With the shops finally all throwing open their terrestrial retail presence, what’s hotting up the domestic market? Let’s take a look.
Lost Weekend is a staple for any design-loving weekender up in Dublin, and even with the challenges of 2021, the team are forging ahead with admirable style.
It recently announced it was “thrilled to introduce you to our newest brand Mobel Copenhagen! Mobel Copenhagen approach furniture design in a vibrant, fresh and fun way while maintaining what the Danes are typically known for quality, functionality and innovation”.
Intrigued? Well, the first thing to do is to download their latest catalogue at mobel-copenhagen.com and the second thing to do is to hide your credit card to slow yourself down.
Pieces to consider include the three-piece Pair Side Table group by David Thurlstrup one of their anchor co-operating designers. Intended for “modern simplicity” it includes a choice of table sizes and a ceramic ottoman style seat or three-legged steel perch – all in one buy in a variety of chic compositions that can slot into each other and slide out of the way when needed. What a stunning little apartment buy.
A good entry point is their blessed little Angle Stool in steel rods — perfect for outside or in, €338. Otherwise, expect to start in the high hundreds with this award-studded brand, lostweekend.ie (follow their lush imagery on Instagram and Facebook).
With summer coming, the quality of our drinking water demands a glass of self-determination. Just what’s in that well or even that mains supply? I had no idea, but testing bore-hole water for example is something that should be done in the area of every 12 months in the opinion of many specialists.
Microbiological testing is widely available and checks for safe levels of what’s expected in the supply and dangerous levels of things that are not included, sediment, odour, pH, alkalinity, dissolved solids, nitrates, iron, manganese, hardness, and marked bacterial ingress.
Before just paddling off and buying a water filtration system you may or may not need, have you water tested, especially if you have your own bore-hole new or decades old.
There are various levels of testing to drill down on the safety of the water, but a standard test would come in the area of €86.50 from a known specialist like Acorn Water in Bandon.
There are various parameters of testing on offer so you can contact your firm to determine what’s best for you. All you do is post off a 500ml bottle of your tap water to the lab address (free postage generally) and you will be then notified of the results and supplied with a full lab report by Email.
If it turns out your water is not entirely fit for purpose or could be improved for taste, then there’s a choice of water filtration systems which can be ordered online and fitted by you or your plumber or fully installed by a supplier. For a range of testing choices go to, h20labcheck.com.
An example for pricing on a respected brand of filtration would be about €490 for something like the three-stage filtration Swisspro Core, which won’t take out those essential minerals that give water its subtle flavour. You should of course budget for a possible change of tap, installation and the price of filters – from €80–€130, for 10,000l or a year’s supply. swisspure.ie (Woodstown, Co Waterford).
Since March there has been a small but important re-scaling to those familiar A-D Energy Labels on your most common large household appliances.
A new A to G scale now applies for fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and televisions with further changes to happen in September including a brighter idea about energy-efficient light bulbs. Now, there will be stock hanging around the showroom floors of Ireland with old labels on or two labels on them (give the retailer a break; the offers are fantastic on most appliances right now and they are playing catch up).
The new labels are easy to spot and have more information in them. First of all, they carry a QR code that can be swiped with your phone or suitable device to instantly access all sorts of information. The class of the product is next and this will reflect the latest changes in expected performance — so an A+++ washing machine may read as a C.
Now, a C does not mean that the machine is a poor performer; it’s just that the scale has changed to reflect the searing performance of machines now in the new A and B scale. Some of the methods of calculating the scale (number of washes etc) have also changed and this will influence the class of your appliance.
The Annual Energy Consumption is the number to watch, and that’s still there in kWh pa. Just calculate your cost to run using the latest price per kW from your power supplier. Finally, the noise, expressed in decibels (dB) has a four-class scale from A-D, D being the nosiest, making it easier to judge at a glance, the whisper-quiet winner.
Bosch and Siemens are two of a growing number of hob manufacturers including ventilation as part of top induction hob design in a down-draught system through the counter. What this means is no more steam rising and fogging up your glasses or a roaring extractor overhead.
A discreet, quiet pull of air set into the surface of your induction cooker will simply sip the steam and accompanying odours across and away from the pots and pans – negating the need for a visually dominating hood over the stove area.
The unit appears as a slit in the surfacing connected to hidden ducting and can be placed in the centre or to the side of the unit. Alternatively consider a glass beauty like the GlassDraftAir which rises seamlessly from the counter. 80cm iQ700 LD88WMM66B glassdraftAir priced at €2,699, new.siemens.com/ie
Be warned enjoying “automatic control of the hood settings for maximum extractor performance with minimal noise” and the joys of PerfectCook with Bosch for example, and smart Bluetooth connectivity will bring the cost of a hob (never mind the oven) to over €3,000.
Don’t be surprised or flattered if they offer you a free set of induction pans with such a deal; I would expect it! Look out for economical brand buys with EletriQ and Elica in the €800 – €1,600 range. Elica offers a nifty integrated scale in their more tasty buys together with NikolaTesla their intuitive Libra interface; a single direct slider, which controls both cooking and extraction functions. elica.com for suppliers
The British, not to be outdone by EU legislative frugalities, have introduced not only new energy standards for appliances but now demand that manufacturers make and supply spare parts for household machines to the general public for the first time; helping extend the lifespan of products and in particular some appliances by up to 10 years and preventing premature obsolescence.
Lord Callanan and the Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, suggest in a statement that these moves will “Cut eight megatonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 by reducing the number of energy products consume over their lifetime – the equivalent of removing all emissions from Birmingham and Leeds each year.”