Smart Home Gear For Easy Storage

No matter how much stuff you have crammed in your home, it can feel like some little item is missing: a vase, a can opener, a toaster. Whatever the opposite of the dog days of summer are we’re in them right now and you may have thought you could brave a Hong Kong winter after your first. Third time around, not so much. The SAR’s concrete walls and insulation-free construction is felt most in January when the cooler weather settles in and doesn’t let go. Space heater sales skyrocket at this time of year, and Whirlpool has a range of new intelligent heaters (at Fortress) designed to fit small spaces and not stand out like sore thumbs.

Featuring Whirlpool’s 6th Sense Intelligence Thermostatic Technology, which detects your preferred heat level and automatically adjusts up or down to reach it, the series of ceramic or oil radiators is varied enough to find the right warmth for each of us. Able to withstand high temperatures, focused ceramic heaters (the HT015, 220, 222 and 224 models) are ideal for small homes, boast easily emptied dust filters and are as little as 90 millimetres thick for easy storage. The more powerful oil rads (RT107, 112 and HT109) rely on convection and are best suited to larger homes and homes with children because of their consistency and humidity retention. This range heats up quickly, boast automatic on/off timers and meet Hong Kong and European safety standards.

Heaters are for your whole body — and every body — but what about something closer to the heart, literally the clothes on your back? Let’s face it. Ironing is the bane of most of our existence. How many times have you opted to blast a hot shower instead of getting out the ironing board to press a moderately wrinkled shirt? Probably several. Still, it sometimes has to be done, and if you’re anything of a fashionista German manufacturer Braun is reintroducing itself to the Hong Kong market with the Rolls Royce of irons (soon to be joined by standing and hand blenders, juicers and coffee machines). It may not make the job better, but the results will be.

The top of the line in Braun’s new TexStyle 7 Steam Iron series (available at Fortress, Sogo, and Wing On among others) tops out at nearly $1,400, but the range of models gives consumers several options. The fully kitted-out iron features a scratch-resistant SAPHIR soleplate that is four times harder than stainless steel and constructed of six layers. Additional easily attached soft textile protectors prevent shine on delicate fabrics and sticking on synthetics. Every model comes with variable steam and steam shot functions, anti-calc systems and can use plain tap water. Other features include precision tips, auto shut-off, self-cleaning and multiple steam areas depending on the model and Braun is still manufactured in Europe.

Finally, it may not be an appliance, but you can turn your iPad (or iPhone if your eyesight is that good) into a mobile television or e-instruction manual — or just give your communications toys an attractive place to rest — with a new series of docking accessories by Hong Kong designer ETEAQ. The company creates its mobile accessories using reclaimed wood (“teaq” references teak) in an effort to “bring new value to a market flooded with plastic, mass-manufactured and disposable products.” Oddly, the “E” in the company’s name refers to ecology, not electronics, but it could go either way. The Pure Collection (available online or at TREE) includes docks (and cases) for iPhone 5, 5S and 6, made of one solid block of teak. Stands for iPads and tablets, iPhones, mini tablets and phablets are hand made from a few pieces, but all come with a laser-engraved recycled aluminium tag identifying where a tree you adopt with a purchase is located and how it’s growing. ETEAQ’s stands have no power source (but access to one) but the natural style and straight up visual grace they bring to a space are worth a little extra winding.