When you think about your dream kitchen, 'sexy' probably isn't the first adjective that springs to mind. Descriptors already in your lexicon may range from 'organised', 'modern', 'streamlined' - but why limit yourself? If there's a way to sex up a kitchen, I'm all for it.
Thankfully, we're now living in a world where there is virtually an upgrade for everything, so there's no need to settle for stock-standard appliances - if your budget allows, of course. With the average modern adult spending roughly an hour cooking and preparing food each day - that's 365 hours of your life per year - most consumers want a kitchen that is not only efficient and ergonomic, but isn't too bad to look at, either.
And with the market now more saturated than ever, there is no shortage of options when it comes to finding appliances that fit your lifestyle. For many design-conscious Kiwis, it's important their kitchen devices and utensils coordinate with their chosen colour scheme - if you have a pale blue kitchen, for example, you're probably not going to want a glaringly red kettle on the countertop.
However, fridges have historically not been so flexible. With most models typically coming in white, silver and black colourways, there hasn't been a host of alternatives for people wanting a fridge that's a little sexier than the status quo.
But this month, Samsung is bringing sexy back with the launch of its first-ever bespoke refrigerator, allowing Kiwis to add customisation and colour to their kitchens. The customisable fridge, which features French doors, recessed handles and a sleek flat-front design, enables customers to tailor their fridge to match their existing appliances and cabinetry for a seamless, stylish kitchen.
With interchangeable panels available in four stylish colours and two sleek finishes, the new fridge aims to push the boundaries of everyday design, redefining household items to focus on aesthetics as well as efficacy, said Jens Anders, the vice president of Samsung New Zealand.
To transform their kitchen from unsavoury to sexy, customers can select the panels in the hue and finish that best compliments their personal style or existing colour scheme. Some may also use the fridge as a centrepiece to build the rest of their décor around, particularly if they're designing their dream kitchen from scratch.
"The Bespoke Refrigerator gives Kiwis the freedom to customise their kitchen to match their look and design aspirations," Anders said.
"The swift uptake of our ever-popular Frame TV has proven that Kiwis use their home design as a form of self-expression."
The Bespoke French Door Refrigerator is available in a four-door configuration with two finishes; the Cotta Metal finish currently comes in charcoal and white, while the Glam Glass finish can be purchased in white, navy and pink. Say hello to your own Barbie Dreamhouse!
Earlier this month, Newshub was invited to attend the official launch of the bespoke fridge, which showcased its different colourways in four very different kitchens. Each display was designed with the fridge as the centerpiece, with coordinating colours, finishes and styling. I'm no expert, but in my eyes, the fridges really did blend seamlessly into the cabinetry and furnishings, creating four cohesive and modern spaces.
The four kitchenettes also demonstrated how a simple colour can entirely change the look, feel and personality of a room. While the charming pink-themed kitchen had character and fostered a sense of warmth and cosiness, its charcoal counterpart was more smart, suave and sophisticated - a bit colder and less welcoming perhaps, but perfect for people who value contemporary over comfort. In a nutshell, it resembled the kind of luxe, barely touched kitchen you'd find in the showroom-esque apartment of a wealthy bachelor.
Alternatively, the minimalist homeowner who loves a streamlined, modern kitchen and neutral colour palette will likely lean towards the white, while the navy colourway perhaps suits a more classic kitchen teamed with wooden furnishings.
However, there's no overlooking the price point. The Bespoke French Door Refrigerator has a price tag of NZ$6899, which is undoubtedly on the higher-end for home appliances. What's more, the panels aren't included - you'll have to purchase those separately for $129 each. All up, that's almost $7500 for the fridge and four panels - a staggering cost that may send a shudder down your spine and unfortunately, is sorely out of reach for the average household in Aotearoa.
For those who can afford a little luxury however, the fridge doesn't compromise on technology. Featuring Samsung's latest cooling and storage innovations, the cooling settings are also entirely customisable, while the ice dispenser is integrated into the appliance's interior to further emphasise the stylish simplicity. Additionally, the refrigerator's FlexZone promises to keep food fresh for longer by storing them under optimal conditions. With five pre-set temperature modes, including Soft Freeze, Meat/Fish, Beverage, Deli and Wine, this independently controlled compartment offers the flexibility to store a wide range of items depending on the owner's needs.
All in all, Samsung's bespoke refrigerator is a great way to add a little sexiness to your kitchen space with its sleek, stylish and customisable design - but the price will likely be met with a cool reception.
What else to consider
While there are services out there that can design and build your own custom-made refrigerator, prêt-à-porter customisable fridges are not so common.
However, well-regarded German brand Bosch does offer a similar concept with its 351L Variostyle Door Bottom Mount Right Hand Fridge Freezer. The 'Variostyle' door also features interchangeable door covers, allowing customers to easily alter its look to suit their kitchen interior - and like the Samsung Bespoke French Door Refrigerator, the additional front panels are purchased separately.
On the other hand, the Bosch Variostyle Door Panels are available in a far more extensive range of colours - subject to availability, of course - spanning orange, plum, aqua, sunflower, mint green, cherry red and everything in between.
While the fridge is not as spacious as Samsung's offering, at the time of publishing you can pick up the Bosch Variostyle - in stock silver without a coloured door panel - for a little under $2000, which is a far more reasonable price point. A set of door panels will set you back an additional $399.
Is that as sexy as the new Samsung Bespoke range? You be the judge.