Product Review: Electrolux EI24ID81SS Dishwasher

Anyone who has owned a dishwasher before knows: it’s pretty difficult to live without them once you’ve had one in your home. Though it may not have been a staple in our mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens, today nearly every kitchen remodel includes a sleek, state-of-the-art dishwasher. Electrolux is a fairly recent entrant into the dishwasher market, offering a modern, minimalist design and a substantial array of contemporary features.

Appearance

The EI24ID81SS model follows Electrolux’s Scandinavian aesthetic with its unadorned stainless steel front (there’s no branding) and slim bar handle. The status indicator light is located on the bottom of the dishwasher, using LED colored lights to illuminate your kitchen floor when a cycle completes. Icons and cycle names run along the top panel of the machine in easy to read knocked out white on black font. While the front of the dishwasher sure is streamlined and simplistic, it is not magnetic—so people with young children or those who like to use the dirty/clean status magnet will be out of luck.

The interior has a stainless steel tub where a serving utensil tray resides along the very top, an adjustable upper rack, and lower rack that comes with foldable tines and a removeable cutlery basket. The customization of this model is a selling point, with custom Sure-2-Fit Racks that can completely adjust based on the height of dishes and glasses. After a night of wine pairings or mimosa brunch, the Perfect Stemware™ gently grips glasses in place while it runs on a cycle designed solely for delicate glassware.

Features

What the EI24ID81SS model lacks in name creativity, it makes up for in features. Users can delay the start of the dishwasher up to 24 hours and the machine features a soil sensor that will automatically adjust the wash cycle based on how dirty your dishes are. For those looking to limit their carbon footprint, the EcoWash cycle uses less electricity and takes just 30 minutes for an entire wash. In general, the Electrolux’s energy consumption and noise level are comparable to most dishwashers in its class, and is Energy Star qualified, which means 41% less energy is used.

While it comes with its fair share of features, they’re not overly complicated to use. The eight washing cycles include: auto, sanitize (which is certified to remove 99.9% of common household bacteria), normal, eco, rinse, fast, upper, and stemware. The LuxCare™ Wash Arm gets your dirtiest dishes sparkling clean with an innovative rotating arm that makes for a more effective clean, while the Target Wash Zones use a special nozzle to deliver a target wash to clean all sizes and shapes of dishes.

Our Takeaway

If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher  and ascribe to minimalist Scandinavian design with an impressive array of features, the Electrolux EI24ID81SS is waiting for you at H&H Appliance Center today!

Home DIY Projects for Spring

Spring is in full bloom (finally!) and while we’re busy outside getting our fill of fresh air, warm weather, and sunshine, inside deserves to get into the spirit of the season, too. It’s time to pull our homes out of their winter rut with these colorful, fresh, and budget-friendly DIY decor projects that will inspire a springtime mood—even when you’re stuck indoors.

Mini Shelf Indoor Herb Garden

Fresh herbs are a must when it comes to that pop of springtime flavor in our cooking. Instead of maintaining an outdoor garden that’s twice the work or using store-bought herbs that wilt in a matter of days, planting our own mini indoor herb garden is the way to go. Start by buying Ikea’s socker plant pot. This comes with a cute little stand. They come in white, but to kick up the spring flair, we recommend spray painting the pots in your favorite pastels. You’ll need spray shellac to waterproof it, as well as herbs and potting soil. For a nice variety, we recommend mint, rosemary, thyme, basil, and chives. After the paint and shellac dries, plant the herbs and assemble the pot stand in a sunny spot in your kitchen. Fresh herbs will be on the menu in no time!

Picture Frame Terrarium

Create a miniature indoor greenhouse by removing the glass and backing to eight frames and sanding them lightly. Assemble the frames into the shape of a house and drill and screw to fasten (any excuse to get out power tools, really). Use wood filler to fill gaps and sand again before painting white. Replace the glass in the frames from the bottom up and use a hot glue gun to secure them in place. Now add your favorite potted plants inside and place or hang in a sunny spot!

Spring Berry Wreath

Wreaths can be used both inside your home as wall decor on perched on your front door. This DIY wreath adds the perfect pop of color and takes minimal time and all supplies can be found at your local crafts store. You’ll need: grapevine wreath form, berry floral stems, burlap ribbon, wire cutters, and pliers. The first step is to cut individual berry stems with the wire cutters and arrange them around the wreath by sticking them through, bending the stems around the form using pliers. Tie the burlap ribbon into a bow and adhere to the bottom of the wreath for a rustic look, and you’re done. So spring, so cute.

Speckled Robin’s Egg Mason Jar

These DIY repurposed flower jars come out looking to professional, your friends will think you bought them in a store. You’ll need mason jars, Krylon Colormaster primer in white, DecoArt Chalky Finish paint, an old toothbrush, twine, and hot glue (and a hot glue gun). After priming the jar and letting it dry, apply a coat of paint (try the color “Serene”). Next, mix another color of the chalky finish paint (“Rustic” gives it a nice look) with some black paint and with the toothbrush, flick specs of paint onto the jar using your fingers. After that dries, add hot glue to the rim of the jar and wrap the twine around until the entire rim area is covered. Once complete, add your favorite fresh or dried flowers to the jar and enjoy the essence of spring in any room of your house.

How to Organize Your Home So It Sparks Joy

As Americans, we sure love our stuff. We love collecting stuff, filling our homes with an impractical amount of stuff, and storing stuff we’ll never need, but think we may one day. With spring finally here, there’s no better time to transform our homes from cluttered and disorganized spaces into serene sanctuaries that spark joy. To truly commit to this home organization project, there’s no better method than KonMari.

Organizing consultant Marie Kondo has turned her gift for simplifying and organizing homes into a viral phenomenon that’s quite literally swept our nation. In her KonMari method, first introduced in her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo uses principals of feng shui along with a minimalist approach and tidiness that was already a part of her native Japan’s culture. Kondo also ditches organizational beliefs, such as storing items according to season and cleaning your home a little bit day by day. Instead, Marie advocates tackling your entire house in one sweep—keeping only the items that spark joy and discarding everything else.

Envision the life you want

Before you begin decluttering your home, KonMari suggests that you visualize your ideal lifestyle in your new space. Before deciding what stays and what goes, think through what a life free of clutter would mean to you. Clarifying your vision for yourself, your family, and your home will help guide the organization process.

Do it in one fell swoop

KonMari’s all-or-nothing approach is for good reason. When you consider every last thing in your house, you begin to realize just how much stuff you have—and don’t actually need. Kondo recommends organizing by category, not by room. This helps give clarity on what you own and helps you visualize if you own duplicates.

Does it spark joy?

One of the first tenets of the KonMari method is identifying the objects in your home that truly spark joy for you. To determine this, Kondo suggests holding each item and studying it in your hands. How does it make you feel? How do you feel about discarding it forever? Kondo encourages following your intuition in this process. Just because something may be old or seemingly inconsequential to others doesn’t mean it should be tossed out. Just remember, in order to keep something, you must love it—not just feel as though you need it. When it’s time to discard something, Kondo encourages you to thank it for its service, and let it go.

Everything has a place

Kondo believes that you should treat your objects as if they were alive. This makes sense when we think about how our homes become messy: when we toss a coat, stuff a drawer, and banish a little-used item to the back of the closet. Instead, Kondo suggests we respectfully store our items (only the ones we love) so everything can be seen at first glance and everything has space to breathe. There’s even a specific folding technique Kondo uses, so instead of our clothes laying flat and lifeless, everything stands up.

Marie Kondo’s method of KonMari has been adopted around the world not only for its effectiveness, but because it also emphasizes the importance of mindfulness, introspection, and forward thinking. And who couldn’t use a little more of that?

Product Review: Dacor Appliances

dacor steam oven

It’s 2019 and connection is king. In an age where everything from your garbage can to your dinner plates is making smart decisions for you, having appliances that make life easier no longer simply a perk; it’s expected. Our friends at Dacor are reinventing the kitchen with innovative cooking and cooling appliances that creatively combine utility, technology, and modern design.

30″ Steam-Assisted Wall Oven

The Modernist collection is perhaps Dacor’s most evolved and ambitious series yet. This game-changer of an oven offers sleek design and high-caliber performance. Whether utilizing its namesake feature Steam Assist — which delivers the right amount of steam to perfectly cook meat or an artisan loaf of bread — or reducing cook time with the Dual Four-Part Convection, this oven will cook evenly and quickly, every time. The wifi-enabled seven-inch LCD control panel allows for seamless pre-programming and accessible recipes that are just a tap of the touch screen away.

The SmartThings connected platform can be easily integrated and allows a user to preheat the oven, as well as monitor temperature and cooking status — all from a smartphone. The features list is lengthy, including things you never know you needed, such as Chef Mode, which delivers expert cooking advice on everything from temperatures and timing to optimum rack settings, right from the oven’s display panel. The steam technology is also allows for faster, safer oven cleaning, without having to use harsh chemicals or extreme heat.

Modernist 42″ Built-In Four-Door FreshZone Plus French Door

This appliance is what refrigerator-sized dreams are made of. As with all Dacor products, it combines form and function — while throwing in a ton of incredible extras. The best-in-class food preservation feature maintains freshness at a constant temperature and a high-humidity environment that tops any other leading brand. The Precise Cooling and Triple Cooling Technology means that food is kept fresher for longer by preventing the mixture of moist refrigerator air and dry freezer air — without compromising energy efficiency. Perfect for entertaining, this fridge makes both standard ice cubes and larger, slow-to-melt cubes for cocktails. The hidden touch display panel and interior 3D lighting are just a couple of the sophisticated finishes that places this refrigerator into the luxury appliance category.

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Modernist 30″ Microwave-In-A-Drawer

Everyone loves the convenience of a microwave, but when it comes to designing the perfect modern kitchen, we don’t always like the way they look. The Modernist Microwave-In-A-Drawer provides the solution: hiding this unsightly appliance away behind a sleek, flush façade. The automatic drawer allows for easy loading and unloading with the push of a button, and the microwave comes with 10 preset modes for advanced settings, which include melt, warm, and soften. And did we mention this microwave is smart? The smart moisture sensor automatically adjusts cooking times and power levels based on interior humidity levels. It also comes with an automatic start feature that can be set to begin cooking at any time of day. For chefs who like to make it a bit more complicated, this Dacor microwave has multiple sequence cooking, which can be set so that four cooking sequences — each with different power levels — automatically transition from one to the other without an extra touch needed.

These three Modernist appliances from Dacor were made to ignite your creativity in the kitchen and inspire unique entertaining and culinary experiences. They all come with design options to appeal to your aesthetic and are sure to excite both the master chef and the home cook.

How to Plan the Perfect Valentine’s Day at Home

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Another completely made-up holiday that we love to love. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with your partner, your entire brood, or your galentines — this day is all about showing the love. We’ve planned three ways to celebrate the perfect Valentine’s Day at home, no matter who you spend it with.

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A Night In With Your Other Half

It’s February 14 and every couple in your city is vying for the same reservation as you are. Why not skip the crowded restaurant and expensive (and scantly-portioned) prix fixe menu this year and opt for a romantic night in? Not only will you save money on dinner and drinks; you’ll also get to spend the evening with the only person you actually wanted to spend it with in the first place.

Cooking a favorite meal together is one of the best ways to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. For a cozy, soul-satisfying dish you’ll both drool over, try this creamy shrimp scampi risotto. Don’t let TV food competitions scare you — risotto is not hard to make, and  it will only be about 45 minutes until you’re wooing each other with this savory flavor bomb of a dish. While the risotto is simmering on the stove, crack open your favorite bottle of wine or whip up a craft cocktail and simply relax. Pro-tip: Don’t talk about work, unpaid bills, or your in-laws. This should be a stress-free night with your one and only — all that stuff will still be there waiting on February 15.

For dessert, why not make what you would have ordered out anyway? Okay, chocolate lava cake sounds intimidating, but it is so worth it. And honestly, if you and your partner can master this fancy dessert together, the world is yours. While the cakes are in the oven, it’s time to take the celebration over to the couch. That’s right: It’s time for Netflix. But forget about firing up a rom-com tonight. Instead, find one of the stand-up comedy specials that all of your friends and co-workers have been raving about and press play. Because what brings you closer than laughing together over mutually humiliating and awkward topics? Nothing.

A Family Affair

So it’s Valentine’s Day and you couldn’t nab a babysitter. Who says you can’t still celebrate together at home? Put the kids to work by cooking a dinner together that will keep everyone busy and having fun at the same time. If ever there were a night to call for homemade personal pizzas, it’s tonight. Line up work stations with pizza dough and everyone’s favorite toppings, and let the pizza-making extravaganza begin.

While everyone is busy in the kitchen, send your partner to set up the living room with Valentine’s Day balloons, flowers, and candy. After devouring your pizza creations, guide the kids over to check out the newly decorated digs where you’ll start up game night. Let the kids pick their favorite board games and spend the rest of the night playing, laughing, and eating chocolates with your favorite people.

 

Gather the Gals

Whether you’re single or not, celebrating Galentine’s Day with your besties is always a good idea. Typically, this femme fete is hosted on February 13, but who says you can’t hold yours on Valentine’s Day itself? Having the group over at your place? Host a potluck dinner and winetasting. Whether you plan to have a theme or not, ask each friend to make and bring their favorite dish. Be sure to mix up cuisines and types of dishes — you don’t want to be stuck with seven types of pasta. To give your gals some inspiration, try to recreate some of your favorite restaurant meals. Kale caesar salad and creamy buffalo chicken dip are always crowd pleasers. Don’t forget: They shouldn’t all be main courses!

In addition to dinner, have each friend also bring their favorite bottle of wine that pairs well with their dish. Dishes and wine pairings can be served together and everyone can grab their meal buffet-style before sitting down to eat.

The perfect way to end the night is by playing mindless adult party games, such as Cards Against Humanity or What Do You Meme? Give your girls a parting Galentine’s Day goodie bag filled with chocolate, nips, and personalized cards on their way out. It’s sure to be the perfect end to a perfect night in with the gals.

 

“From Italy with Love”: Superiore Product Review

If you’re looking to bring back the Mediterranean diet the right way, then look no further than Superiore appliances. Each product delivers serious cooking power that will leave you and your guests shouting, “Basta!”, and your kitchen will look like a masterpiece with Superiore’s handcrafted finishes and Italian flair. If you want to look and feel like a chef, then upgrade to the Superiore standard. Shop our Superiore line here.

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Perfect Kitchen

“Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home,” says Rachael Ray. Before you get too deep into 2019 (and your old routine), we’ve put together some ideas to transform your kitchen — both physically and emotionally. With these tips, your kitchen will become the new social epicenter for making memories and delicious meals.

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Product Review: Sub-Zero and Wolf

With the holidays right around the corner, kitchens everywhere will be tested. Everyone’s worst nightmare is to wake up on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning and discover the oven is on the fritz or the fridge has gone dark and silent with everything inside it lukewarm and spoiled. Don’t let your kitchen get the best of you this year. This month, we’re featuring a series of must-have appliances by Sub-Zero & Wolf that will stand tall to the test of your most festive season yet, as well as deliver delicious results all year-round.

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