European Style Appliances for American Homes

Thoroughly conceived compact appliances appeal to urban dwellers and downsizing empty nesters alike.
Feb 26, 2016 6:00 AM ET

American homes keep getting bigger, and so do the appliances found inside the typical home. But concurrent with that trend is another one, seen in developments such as the Tiny House movement and the increasing popularity of “micro-apartments.”

“Empty nesters are downsizing, and young professionals are moving to big cities with small apartments, and even smaller kitchens,” says Dan Kenny, director of brand marketing for Bosch Home Appliances. “Compact appliances are also in demand for secondary spaces throughout the home, such as a basement or media room.”

While this small unit trend originated in Europe, it has migrated in a big way to the U.S., where builders are seeking quality options capable of fitting into smaller residential spaces—appliances that retain all of the style, performance features and options of their larger counterparts.

A New Market Niche

Bringing its European design techniques and brand name to the home appliance marketplace, Bosch unveiled its 24-inch kitchen set to the North American market in 2015. The series includes a wall oven, glass door refrigerator and electric and gas stovetops. A compact washer and dryer complete the 24-inch appliance clan.

Although notably smaller than regular-sized 30-inch and 36-inch kitchen and laundry room appliances, the slimmer appliances can still meet most households’ volume demands. Bosch’s 24-inch refrigerator, for example, delivers 11 cubic feet of food storage, along with a large capacity freezer. Similarly, the laundry pairs can accommodate full-size loads and wash and dry up to 18 towels in one load.

The slimmer units are efficient and packed with performance features. The Bosch’s 24” 500 Series Counter-Depth Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator has been named Energy Star’s Most Efficient for 2016 and uses just 337 kWh annually. Features include HydroFresh drawers to keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer and all-level and sidewall LED lighting. A hidden hinge and reversible doors allows for next-to-wall placement and nearly flush installation.