Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This has made it clear that our appliances, tools, storage solutions and surfaces have a great impact on the way we cook and prep meals in our homes. That’s why we only wanted to present you with the best for SquareRooms Kitchen Awards 2020—so you can invest in products that have all of the power and durability you’re looking for, with the added benefit of being space-savvy and easy to clean. Without further ado, here are the winners!
Best dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer Double Dishwasher
If you’re tired of washing dishes by hand, you’ll be happy to know that Fisher & Paykel’s DishDrawer double dishwasher allows you to clean two loads of dishes at once using separate pull-out compartments. This separation makes it possible to wash fine glass in one drawer and set the other to a stronger program for heavily soiled pots and pans. For that extra clean boost, the dishwasher comes with a Sanitise option, which kills 99.9% of bacteria in the final rinse. Opt for the contemporary style for a stand-alone dishwasher or the integrated model for a seamless look that matches your kitchen cabinets.
Best refrigerator: LG InstaView Door-in-Door series
The reason we love LG’s InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerators is the ease of knowing exactly what’s in your fridge. Just tap the glass door twice and watch your favourite shelves light up, revealing the contents without wasting electricity and letting cold air escape. The fridge’s Hygiene FRESH+ technology additionally cleans and purifies the air inside your refrigerator, filtering out harmful bacteria and bad smells. The GFQ6018MT model in particular is arranged to maximise space and give you lots of storage flexibility, making use of folding shelves and plenty of hidden nooks and crannies.
Best jumbo oven: Tecno TBO 7000 series
The latest in Tecno’s extensive lineup, the TBO 7006, 7008 and 7010 Upsized Built-In Ovens come with a whopping capacity of 73 litres—enough space to cook for the whole family in one go. The best part? The oven itself remains as compact as Tecno’s smaller options, allowing you to enjoy the large cooking space without crowding a small kitchen with bulky appliances. Plus, the tempered glass door is equipped with three layers of cool-touch technology for extra safety.
Best cooktop: V-ZUG CookTop Induction V6000
Need more flexibility in your kitchen? V-ZUG’s CookTop Induction V6000 FullFlex gives you the freedom to position your pots and pans anywhere you like on the extensive cooking surface, allowing you to cook with up to six pans at once. The hob is able to automatically detect the position and size of the cookware used, heating your food with precision. It also boasts a large full-colour graphic display with intuitive touch operation, giving you all of the information you need at a glance. Last but certainly not least, the smooth glass surface makes the FullFlex hob quick and easy to clean.
Best blender: SMEG BLF01 series
Equipped with a powerful 800W motor, the SMEG BLF01 blenders come with the brand’s signature Smooth Start function, facilitating easy blending of different ingredients without hiccups. The blender’s stainless steel dual blades are detachable and easy to clean, while its four separate speed settings make it possible to achieve your desired consistency using gradual speed increments. Of course, the large 1.5 litre casing is entirely BPA-free and available in SMEG’s popular colour range: black, cream, pastel blue, pastel green, red and pink.
Best airfryer: Philips Airfryer XXL
Instead of making a mess in your kitchen when frying food on your cooktop, avoid the tedious clean-up altogether with Philips’ Airfryer XXL. This nifty appliance keeps all of your oil splatters contained to a simple drawer and additionally makes for much healthier meals thanks to its air-frying technology. Using just hot air, it fries all of your favourite foods to a crisp and extracts up to 90% of fat in the process. Feel like roasting your chicken instead? Worry not, the airfryer can do that too.
Best multi-cooker: Thermomix TM6
The ultimate multi-cooker for busy homeowners, the Thermomix TM6 comes with an impressive array of more than 20 cooking functions, including weighing, chopping and kneading. It can practically cook your whole meal at the touch of a button, taking lots of tiresome work off your hands. Bored of the same old meals? Pick a new recipe to try from the pre-installed library, letting this clever cooker set up the process for you.
Best kitchen sink: Cosentino Silestone Integrity Q
Your kitchen sink should be durable and hygienic, but one crucial feature that’s often overlooked is ease of maintenance. Not only can this sink withstand high temperatures and daily impact, but it is also completely integrated into your countertop, making cleaning a breeze. Pick from Silestone’s large colour index and choose between a polished and suede finish to match the sink to your own kitchen aesthetic and achieve a more seamless look.
Best fuss-free tap: ZIP HydroTap
The ZIP HydroTap is aesthetically slim and easy on the eyes, and it also conveniently dispenses hot or cold water at the touch of a button. Its sleek shape makes for a space-savvy, efficient cooking zone, while the special child-lock system makes it extra safe to use for the whole family. Choose between Classic, Arc and Cube for a design that best suits your own kitchen.
Best filter tap: Franke Vital Capsule Filter Tap
Why do we love Franke’s Vital Capsule filter tap? For one, its patented triple filter eliminates 99% of bacteria and germs from your water while leaving behind essential minerals that are good for your health. Additionally, the Vital Capsule is chic, compact and can be easily fitted to any countertop, making it a breeze to install and use for busy homeowners.
Best kitchen tool set: Staci 11-piece silicone set
Easy to clean and more sustainable than plastic, silicone is a top-notch material in the kitchen. The Staci 11-piece utensil set comes with hygienic silicone heads, which are complemented by non-slip wooden handles for increased comfort and safety. Ranging from an egg whisk to a spaghetti spoon, these minty-hued tools are ultimately not just handy but eye-catching as well.
Best kitchen knife: Tramontina Professional knife series
Thanks to a three-step thermal treatment that includes hardening the stainless steel blades, cooling them at subzero temperatures and finally tempering them for increased flexibility, the Tramontina Professional knives are always ready to jump into action. Tramontina’s cutting-edge technology extends to the knife’s ergonomic polypropylene handle as well, which is directly injected on the steel bolster to heighten comfort and safety.
Best non-stick pan: Scanpan Classic induction fry pan
Scanpan’s Classic series is equipped with its signature Stratanium non-stick coating, allowing you to live a healthier life by cooking foods without oil. Underneath this coating, the frying pan is made of 100% recycled aluminium that is not only sustainable but also dishwasher safe. Despite its high-quality production, the pan remains lightweight and easy to handle in all of its four sizes, ranging from 20cm to 28cm.
Best counter extension: Atim Oplà Top
If your kitchen suffers from limited countertop space and you’ve been struggling to prep large meals, the Oplà Top by Atim is just what you need. This space-savvy solution can be pulled out from under your countertop like a drawer to extend your prep area when cooking. It then slides back into place again, storing away tidily without taking up any floor space.
Best pull-down shelf: Häfele iMove
Finding space to store dry goods in a small kitchen can be difficult. More often than not, things end up in the top cabinets, where they are difficult to reach. That’s where a pull-down shelf like Häfele’s iMove comes in handy. This nifty unit can be pulled down in one smooth movement when you need to reach your favourite ingredients, then simply stowed away again when not in use. Available as a double or single shelf in various sizes, the iMove also comes with a range of soothing colours to suit your kitchen theme.
Best customisable kitchen: Spaceman compact kitchen
Even the smallest of homes can fit a functional kitchen with Spaceman’s compact kitchen designs. These slim units can be fitted out with all of your cooking needs, including a fridge and kitchen sink, yet are so thin that they can double up as room dividers. The Apex model in particular folds into a super compact divider that expands into a kitchen when needed, yet needs no extra floor space to fully unfold. With four different door options and a range of material and colour combinations, this compact kitchen is perfect for any home.
Best quartz countertop: Caesarstone Supernatural Ultra range
For those who love the marble look but want the strength and durability of quartz surfaces, Caesarstone’s Supernatural Ultra range may be just what you’re looking for. Featuring three marble-inspired designs, this range includes the classical Empira White, the soft Statuario Maximus and the subtle Calacatta Nuvo. Thanks to their polished finish, these surfaces require very little maintenance over time and can be cleaned with just a quick and simple wipe-down.
Best sustainable kitchen surface: Dekton Slim by Cosentino
Measuring just 4mm in thickness, Cosentino’s new Dekton Slim line delivers ultra-compact surfaces to suit a sleek, minimalist home design with plenty of strength and durability. While we love Dekton Slim surfaces for their high performance on kitchen countertops in particular, their lightweight design works just as well on walls, doors, cabinets and even furniture. Plus, the new line comes with a delicious array of brand new colours, such as the glossy Helena and the dark, luscious Laurent. Like all of Cosentino’s products, Dekton Slim is produced sustainably using renewable energy and 100% recycled water.
Best flooring tiles: Hafary wood-look tiles
Reproducing the look of reclaimed wooden planks, Hafary’s Nordik Wood collection brings you the convenience of glazed porcelain tiles alongside the beauty of rustic wood. This creates a warm, welcoming ambience that suits both minimalist and farmhouse-style homes, all without the need to care for and maintain real wooden flooring. Looking for some wall tiles while you’re at it? Look no further—the Nordik Wood collection can be applied to kitchen walls as well.
Best backsplash tiles: Soon Bee Huat Hub series
Our must-have features for great backsplash tiles? Ease of maintenance, impact resistance and, of course, a versatile range of colours! Soon Bee Huat’s HUB series brings all three to the table, combining vibrant patterns with a smooth, matte finish and high-end Italian design. Available in four base colours and five complementing styles, these tiles are sure to draw the eye.
Best laminate: Lamitak wood-look laminates
If you’re looking to build a long-lasting, low-maintenance kitchen, laminates by Lamitak should be at the top of your list. Not only are they resistant to abrasion and impact, they are also particularly easy to clean, making them a great choice for busy homeowners. Their wood-look series is our personal favourite, giving your kitchen cabinets a toned-down, natural look with a hint of Scandinavian design.
This post was adapted from an article originally published in the September 2020 issue of SquareRooms.