I visit the WestEdge Design Fair every year because it’s literally 10 minutes from my house at the Barker Hanger and there is no excuse not to. I like it because it's small and not overwhelming. I typically discover one new product each year so I always think "why not" and give it a whirl, expecting not to be overly impressed, but also not have it be a complete waste of time either.
Well, I don't know what changed this year, but I was blown away by the breadth and quality of 2018 exhibitors. The main reason for that was the JennAir booth, which simply went above and beyond to create an immersive experience and blow the competition away. I haven't visited an exhibit booth that well orchestrated in years, or ever. I was also lucky enough to get to see and touch their new offerings the exact day they launched.
They did a realllly good job of leading you through a grown-up amusement park like themed tour that presented how their new RISE™ and NOIR™ design expressions are redefining luxury. Thinking like designers do, JennAir offers a mix of materials and sizes that makes designing a kitchen feel fresh and interesting again.
The first part of the tour was the introduction to a collection of panel ready column refrigeration. These can be ordered with a stainless steel front, panel ready to integrate into the kitchen cabinetry style, OR with leather panels. Whaaaaat?! I could not believe it. But it’s true.
The columns are completely customizable in that a freezer and the refrigerator stand side by side and can be ordered as 18"/24"/30"/36" widths. You can make any combination total based on the needs of the household. Yes! The interior in black steel with an exclusive obsidian finish and LED lighting. Sexy. The fronts can be leather. Did I mention the leather? It connects to your exclusive JennAir smart home app to notify you of an open door, power outages, filter changes, etc. as one would hope to expect nowadays.
Moving into the RISE™ collection, I was introduced to brass knobs and burners on their powerful ranges. Gorgeous.
Or customizable combinations of cooktops similar to the Columns refrigeration concept, but on the counter. There were different size wall ovens and a wall coffee maker that range in 24"/30"/36" widths – perfect for urban living spaces. Once again, these different width options give us designers flexibility when designing a new kitchen cabinetry configuration. Much appreciated. These all connect to the JennAir app too.
JennAir has also outdone themselves with the quietest luxury kitchen suite in its class. I was blown away by their dishwasher that is so quiet they had to add a light to alert owners when the dishwasher is running!
The corresponding line is the NOIR™ design expression, which can be described as darker and more sensual. Where the RISE™ collection is glamorous and attention-grabbing, the NOIR collection is minimal and more tactile. You have to feel the inside of the handle to experience the luxury, it's not as easy to see. But the main accomplishments of the relaunch are all here too, and it's wonderful.
I left the booth wanting every single item installed in my kitchen today. It's an occupational hazard. I get excited seeing innovation, true innovation, in the luxury appliance market. It felt pretty stagnant for years with my clients buying an appliance for the brand name only, but not demanding more. JennAir seems to have provided what people didn't even know they wanted. Gamechanger.