Even if you build normal-sized homes with space for traditional products, sometimes you have a real need for stylish products that fit a small home or condo. Manufacturers have gotten better at filling this need.
Small, stylish appliances weren’t always easy to find. In fact, once they were rare except by some European brands and specialty U.S. manufacturers. But today if you know where to look, you can find a healthy supply of slim-line dishwashers, refrigerators, cooktops, wall ovens, and more. Even plumbing brands are getting better at making toilets, vanities, and pedestal sinks that fit small bathrooms.
The development could not have come at a better time. With the move toward urban living, small appliances are in demand. Plus, evidence suggests a long-term trend toward slightly smaller houses, even though mainstream homes will never be as small as the tiny-house advocates hope.
“The typical size of newly built single-family homes declined during 2014,” the NAHB wrote last year. “Despite the recent cooling, current typical new home size reflects post-recession increases due to an atypical mix of home buyers. As more first-time buyers return to the market, typical home size will continue to post slight quarterly declines.”
One manufacturer is hoping to capitalize o this trend. Late last year, Bronx, N.Y.-based , Summit Appliance announced a complete line of appliances designed for tiny and micro-kitchens.
“With more and more living spaces decreasing the size of kitchens, we’ve seen a greater need for appliances with smaller footprints than the standard 30-inch stove and refrigerator,” says Paul Storch, president of Felix Storch, parent company of Summit. “With our extensive micro line, even the smallest studio apartment or container home can keep all the conveniences of a working kitchen without wasting an inch of space.”
Summit offers thin-line refrigeration measuring 15 to 24 inches, 12-inch induction cooktops, 18-inch dishwashers, and more products that fit very small spaces. The company says it “specializes in creating space-conscious appliances that offer full function and capacity.”
Summit isn’t the only game in town. Mainstrem companies such as GE, Electrolux, BlueStar, Bosch, Fagor, Sub-Zero, and more offer great looking products with space challenged homes and condos.
Another fortuitous development for small-product makers is future buyer preferences. Experts say the millennials are likely to make a significant impact on home design with their strong preferences for such features as energy efficiency, smart home technology, and smaller homes.
In the meantime, we’ve found a nice collection of elegant products that are small in stature but big on style.
My recently renovated kitchen
My recently renovated kitchen has a 24" Liebherr refrigerator and an 18" Bosch dishwasher. It was a good decision but it does take a bit more planning to own a streamlined appliance, especially when grocery shopping. A happy bonus is I have minimal food waste because of it. I have yet to find a client who doesn't want the largest appliances that can occupy their space, which generally means 48" refrigerators (with water dispenser and ice maker) and 36" cooktops, even at the expense of counter space. I would be glad to see this trend reverse.
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