The House Beautiful team pick a design classic we think you'll love forever – this time, the KitchenAid electric mixer.
Who designed it?
Industrial designer Egmont Arens (1887-1966) perfected the mixer and created its signature look. The 'Model K', as the design was first known, was created in 1936 and brought to market the following year. It had a two-directional beater head and featured a bowl-locking mechanism.
Why we love it?
Egmont Arens wasn't just a product designer, he was an all-round creative whizz. As well as designing the KitchenAid, he owned a bookshop, managed a symphony orchestra and even art-directed magazines. It's no surprise then, that he was fixated on creating pieces that looked good and performed well.
The mixer's attractive design is just one part of its patented silhouette, which also includes the curve of its deep stainless-steel bowl. It was this shape that caught the imagination of consumers, as well as the range of colours that later launched in 1955. Empire Red is the brand's most classic shade, although the warm neutral Almond Cream and Pistachio are most popular in the UK. Each year, KitchenAid announces a limited run in its Colour of the Year – for 2024, it's Juniper, an iridescent colour that rests somewhere between green and grey.
Why you'll love it forever?
This is one appliance that deserves its space on the countertop. With a variety of sizes and attachments, the mixer becomes a real workhorse that can be used for, among other things, beating, kneading, slicing and grinding any number of ingredients.
The mixer's head uses an innovative movement called 'planetary actuation', meaning its attachment rotates one way while moving the contents of the bowl around in the opposite direction. This allows it to pick up ingredients from the sides and bottom of the bowl, so there's no waste or scraping after each use.
Don't just take our word for it – ever since it first launched, renowned cooks from Julia Child to Nigella Lawson have considered this to be an essential piece of kitchen kit.
What makes a design icon?
For a piece to be truly iconic to the HB editors, it needs to:
Have longevity and really stand the test of time.
Illustrate innovative design, whether from the high street or a showroom.
Be recognisable homeware that deserves the spotlight.
Serve as an object of desire – beautiful, yes, but useful, too.
Be a piece that is used every day by House Beautiful editors.
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