Exciting New Designs In Bath & Kitchen Fixtures From DXV

DXV Isle Collection

Think of the styles and the products from history’s most influential design movements. The opulence meets tech of the classic era. The industrial design of controlled contours and simplified geometries in the industrial era. The flowing forms playing against geometric structures of the modern era. The eclectic and continually evolving design aesthetics of today’s contemporary designs.

Everyone has their preference, but one thing is certain: Everybody loves at least one aesthetic from one of those eras. And now, DXV reimagines each of those design movements in a brand new product line of bath and kitchen products designed to make you love where you live just a little bit more.

The DXV portfolio is a new line from a legacy enterprise with 15 decades of design savvy. It comes to us from stalwart and dependable American Standard Brands. These luxury bath and kitchen products celebrate the company’s distinguished heritage and the influential design movements from then until now.

DXV fixtures and fittings are inspired by historically significant designs, reinterpreted for 21st century demands of both style and performance. The movements, as interpreted by DXV, include…

From the DXV Ashbee Collection

CLASSIC, 1890–1920: Opulence and modern technology converge. During this period, design pushed the boundaries of historicism and neoclassicism. Art and architecture, previously featuring precise and monolithic geometries, now become more fanciful and flowing, intricate and organic.

From the DXV Fitzgerald Collection

GOLDEN ERA, 1920–1950: This period as a new spirit of experimentation in the decorative arts. Industrial design led to controlled contours, simplified geometries, and reduced ornamentation. The period’s thoughtful, refined aesthetic reflected a society on the move.

From the DXV Modulus Collection

MODERN, 1950–1990: This is a time when the power of the individual to rethink, reshape, and reimagine the physical environment led to experimentation with new materials, forms, and dimensions. Forward-directed design with artful lines and flowing forms began to play against geometric structures.

From the DXV Percy Collection

CONTEMPORARY, 1990–TODAY: And here we are now: undogmatic and eclectic, the continually evolving design aesthetic of our time can combine with individual style and international influences, minimalistic forms, rich textures, ornate details, and natural, material-of-the-moment solutions that reflect the complexity of our changing world.

Each DXV movement includes one or two bath-fixture suites and faucet collections. There’s also a collection of kitchen sinks and fittings. The AT Series offers a state-of-the-art smart toilet and bidet seat. In the tradition of American Standard Brands, the overarching goal is to “make life healthier, safer and more beautiful at home, at work, in the community and throughout the world.” And the DXV portfolio is no exception. From the comfortable, vintage lines of the Classic all the way through to the familiar up-to-date-ness of the Contemporary, each product in the DXV line feels familiar and desirable.

To experience the new DXV product line for yourself, feel free to come on down to our showroom to feast your eyes upon the line and feel the form for yourself. It all feels like an old friend, and is fitting for the Friedmans Home Experience.

HOW TO BUY A DISHWASHER

Samsung Appliances Integrated Control Dishwasher

Shopping for ma new dishwasher? In the spirit of the Friedmans Five, here are five major considerations to take into account.

1. Do you want an American wash system or a European wash system? These systems make for two very different types of dishwashers. If you’ve ever seen a TV commercials where somebody throws an entire cake into a dishwasher, and it completely disappears, cleaning it all off the plate, that’s an American-style dishwasher. It has a built-in garbage disposal, and a built-in heating element in the tub. When you look inside, you’ll probably notice a heating element in there, which is for heating the water. What you won’t see is the garbage disposal, which is underneath. It’s designed to grind the food and eliminate it. Also, this style of dishwasher can be somewhat service-prone when it comes to the heating element and the garbage disposal.

The European system utilizes neither of the heating element or the disposal. Instead, it flash-heats the water before it ever comes into the dishwasher, so there’s no need for a heating element to sit in the tub. And because it heats the water much more efficiently, you don’t need a garbage disposal. It breaks the food down much more efficiently and gets rid of it. The European style of dishwasher eliminates two service-prone pieces.

2. How quiet is it? Most dishwashers today are relatively quiet, but how quiet do you really want it to be? Do you want to be able to stand next to the dishwasher and carry on a conversation? If you entertain a lot, that’s important. On the other hand, if you just don’t want to hear it when you’re going to bed, most dishwashers today are quiet enough for that.

3. How do you want your silverware to get clean? Traditionally, dishwashers have a basket inside that holds your silverware upright. But, what’s becoming more and more popular today, is a special tray up top dedicated to your silverware. The silver lies flat and can get cleaner. It also frees up space in the main cavity so you have more room for dishes.

4. How hard is your water? This is something a lot of people don’t know about. You can pick up a water hardness test kit at pretty much any hardware store. If you find you have hard water, you’re going to want to select a dishwasher with a water softener built in. Typically, you’ll be able to look inside the dishwasher and see a container that holds water-softening salt. You fill it with salt, and it literally softens the water that goes into your dishwasher. It prolongs the life of the dishwasher, the life of your dishes, and makes for cleaner dishes altogether.

5. What finish? Like most appliances, today’s dishwashers are typically available in stainless steel. There are also other finishes out there, like black stainless, slate, black, or white. What matches your kitchen and your fancy?

If you’d like to know more about buying a dishwasher, or see a wide selection of what’s out there, come on around to the Friedmans showroom in Long Beach and ask one of our appliance consultants for a tour of the options available to you.

HOW TO BUY A RANGE HOOD

A classic, pro-style Wolf range hood

Shopping for a range hood? There are lots of great looking hoods on the market these days. However, it’s about so much more than just appearance. You need to know what’s underneath and inside that hood. Here now, five different criteria you need to consider when hood shopping:

1. SIZE MATTERS. This is one of the most important things, and it’s often overlooked. Take all of your measurements. You want to know the width of your existing hood, and/or the space that you have for the hood. You also want to know the height from the ceiling to the floor. Or if you have cabinets above the hood, you want to know the height from the bottom of the cabinet to the floor. And that will help us guide you in the right direction for the hood.

2. DUCTING. Do you actually have ducting above your hood? If you open your cabinet, or if you look at the top of your existing hood, you should see some aluminum ducting above that. That ducting should run out of your home. That’s where all the smoke and grease escapes. If you don’t have ducting, let us know. We have to get you something special for that.

3. WHAT’S HAPPENING BELOW THE HOOD? What kind of range is it going over? The higher the heat on the range, or the higher the heat on the cooktop that you’re cooking with, the more cubic feet per minute (CFM) that your hood requires. In layman’s terms, that’s more suction power. You want to make sure you have a strong enough hood to ventilate what you’re cooking.

4. LIGHTING. The lighting styles vary, and you have a couple of options. LED lighting is a very natural, cool, energy-efficient light. Fluorescent light strips are also very cool to the touch, and very energy efficient, but not a very natural light. Or, you can go with halogen, which gives you the most natural light—but they are the least energy efficient, and they are very hot to the touch.

5. FILTERING. You have two types of filters available to you. There’s the mesh filter, and the professional style baffle filter. A mesh filter is designed to catch the grease inside an aluminum mesh and hold on to it. It’s difficult to get the grease out of it. You can put it in your dishwasher with a de-greaser to clean it—or just buy new ones. The baffle filter is designed to channel the air inside, catch all the grease and retain it, but they’re much easier to clean than the mesh. They also look nicer, and they last longer.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? We are happy to talk range hoods (and anything else) when you drop by our Long Beach showroom. We have many hoods on display, and you can see a lot of them installed in vignettes that look like actual kitchens.

 

“WHAT IS THE SPECIAL JOY OF JENN-AIR AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?”

WANT $4,300 IN BONUSES FROM JENN-AIR? Right now (and through the end of 2017), Friedmans is participating in a special promotion on Jenn-Air products that can be worth as much as $4,300 to the savvy shopper.

But if you don’t know Jenn-Air products, why should you care?

First, a little history. In 1947, Louis J. Jenn founded the Jenn-Air Products Company. Mr. Jenn was focused on making and selling industrial fans for various applications. In 1961, things began to change when Jenn-Air integrated one of their fans into a cook-top range. The self-ventilated downdraft range was born.

From that single 1961 innovation, Jenn-Air has built a reputation for luxury kitchen appliances with refined design, innovative technology, and exceptional performance. They make appliances for the entire kitchen, from pro-style ranges to fashionable built-in refrigerators. In fact, as of this writing, the built-in refrigerators have been ranked #1 by a leading consumer magazine every year for four years running.

And those ranges and built-in refrigerators take us to the special offer.

One of many qualifying Jenn-Air cooking products in this promotion, JGRP536WP

How would you like free appliances? Right now, when you come to Friedmans and buy any qualifying Jenn-Air cooking product (like the pro-style range above), you get $1,300 instant credit towards the purchase of another qualifying Jenn-Air cooking product. That product could end up being free, or heavily discounted by the credit.

But wait, there’s more. If you also buy a qualifying built-in Jenn-Air refrigerator, you get an additional $2,000 instant credit towards qualifying Jenn-Air product.

After buying your qualifying cooking product, you can get more instant credit by buying a qualifying built-in fridge like this one, JF42NFXDE. (Wood panels not included.)

Of course, you need to install these products. Which is why Jenn-Air is also offering a rebate up to $1,000 on the installation of these products. All told, if you’re all in for the cooking and refrigeration, this deal can be worth as much as $4,300.

The list of qualifying products is pretty extensive. So if you’ve been hungering for a new kitchen, it might be time to put Jenn-Air on your Christmas list. You can come on in to Friedmans to see these fabulous appliances, and get all the details on how to get your instant credit.

 

WHAT IS INDUCTION ALL ABOUT AND SHOULD YOU BE INDUCED TO TRY  IT?

Samsung slide-in range with an induction cooktop and a traditional convection oven.

Induction cooktops are becoming more popular. But for many folks, induction is still a mystery. Even the word, “induction,” sounds technical and enigmatic.

The reality about induction is that it’s like any other form of cooking appliance: There are things you might like about it, and things that might make you want to go with a more traditional form of cooktop. It all depends on who you are, how you cook, and what you ultimately want to accomplish.

CONDUCTION, MEET INDUCTION

Without getting too technical, you’re probably used to cooking with thermal conduction. A heat source, typically flame or an electric coil, gets hot. You put a pan over that heat, and the heat is conducted to the pan. That’s thermal conduction. It has worked well since the dawn of cooking in pots.

Magnetic induction is different. You don’t have a heat source. Under the cooktop surface, you have a coil of copper wire. Electricity passes through that coil and creates a magnetic field. The magnetic field interacts with the pot above it, which resists the current. That resistance makes the pot heat up.

Induction generates heat very quickly, and that heat goes directly to the pan. The “burner” doesn’t heat up anything else, like the surface of the cooktop. (But, a lot of hot pans on the cooktop can.)

From the Don’t Try This At Home Department, induction cooktops have been demonstrated with a pot of water being boiled on top of an induction burner—with a sheet of newspaper inserted between them. See ma? No fire!

Drawing from an induction cooker patent circa 1909. (This technology has been around almost as long as electricity.)

WHAT’S THE BENEFIT TO YOU?

Very simply: Faster cooking with less heat loss. It’s more efficient. Also, you get excellent control over that otherwise difficult condition known as simmering. Induction cooking is precise and powerful. Since there is no radiant heat, the surrounding environment doesn’t get as hot.

There is no other cooking technology that is faster than the fastest induction cooktop elements. Boiling 6 quarts of water? it happens anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes faster on an induction cooktop.

Did you accidentally turn on an induction element and there’s no pot on it? Guess what. The element won’t get hot. And if you remove a pot from that element, the heating stops.

And spills are easier to clean. The smooth, induction-cooktop surface stays cooler than a traditional cooktop, and those spills don’t get baked on as hard.

 

A Bertazzoni DESIGN36 Induction Cooktop. (Leave it to Italian designers to make a simple appliance look so sexy.)

YES, INDUCTION COSTS A LITTLE MORE

But the prices are continually coming down. As with all technology, as induction cooktops become more refined and widely available, they become more affordable. (The first patent for an induction cooking appliance was filed in the early 1900s. So this technology has been around in one form or another for more than a century.) In the main, induction still costs somewhat more than a standard electric smoothtop.

Something else that’s important to know: the electromagnetic field doesn’t glow. You don’t know it’s on just by looking at it. That’s why manufacturers add lights or “virtual flames” as a visual cue.

Also, since we’re talking about electromagnets, a low-level buzz or hum is common. At higher heat, it might be louder. At lower heat settings, you might hear the clicking of electronics. And there can be the sound of the fan that keeps the electronics cool.

Wolf 5-quart chef pan, compatible with gas, electric and induction cooking.

YOU ALSO NEED THE RIGHT COOKWARE

An induction cooktop requires induction-capable cookware or it doesn’t work.

Generally speaking, if a magnet can get a strong grip on the bottom of a pot, the pot will work with induction cooking.

If you already have stainless cookware, it might work. Or it might not. You have to figure that out.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Induction cooking is really cool. In more ways than one. It’s an exciting technology and people love it.

Whether it’s for you is for you to decide. But know this: when you come to the showroom at Friedmans Home Experience in Long Beach, we have products to show you. In fact, there’s a famous consumer product testing organization, and we have most of the brands in their induction cooktop top picks.

BRINGING A HESTAN HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

Want A Backyard Kitchen With Hints of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry?

Who doesn’t want a gift grill for the holidays? Well, here now, a holiday gift grill to be reckoned with. California-made Hestan grills are as gorgeous as they are functional.

With an award-winning kitchen-design heritage, Hestan is recognized for reinventing restaurant kitchen equipment. They’ve even provided equipment for the kitchen at Thomas Keller’s famed French Laundry. More recently, Hestan’s crack team of engineers, designers, welders and fabricators turned their attention to the backyard chef, and are we glad they did. They’ve brought 200 years of culinary knowhow to bear upon the beloved backyard barbecue

Hestan Grills are available in three widths, 30 inches, 36inches and 42 inches. As sexy as they look, the fabulous façades belie some really smart ad useful design features. For example, the patent-pending Horizon Hood™ opens with spring-assisted hinges and holds at your desired height. The patent-pending under-hood Stadium Lights™ are motion-activated halogens that light up the cooking area. Front-control-panel LED lighting keeps controls visible.

But what about the cooking, you ask? More patent-pending magic happens there as well. A ceramic infrared top burner delivers 12,500 to 18,000 BTUs. Whether you’re looking for a perfect sear, finish or rotisserie, make it happen with simple touch-on function.

The patented heavy-duty 321 stainless-steel Trellis Burner™ deliver 25,000 BTUs of high-performance power. The patented 5/16″ stainless steel  DiamondCut Grates™ are lasered in-house at Hestan, and provide even heat distribution. High-performance variable ceramic infrared sear burners offer 25,000 BTUs each.

And all this just scratches the surface. If you’re looking to give your backyard chef a fabulous and practical Christmas gift to remember, stop by the showroom in Long Beach and see what Hestan has to offer. As Hestan says, “Grilling is a perfectionist’s game.” And finally, here’s a tool the perfectionist can love.

TIPS FOR AUTUMN GRILLING IN SO CAL

As autumn approaches, and things cool down, and summer grilling becomes a fond if distant memory, the question arises: “Do I put away my grill, or do I keep cooking?” And since we live in a beautiful place that just never gets too cold, why not keep it up? But instead of continuing to repeat the recipes of summer, why not turn a page in the cookbook to autumn, and switch things up with seasonal socializing and produce?

WINGS

The big game is on. Everybody’s coming to your place? Why not grill up a batch of chicken wings? Use your favorite marinade, or just grill and sauce them as you normally would. It’s not exactly the fall harvest, but more of a game-day treat for your football frends.

TURKEY

If you’re ambitious, why not grill the Thanksgiving turkey? Or, if you’re like us, and you believe practice makes perfect, why not do an October test run on the fabled bird? We just noticed that the turkeys are showing up in our local supermarket en masse. Not surprisingly, Butterball offers some useful turkey grilling tips. And if you’re feeling adventurous, Alton Brown’s brined turkey recipes have worked out well for some of us. If you decide to tackle a turkey brine, it can be rewarding. Here’s one of Mr. Brown’s more popular grilled turkey recipes.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Another traditional autumn vegetable, butternut squash stands up well to the grill. You can grill slices brushed with olive oil and salted. Or, try cutting the squash into cubes and grilling them on skewers (also brushed with oil and salted, of course).

GRILLED CHILI

This is a dish that pops up in various chefs’ autumn grilling repertoires. Cooking a pot of chili on a smoky grill imparts a richness and depth that’s not obtainable indoors. Especially if you have a group coming over to watch the game, a smoky grilled chili could be just the thing to surprise their taste buds.

LEEKS

The fall harvest brings with it a lot of leeks. Split ‘em, grill ‘em with olive oil and salt, and dig in. A tasty side dish for whatever grilled meat you’ve got going on.

APPLES

With lots of apples available in autumn, why not turn to the grill? Brush them with a little oil for a tasty and surprising side dish. Or, if you want to serve them for dessert, try brushing them with a little brown sugar, bourbon and butter.

LOOKING FOR AN AUTUMN GRILL? 

If summer wore out your trusty workhorse, Friedmans Home Experience still has all kinds of grills in stock. Come on by the Long Beach showroom and check ’em out. they’ll send your heart all aflutter.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE SELECTING A RANGE

A Capital Culinarian 48″ Convection Range. (You might not need this much range. But it would be fun, wouldn’t it?)

LAST WEEK, we talked about how BTUs are not the be-all and end-all. Here now, the five most important things to consider when buying a new range for your home kitchen here in Southern California. (Sure, it can apply no matter where you live. But since we live in Long Beach, we’re especially interested in right here right now.)

1. THE COOKTOP

Most important to us, because we do a lot of cooking on the cooktop surface, is to make sure that you have the right burners. A high-end range typically has high-output burners and low-output burners. Some of our favorites have all-in-one burners, a single burner with high-output and low-output flame levels, so you can simmer and boil on the same burner. That’s very important to us. As discussed previously, you don’t have to have a 30,000 BTU burner, but you want to make sure you’ve got enough. If you cook a lot of pasta for big groups, do big shrimp boils, or other large-scale meals that require many gallons of water,  you want to make sure you have burner enough to boil all that.

2. OVEN CAPACITY

Another important feature: we like an oven with a large enough capacity to fit your large holiday-type items: turkeys, roasts, things like that.

3. GLIDE-OUT RACK

While we’re talking about those big roasts, you also want to make surethat at least one of your oven racks is a glide-out rack. This makes it very easy to pull out those large items, like a turkey or a roast. Safely handling a big, hot roasting pan is important.

4. CONVECTION

We love having a convection oven. If you’ve never experienced it, convection ovens have a fan in the back with a heating element. It super-heats the air, blowing it back out at the food being cooked, giving you a consistent temperature from side to side, top to bottom, front to back. It provides for really even cooking.

5. THE BRAND

Possibly the most important feature in a home range: a reputable brand. You want a brand that you know is going to last, that has good reviews, that’s well known, that stands behind its products and has staying power. There are plenty of brands in all price ranges, and at Friedmans, we carry most of them. To learn more about selecting your new range, come on down to our showroom and we’ll give you the VIP tour of ranges for your home.

MY NEW RANGE IS ALL ABOUT THE BTU’S…RIGHT?

Yes, there it is: the arms race in home kitchen cooking. The British Thermal Units are coming! The British Thermal Units are coming! BTUs are often considered the be-all and end-all of home cooking.

Not so fast, and not so hot. Yes, high BTU’s can be good. But there are other factors to consider—flexibility ranking high among them.

Bertazzoni Heritage 48″ Gas Range with Convection

When you’re looking at a pro-style range for your home, you’re going to find yourself confronted with high-output burners that can deliver up to 25,000 BTUs.

BTU (British Thermal Unit) is a measure of heat output. Want a fact you can throw around at cocktail parties? Here ya go: A traditional unit of heat measurement, a BTU the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Gas-burner capacity is measured in BTUs per hour. Pro-style ranges for the home typically offer high-output burners varying from 15,000 to 25,000 BTUs.

But…do you need that much? It depends on what you do. Consider that the reason professional kitchens have lots of high-BTU burners is they cook in high volume at high speed. Getting orders in and out of that kitchen is paramount. Even if you entertain a lot, you’re probably not doing anywhere near that volume.

But say you do a lot of Asian stir-fry dishes. High-BTU burners are good for that. Boil a lot of big pots of water for pasta feasts? Having a 15,000-BTU burner for that is a good idea. But a lot of your cooking is also going to be low heat, medium heat, or even medium-high heat, like simmering, steaming or sautéing. And low heat especially is a challenge. In some cases, it’s easier to develop cranking high heat than it is to generate a steady, consistent, low-level heat.

This is why flexibility is so important. It’s best to have an array of different size burners with a range of heating capability. (Yes, a “range” of capabilities. Welcome to a little insight into the etymology of the word “range” as applied to cooking appliances.) You want to be able to cook on high heat. But you also want to be able to cook over low heat without overdoing it. A big, crankin’, 25,000-BTU burner is going to have a hard time simmering something in a one-quart saucepan. When trying to cook on low heat, big burners like that will do a better job of heating up everything around them.

A smart array of high, medium and low burners is your friend. And go beyond BTUs. Consider all the features that would make you happy. Five burners? Six? How about a griddle? Oven with steam cleaning? Convection? Finish? A range is about much more than just the British Thermal Units. (As the photo of the Bertazzoni range at the top of the post shows.) For a full tour of all the available BTUs and more, come visit us in our Long Beach showroom. (It’s a fun place full of warm people.)

Getting More Out Of Those Mighty Tight Laundry Spaces In So Cal Homes

Let’s face it: a lot of the really cool homes in southern California are also really small. And when you have an 800-square-foot-condo or a 1,200-square-foot bungalow, having a proper laundry room presents challenges.

One answer to those challenges is the stackable washer/dryer. Talk about space saving: we’ve even seen stackables tucked into closets aboard sailboats and in motorhomes. Of course, not all stackable laundry machines are created equal. And at Friedmans Home Experience, we are very picky about the products we sell. One of those products is Speed Queen—one of the oldest and most respected names in laundry machines.

The first bonus of stackable washer/dryer combos is that they take up a lot less floor space. And one of the bonuses of Speed Queen is that they have excellent technology with some of the best construction—and a 5-year warranty that covers all parts and in-home labor on electronic control models. That’s five times longer than the industry standard. (Specific details of your warranty can vary, depending on your particular model.)

Speed Queen’s electronic control panels are designed to last 25 years, and they go through rigorous testing to ensure the circuitry stands up to extreme moisture, temperature, vibration and power surges. Additionally, Speed Queen’s Dynamic Balancing Technology virtually eliminates vibration. The result is better performance, and operation so silent you’ll want to check to make sure it’s still running. When you’re living with limited square-footage, it’s nice to know that kind of quiet is available in your laundry machines. To see Speed Queen machines and put your hands on those electronic controls, come and see Speed Queen our showroom and we’ll be glad to share the joy.