted features of this new machine is the intuitive touch screen interface, which offers you a range of wash options at the touch of a button. It will also store your ‘most used’ preferences for quicker access. The menu reveals a whole range of washing options, ranging from the conventional ‘wool’ and ‘delicates’ programmes to the more exotic sounding ‘active sports’ and ‘outdoor care’ (for walking jackets etc).
* There’s also a specific ‘babycare’ programme for parents. If that all sounds a bit complicated, the machine also has an ‘auto optimal wash’ setting which automatically detects the best temperature, time, rinse cycle and spin speed. You can even choose between ‘super speed’ and ‘super eco’ – in fact, the WW9000 has excellent eco credentials, and as it holds up to 10kg of washing at once, you’ll be able to wash more in fewer loads which is good news for both you and the environment.
* Next on the list is the ‘auto dispense‘ feature for detergent and conditioner. This is a reservoir at the bottom of the machine that you fill up with the products of your choice. The WW9000 then dispenses the right amount of product for your specific wash, so there’s no need to add detergent each time (although you can disable this feature for specific loads if you want to, for example if you’re washing towels and don’t want to use any conditioner).
* Like many things these days, the WW9000 is really a computer. It’s possible to control it remotely from a Smartphone, meaning you can start, cancel or pause a cycle or check where it’s up to without actually being at home.
* Ecobubble technology is another selling point. Air and water are pulled in to generate bubbles, dissolving and activating the detergent, which then penetrates faster and more evenly throughout the wash load. This feature also seemed to mean that the clothes came out less creased, and some I didn’t need to iron at all.
How it worked
I loved the sleek, minimalist look of this machine, which fitted well into my traditional decor. The touchscreen technology meant there were literally no controls except the screen and an on button, making it look very clean and unfussy. I couldn’t wait to try it out.
From the everyday to the speciality, there’s a setting for every occasion
First up was a ‘normal’ load of laundry, mostly cottons including T-shirts and shirts. The large capacity meant I could add over half as much again compared to my old 6kg machine, which was very satisfying. I used the ‘cotton’ cycle, and the machine showed me a progress bar all the time so I could see where it was up to with the wash. The wash quality was excellent, and the machine offered me the chance to see the eco impact of the wash afterwards.
Next, I experimented with a large tablecloth that’s never before been washed at home as it was too heavy for my old machine. This had several old food stains which a commercial washing machine had failed to remove. I was pleased with the results of this wash in the WW9000 – many of the stains were removed or greatly reduced when using the Cooking and Dining cycle, even though they weren’t freshly made. The only exception was a red wine stain – well, you can’t expect miracles!
The Cooking and Dining cycle comes up trumps
The final test was a fleece rug belonging to my horse. Although it’s washable, I’ve never before tried to wash it in a machine as it’s quite big and heavy. After weighing it dry, I was pleased to find it was well within the machine’s capacity. As horse hair and washing machines don’t tend to mix, I first put it in a special wash bag to protect the machine’s drum from the fur and buckles – these bags are also great for dog and cat beds. I ran it through on the synthetics cycle, and the rug came out looking like new although it was at least five years old.
I was also keen to try the Smartphone feature, although as I work from home this is probably of less use to me that it would be another user. It was easy to use though, and would be a godsend if you set off on the school run having forgotten to turn the machine on.
All in all, I can honestly say I loved the Samsung WW9000 washing machine. At £1,499 it’s not cheap, but the cleaning performance, eco credentials and functionality are all outstanding. For more information, visit the WW9000 product page on the Samsung website.
Monday, September 1st, 2014
For a while now, my washing machine has been on its last…er…cogs. Odd subterranean noises during the spin cycle and a tendency to tango into the middle of the room on a high speed spin were starting to alarm me, and it was time to look around for a replacement.
Enter the Samsung WW9000 ecobubble touchscreen washing machine, possibly the sleekest, most high tech washing machine I’ve ever seen. If astronauts ever needed something to get the lunar dust out of their spacesuits, this is the machine they’d want installing in the space station.
Touch screen technology mean that all unnecessary knobs and buttons have been removed, leaving a neat control panel and a nice clean design. With a whopping 10kg capacity and capable of running a full cycle in less than an hour, it’s ideal for families or anyone with a busy life, and you can even control it from your Smartphone.
Energy efficiency class A+++ (-50%)
- Annual energy consumption: 119kWh
- Annual water consumption: 11500L
- Spin efficiency A
- Noise level (wash) 46dB
- Noise level (spin) 72dB
- Maximum spin speed 1600rpm
Samsung WW9000 washing machine
The Samsung WW9000 control panel
Despite its space-age functionality, the WW9000 fits well into my traditional, painted kitchen as the design is so neat. The door and drum are larger than usual, but otherwise the machine has a clean, unfussy frontage and isn’t intrusive.
My first thought was that the WW9000 was pretty complicated with its wide range of wash cycles – but I soon realised it’s actually been designed for people like me, who aren’t exactly domestic goddesses.
The secret is to leave the programme set to ‘auto optimal wash’. Once you’ve done that, the WW9000 will automatically weigh and assess your washing (yes, really!) and wash it accordingly. Although there’s a wide range of specialist washes, such as ‘sports’ and ‘wool’, that means I only have to think about it if I’m doing something out of the ordinary.
The Samsung WW9000 intelligently sorts your laundry
If you can use a computer, Smartphone or tablet, you’ll be able to use this machine with ease as it’s very intuitive.
Bits I loved
- When it’s finished a load, the WW9000 plays a happy little tune to alert you to the fact of a job well done, which was oddly satisfying.
- The internal drum light seems like a gimmick at first, but is actually great for making sure you haven’t left any orphan socks behind.
- Its large capacity, meaning fewer loads to get the job done.
- The noise – or rather, almost complete lack of it. With my previous washing machine, it was hard to have a conversation with someone in the same room if the spin cycle was on. With the WW9000, you have to stick your ear right against the drum before you can tell it’s running.
The Samsung WW9000, WW10H9600 retails at £1,700. For more information, to order or to find stockists, please visit the Samsung website.
By Sara Walker
Thursday, May 8th, 2014
This year John Lewis are celebrating 150 years of trading and, as part of their special product range to celebrate the event, they’ve been releasing various limited edition items. One of these is in conjunctionwith Smeg, who have produced a stunning limited edition fridge freezer.
The FAB28RD is produced with a stunning floral design. The Cummersdale print comes from the John Lewis historic pattern archive, and dates back to 1864 – when John Lewis was originally founded. It’s been updated a bit to make it slightly more contemporary and the end result is gorgeous.
The fridge freezer is available in two colourways – a sunny citrene yellow and a striking grey steel – and each has a hand-applied stencil design and lacquer finish. It’s very much a limited edition item, as only 104 of the bespoke fridges have been made.
We love the uplifting, zesty look of the yellow fridge, but the stencilled design shows up brilliantly on the grey.
You can find out more details about the celebratory Smeg fridges on the John Lewis website, where they’re available for pre-order.