Over the years, I’ve reviewed more appliances and smart home gadgets than I can remember. I spend my working and non-working days dreaming of a home that’s better connected to make life a little more comfortable. Most of the time, it feels like my feet barely touch the ground – what with a toddler to run around after, a renovation project to complete, all while holding down a full-time job. Surely, investing in a bunch of “nice” things can only make things easier, right?
We’re big tea-drinkers, toast-eaters and bakers in my household, so the items on my wish list aren’t going to come as too much of a surprise. I’m very fortunate to have reviewed some of the best coffee machines and best blenders already, which has fed into the hunger I have for colorful, easy-to-use and minimalist gadgets. In terms of getting more of the best smart home devices into my home, I’m thinking that some of the best smart lighting is a must.
Of course, I’m being very selective – as I was when I wrote “I test appliances for a living – here’s what you’ll find in my home”. As such, the products and their categories have been well thought out; but since I live with my husband, and this is just my wish list, I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation of them appearing any time soon. Nevertheless, it’s always good to have a plan – and someday, I plan to have the following items in my home.
1. KitchenAid Mixer Tilt-Head 4.8L Beetroot
Isn’t this a thing of beauty? We do have a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer at home already, which could really do with a clean and a service since it’s about eight years old – and bought second-hand at that; but I’m just loving the color of this one.
“Beetroot” is KitchenAid’s Color of the Year 2022. It just screams fun, playfulness and positivity. The gorgeous pop of color will make a striking contrast to the white, gray and black hues in our kitchen, creating an eye-catching focal point on the countertop.
Aside from aesthetics, it comes with a 4.8-liter stainless steel bowl, 3-liter stainless steel bowl, pouring shield, wire whisk, silver-coated dough hook, silver-coated pastry beater, silver-coated flex edge beater and a scraper. With everything you need in the box, you (and I) will be mixing, shredding, kneading and cutting in no time at all – and in absolute style.
2. Smeg kettle and toaster
I’m thinking that this Smeg toaster and kettle set will look gorgeous alongside that KitchenAid Mixer Tilt-Head 4.8L in Beetroot. Smeg is pretty well known for putting out kitchen gadgets, its Retro collection in particular, in a range of hues, and this special edition enamel finish slate gray is no exception.
It’s one of 13 colors from which you can choose, to either coordinate with your existing Smeg appliances, or to make a statement all on its own. The kettle offers a decent 1.7-liter / 7-cup capacity with an automatic shut off if it’s turned on while empty. Its spout has been designed with a balanced weight to avoid any unwanted drips and spills – and we love, love, love how it feels to hold and how quickly it will make that morning cuppa with its super-fast boil.
The toaster? It’s bought separately, but is also offered in the slate gray color of the kettle so your kitchen gadgets can be matchy-matchy. This color is only available in the two-slot toaster, however – but since we don’t really have the space for a bigger model, this isn’t an issue for us. Looking super-easy to use, with three pre-set options, you can even add sandwich racks (opens in new tab) and a bun warmer (opens in new tab).
3. Nanoleaf Shapes
How cool are the Nanoleaf Shapes? We first reviewed them in fall 2020, and since then the smart lights have seen some upgrades and limited edition colors added to the mix. I love how flexible you can be with the layout – the nine hexagonal (ish) flat panels can be positioned in a configuration of your choice, offering something uniquely different to rival smart light bulbs and light strips.
In the summer of 2022, the brand celebrated its 10-year anniversary by introducing a limited edition ultra-black triangles starter kit. With a never-before-seen 360-degree black finish, the new shapes offer a bold design paired with vibrant RGB lighting. Although this particular edition is a little too stark for our home, the original – and perhaps the best – Nanoleaf shapes would certainly enhance our newly created study with a pop of color when we feel like it.