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Lisa Mende Design in The Wall Street Journal “Honey I Shrunk the Fridge”

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Recently, Ellen Byron, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal, interviewed me about the evolution of appliances.  I don’t know if you are aware, but high-performance appliances in smaller sizes with versatility is the latest trend in appliances.  Consumers who want quality, high-end appliances in smaller sizes can finally get their wish.  Smaller appliances have long been a trend in Europe.  Americans are  realizing the benefit of the smaller appliances.
Companies attuned to consumer needs like Thermador Home Appliances have recently unveiled appliances such as a 30″ professional range, a compact steam oven, and a variety of appliances that offer options for smaller kitchens like wine columns, refrigerator/freezer columns, and refrigerator drawers.  
What need do these newly sized appliances offer the consumer, you may ask?  The trend to downsize appliances is being driven by two major shifts studied in U.S. households: 1) More people are downsizing to smaller dwellings, and more consumers want appliances in auxiliary rooms in their homes beyond the kitchen such as the media room, master bedroom or guest quarters.  When bought for spaces such as the master closet, mother-in-law suite or other areas, consumers don’t need the full-size appliance in several locations in the home, so the smaller appliance fits the need without taking up so much space.
Smaller appliances offer the same quality functions as their larger counterparts and are perfect for apartments, condos, smaller homes or auxiliary spaces in larger homes.   In Metropolitan cities where square footage is at a premium, city dwellers often have tiny kitchens but often still want to be able to prepare chef quality meals.  The advent of the smaller appliance with multiple options allows the person with the small kitchen the same cooking, prepping and storage options as those in larger homes.  Studies show this trend isn’t just in New York city but in towns across the country like Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. 
“Thermador prefers the term “compact” over “small,” says Beatriz Sandoval, the company’s director of brand marketing. “They’re looking for big impact in a compact space,” she says.”
“Giant homes also propel demand for diminutive appliances, Thermador says, especially for the company’s under-the-counter refrigerators and wine reserves, including some  are hidden inside custom-paneled drawers. “Pool houses, auxiliary bars, man caves, pantries and secondary kitchens —these [appliances] are so compact they can fit anywhere,” says Ms. Sandoval. “Some very high-end makeup needs refrigeration in the master bathroom, and you can put in water, juices, and some medications, too.”
Let’s look at some of the smaller options I love from Thermador Home:
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Photography by Christina Wedge
In this guest cottage I designed along with Shaun Smith Home in New Orleans, we placed the 30″ Thermador range. 
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The Thermador 30″ Pro Harmony Range gives you the same great cooking options with the Star burners with QuickClean Base and allows easy access under the burner for effortless cleaning. Available in all gas, dual fuel and available in 24 standard depth.

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Photography by Dustin Peck Photography
The first item of business when choosing appliances is to decide how you function.  Perhaps you are not a cook, but would like to reheat take out leftovers.  The microwave door from Thermador Appliances is a great out of the way items when tucked into cabinetry as shown here.  
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Thermador fully flush microwave drawer offers open and close touch option, 1.2 cubic feet cavity and will accommodate a 13″x9″ pan.  
For compact refrigeration options:  
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 Thermador fully flush double drawer refrigeration models integrate seamlessly into 24″ depth cabinetry and feature exclusive SoftClose hinges and slides. Choose from Professional or Masterpiece stainless steel options or design a custom panel.  In addition to larger appliances in kitchens for added storage or in guest suites, pool houses or master suites where added refrigeration is desired without full-size appliances.

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 Thermador under the counter wine reserve integrate seamlessly into 24″ depth cabinetry and feature exclusive SoftClose hinges and slides. Sleek touch controls keep a variety of food and beverages at the ideal temperature for serving and storing. 
One of my favorite space saving products is the 18″ Wine Column which can be tucked away yet stores 56 bottles of wine. 
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The wine column has dual independent temperature and humidity controls which allow you to adjust each zone separately and guard every bottle against moisture, truly amazingfrost, and light. 

Last but certainly not least…
The Thermador Steam Oven!
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Steam ovens have been used in Europe for years.  Americans are just now being introduced to the value of the Steam Oven.  Thermador offers a steam and convection oven combo.  This oven helps your food retain more of its essential vitamins and nutrients.  You can cook a  turkey from frozen to ready to serve in 90 minutesamazingThis is a oven which will defrost, steam, proof, bake, slow cook and reheat!
Thermador Home makes life so easy!  Make sure to visit Thermador Home website to see these products and learn more about them or visit your local Thermador dealer to see them in person!  In Charlotte, Thermador Home Appliances can be seen at Ferguson at 5025 Sunset Road.  Just ask for Dennis the appliance specialist!
Thank you Again to Ellen Byron and the Wall Street Journal
 for the interview!   If you would like to read the article in its entirety and have a subscription to The Wall Street Journal
 click here.
Do you live in a small apartment or have you used smaller chef quality appliances?  What are you must have’s and favorites?  Please share!
Disclaimer: Lisa Mende Design is on The Thermador Design Council.  All opinions are my own and I only write about products I specified for clients, use myself and believe in, or think will be of interest to my readers.
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