Happy New Year lovely readers! Can I still say that this far into January? Have you all had a good start to the year and made your resolutions? I’m not one for making new year’s resolutions anymore. Every time I make them I usually find that I don’t really stick to them and the weight of the added pressure is just too much to bear. However, there are a few lessons that I learnt in 2016 that I will be taking with me into 2017 and beyond. One of those lessons is to buy high quality, well-designed products that will pass the test of time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known that was the smart choice but my budget hasn’t always allowed me to do that. I think everyone knows that buying cheap products is a false economy but my generation has grown up with such a throw away culture that it has been very acceptable to buy products knowing they won’t last that long.
In 2017, I’m planning to wholeheartedly reject the notion of our throw-away society which breeds overconsumption, excessive waste and in my case unhappiness. You see I’m starting to feel suffocated by all my belongings. When you buy cheap things you tend to buy more of them and you don’t value them or treasure them like you should. Since we’ve had kids this feeling of suffocation has increased dramatically and I now feel like I’m drowning in stuff. It is such a horrid feeling and I am desperate to live a more minimal life. In fact, I am sure that this is the key to my happiness. So in 2017, I am going to focus my energy on decluttering my home and donating all those cheap impulse purchases and when I need something new I’m going to save up and buy the best quality version that I can possibly afford.
It is through blogging that I have been able to really learn this lesson. I count myself lucky that I am given some great opportunities to review products that I would normally consider to be way out of my budget as an impoverished writer. Every time I receive these products and spend time using them I am blown away by the quality and the performance and I realise that they are worth every penny.
Take the Avvolta collection by De’Longhi for example. I was sent a kettle and four slice toaster to review and I have been using it for a little while now. I can honestly say that it is the best toaster and kettle that I have had the pleasure to use. Admittedly, that’s not hard to achieve as I’ve never really bothered to spend much money on my small kitchen appliances. When my husband and I first moved in together we had to furnish our entire flat so money was very tight. We bought a budget toaster from Woolworth’s for about a fiver. To our surprise it lasted about two years before it popped its clogs. We then replaced this with a budget toaster from Sainsbury’s that cost about six quid. This lasted about three years and then we upgraded for a mid-range toaster and kettle set which unsurprisingly was much better quality and lasted far longer.
But the Avvolta range from De’Longhi is in a whole different league. The quality of these appliances can be seen and experienced immediately. They are made from a high grade durable plastic and feature bright chrome details which look really smart. Both the appliances are really robust, sturdy and quite weighty meaning that you can instantly detect the quality. The dial on the toaster is very clear and makes it extremely easy to select how you like your toast cooked (I still have no idea if the scale is for minutes or browness, I really should try timing it to find out).It has all the usual functions such as ejecting the toast early, reheating and toasting frozen bread as well as being able to use the knobs to lift the toast higher for ease of taking it out.
The kettle has a handy light on the on switch which clearly shows when you have switched it on, which is a nice touch. I found that the water flows out quite slowly and at first it annoyed me a little, but then I realised if you tip it up quite far it comes out a lot quicker. After thinking about this for some time I decided that it’s actually a really good idea for people with mobility issues or lack of strength, such as the elderly or younger children. It means that they don’t risk overpouring and scolding themselves by simply pouring the water out. They would have to really tip the kettle up quite far to do that, which they most likely wouldn’t do. So perhaps it’s a safety issue, I’m not sure, but it’s actually a good idea regardless.
What I really like about them though is the way that they look, which is not really very conventional for a toaster and kettle. The pair really do make a style statement with their horizontal layered bands that wrap around the appliances in an asymmetric spiral. The avant-garde design makes them feel really quite sculptural and gives it a rather unique, fluid look. The design has apparently taken its aesthetic influence from numerous design, fashion and style cues, including the iconic Guggenheim Museum in New York.
I think this collection is really perfect for design geeks like myself and those who appreciate the beauty of sculpture and architecture. It is available in white, black and red. I’d like to see it in other colourways personally, perhaps some pastel colours. What do you guys think? Do you like the look of the Avvolta range by De’Longhi?
Disclosure: This post has been written in collaboration with De’Longhi who kindly supplied the product for the purpose of this review. This was done on the understanding that if I did not like it I would return it and wouldn’t feature it on the blog. All the opinions in this review are my own and I stress that I only collaborate with brands and companies that I genuinely like and believe that my readers will like too.