Austin Smarter Spaces Tour: 4813 West Park

As we previously announced, we were the title sponsor of Austin’s first ever Smarter Spaces Tour which took place Saturday, April 14. There was a total of 10 homes on the tour and I believe around 500 people ended up attending. Pretty impressive for the inaugural run!

The first house on the tour was 4813 West Park.

4813 West Park
4813 West Park Home

4813 West Park is a 3-bedroom house located a little further north than most of the other homes on the tour. We had our Koldfront 4-bottle wine cooler on display in the kitchen.

From the outside, I really expected the home to have a second story, which shows you just how spacious it looks. I’m sure if there had been a second floor though, it wouldn’t have qualified to be on the Smarter Spaces Tour (homes had to be under 2500 sq ft). The first feature that really caught my attention was the teal-colored door. I love bright colors and teal isn’t one you usually see on the outside of a house.

When you first walk in, you can see across the entire home and right into the backyard thanks to large windows in the living room. The windows let in a ton of natural light and help the open floor plan seem even more open. The living room, kitchen and dining area are all in one giant room with an island providing a clear delineation for the kitchen.

This home was custom built by GnM Lohr Homes (you can see more high quality pictures on their site) and it was awarded 4 stars by the Austin Energy Green Star rating program.

See more photos of the house, including our wine cooler, in the gallery:

 

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Austin Smarter Spaces Tour: Title Sponsor

Smarter Spaces Tour Banner

That’s right. CompactAppliance.com is the title sponsor of the first-ever Smarter Spaces Tour happening in Austin, TX on Saturday, April 14, 2012!

The Smarter Spaces Tour consists of 8-15 well-designed houses that use creative ways to maximize space in under 2,500 square feet. These are realistic homes, some even currently lived in, that will offer inspiration and ideas to others looking to downsize or redecorate their small home. We will be placing some of our compact products in the homes to show how our products seamlessly blend into small environments and make compact living easier.

If you are interested in attending the tour, you can purchase tickets in advance for $25 until Friday, April 13 at 8 pm CST. After that, tickets will go up to $30 and can be purchased at any of the properties on the tour when it starts at 11 am on the 14th.

We might also be giving away some tickets to the tour on our Facebook page as the event gets closer, so make sure to like our page to stay up to date!

 

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Slow Cookers are Back in Style

slow cookerSlow cookers are one of the most convenient small appliances for cooking dinner, especially for a family. The best part being, for most recipes, you can just set it, forget it and ta-da! Dinner is ready!

Slow cookers are easy to use and easily accessible as counter top appliances. They are primarily used for simmering stews, dips, roasts and so much more. They cook over a long period of time as an alternative to baking, boiling, or frying, and can be left unattended. Families are often busy working, running errands, running kids from one activity to the next and slower cookers are one the best ways for busy families to cook and enjoy a healthy meal together.

Slow CookerAnother great advantage when preparing slow cooker meals is the fact that it can save money on meals. Instead of going out to dinner a couple nights a week, you can cook a chicken or gumbo, among other recipes, and have leftovers to last a few days.  Many of the meals you can prepare in your slow cooker also tend to be less fattening, which is also beneficial for you and your family, keeping you healthy, strong, and energized.

Thanks to the development and evolution of technology, slow cookers have gone digital with set it and forget it timers, like the Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker. It takes little to no effort for you to setup a meal in the morning, and it is ready for you to use by the end of the day.  Slow cookers are also more energy efficient.  They won’t over heat the kitchen, and you can use plastic liners to save you the time and the hassle of cleaning up.

Slow CookerNowadays there are many options to choose from, making this modern day appliance a valuable kitchen tool.  This sleek stainless steel and black slow cooker from Kalorik is great for cooking soups, stews, casseroles, pot roasts and more.  There are various brands, types, sizes, and pricing to choose from, however most will range from $20 to $200.

One thing is for sure, on a cold winter evening there is nothing better than coming home from a hard day’s work to find a bubbling stew or creamy casserole sitting ready to eat on the kitchen table. Slow cookers have definitely made a come-back with an ever-increasing army of devotees are returning to the time and money saving device with a newfound enthusiasm. For these penny-pinching and time-conscious cooks the slow cooker is a great solution for making a delicious and hassle-free diner.

CompactAppliance.com carries a variety of slow cookers to suit your busy family’s needs.  Come visit us and let us help you find the slower cooker that’s perfect for you.

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Best Appliances for a Small Kitchen

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but living in tight quarters can be challenging especially when it comes to having a well-stocked kitchen. You want to be able to cook and clean with ease, without your appliances taking up too much space. Here are my top five recommendations for small kitchen appliances:

 

Koldfront Countertop DishwasherCountertop Dishwasher

Unfortunately, a dishwasher is one of the first things to go in a small kitchen. But, who wants to spend their evening hand-washing all of your dirty dishes? A countertop dishwasher can be your saving grace. It fits easily on most countertops and hooks up to almost any faucet.

This particular Koldfront model, pictured on the left, holds up to 6 place settings and has a cutlery basket. It also conserves water and energy.

 

Compact Refrigerator

Luckily, appliance manufacturers have recognized the need for a refrigerator between full-size and mini. Apartment-sized refrigerators are just slightly smaller than regular fridges and most feature all of the same amenities: vegetable crispers, extra storage in the door and an auto-defrost freezer. The only thing you might have to sacrifice (besides a little space) is an ice maker in the freezer section.

This MicroFridge apartment refrigerator/freezer pictured is perfect for a small space. Not only does it fit in tight spaces, but it has great storage for everything you need, plus a 0 degree, auto-defrost freezer and a unique design.

 

EdgeStar Portable Ice MakerPortable Ice Maker

Often times, smaller, compact refrigerators do not come with ice makers. Save yourself the trouble and space of ice trays with a portable ice maker. These fit easily on a countertop and you just need to add water and plug it in to create a good amount of ice. It works well for everyday use or entertaining.

The EdgeStar stainless steel portable ice maker pictured can make ice in under 10 minutes and comes with a set of 10 ice bags for storing the ice in a freezer.

 

Broil King Range

Cooktop

If your kitchen space is too small for a stovetop oven, the next best thing is a portable cooktop. These cooktops heat food with ease and can be stored elsewhere when not in use, saving your countertop space. You can also choose from a wide variety of models ranging from double burners to induction heating.

Pictured to the left is the Broil King Professional Double Burner Range. It features durable construction, high-watt heating and non-skid feet so it doesn’t move while in use.

 

Sanyo MicrowaveConvection/Microwave Oven

A microwave is an essential appliance in any kitchen, but can be even more necessary in a compact kitchen space that doesn’t have room for an oven.

This Sanyo 3-in-1 microwave oven allows you to microwave, grill and bake all in one unit. The compact design fits easily in a small space and is easy to use and clean. It cooks a large selection of dishes and has a wide temperature range. This works well to cook all your favorite foods without taking up a lot of room.

 

Having a small kitchen does not need to be the end all be all to having a functional kitchen. With a few simple adjustments and products you will be cooking gourmet meals and cleaning like a pro in no time!

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2011 Deals

We are very excited to announce our deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2011. As usual, Compact Appliance customers will still receive free shipping on almost every product, no sales tax (outside of TX, NV & SC) and our price match guarantee – if you find it for cheaper somewhere else, we’ll beat that price! In addition to these great, everyday offers, shoppers will also get these great perks during our Cyber Weekend sale:

  • All Weekend (Fri-Mon): Save 25% off almost every product on our site!
  • Black Friday Only: All orders $450 or more will receive a free EdgeStar 62-can beverage cooler with coupon code HOLIDAY2011. Limited to the first 100 customers.
  • Black Friday & Saturday: Get an extra $10 off the Ronco stainless steel rotisserie oven (that’s on top of the 25% off)! No coupon necessary.
  • Sunday & Cyber Monday: Receive an extra $30 off the EdgeStar 148-can built-in beverage refrigerator (that in addition to the 25% off)! No coupon necessary.
  • Cyber Monday Only:  All orders $450 or more will receive a free Koldfront 4-bottle wine cooler with coupon code HOLIDAY2011. Limited to the first 100 customers.

Make sure to also check out our Holiday Gift Center! We are running 48-Hour Deals everyday through December 18, so don’t miss out on any of our great discounts, especially if you are interested in a kegerator, beverage fridge or wine cooler.

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What is the Best Portable Air Conditioner?

Question: What is the best portable air conditioner?

This is somewhat of a tough question because there isn’t a single best portable air conditioner. Rather, there is the best portable air conditioner for your needs and requirements.

To determine the best portable air conditioner for you, you should consider the following:

  • How large is the room you are wanting to cool?
  • Is the room upstairs or downstairs?
  • What direction do the windows in the room face?

Each of these questions will help decide how powerful your portable air conditioner should be to keep your room cool. Just because a room is small doesn’t mean the smallest portable air conditioner will be able to get the job done. If the room is upstairs, it will naturally be warmer than downstairs rooms because heat rises. Also, if the room has windows facing west, then it will get warmer in the afternoons because of the direct sunlight coming in. By keeping these things in mind, you are more likely to find the right portable air conditioner for you.

PortableAirShop.com has this handy BTU calculator that will determine the total BTU needed for a portable air conditioner to cool your room. I’d recommend rounding the BTU up instead of down when making your buying decision — better safe than sorry.

Once you know how powerful your portable air conditioner needs to be, look for units in that BTU range and read reviews to see what other shoppers have had to say (i.e. Is it quiet? Does it cool effectively? Is it cost efficient?). Look at reviews for the same portable air conditioner on different sites too if you can. This will help give you a well-rounded picture of how the unit will perform.

 

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