For years, I denied it. Tried to reason it away, dismiss as material and immoral, file under the “I don’t need it” category. But after I had an opportunity to try it myself, my opinion has changed. Its true. Expensive appliances are better. And they do bring joy!
Fueling this realization is the economic trend of the “disappearing middle”. Nowadays in the US, it is either the cheapest, flimsiest gadget, machine-molded for the masses – or the shiny, posh, upscale version that actually works well. And unfortunately, there is frequently not much in between.
Now, there are luxury appliances – room-size jacuzzi-es, wall-sized plasma TVs and half-a-million dollar sport cars. Yet, they are all designed to caress the ego, so their actual function is secondary. The jacuzzi still have to be washed, the TV is still, well, TV, and the gas-fueled sports car has a very low MPG. Take away their grandeur, and you’ve are really looking at average goods.
But then there are down-to-earth every-day appliances like a washing machine, a microwave oven or a vacuum-cleaner. They focus on perfecting the function, making it so seamless that you can fully immerse yourself in the experience. Once you no longer have to think about how to make them work right, it is now a relationship of equals, a precursor to friendship. And you feel good about it, because these appliances can afford to be small, efficient and green. Take the vacuum cleaner from Miele.It is not a macho machine that boasts its horsepower – it is a ivy league graduate who can hold a fine conversation right at your level. It is quiet, it is versatile and handles so soft its surreal.
So, what are the downsides to high-end appliances? Only one, really – their price. Here is my favorite – a blade-less fan, $250. Check it out!