As the Business Development Manager at Miele Australia, Julie Cashin’s role has a focus on new projects. This involves liaising with interior designers, architectural firms, property developers and organisations that are building housing suitable for those seeking independent living. Cashin take a few minutes out of her day to share some of her experiences in the homes around us.
For those involved in multi-residential developments, Cashin sees the market and location as key challenges. 'Home buyers will compare appliances between properties in their desired area. What is in the kitchen is really important, and once they see a high-end brand they automatically tick that off in their mind and move onto bathroom and other fittings within the property.'
With that comes the balance of brand to budget, where it is important for a display suite or marketing material to carry a brand like Miele. Part of Cashin’s role is to marry expectations. 'Discussions predominantly take place around what they are looking for and aligning that with where a project is being pitched. It is difficult for designers to be abreast of everything that is on offer out in the market. An example of this is the designer will want a fully integrated dishwasher but the developer will want a semi-integrated dishwasher in their display and marketing material, as they want the potential client to see the brand.'
The Tree House in Toorak by Rothelowman Architects and Iurada Construction also features Miele appliances
And when it comes to position or location, demographics and lifestyle really come into play. Based in Melbourne, Cashin’s observation is that you would rarely see a coffee machine in an apartment in Collingwood, Brunswick or surrounds, as residents are more likely to be younger singles or couples who eat out frequently and are looking for minimal black or industrial style appliances.
Towards Brighton, Toorak or Camberwell the opposite is true, with new apartment buyers being mainly downsizers looking for the more conservative, top-of-the-range appliances they had in their former family home.
In speaking with Cashin, it would seem downsizers and the over-55 market is a real growth area, and it is not surprising given our population is ageing, and ageing better. 'These areas are being driven by our ageing population, and some of these people don’t want to spend their later years worrying about maintenance costs of the family home. Moving into an apartment-style living is an enormous change for them, and you also need to consider that they have completely different needs moving forward. An example of this is an induction or electric cooktop rather than gas – a much safer option.'
In saying, 'Designers need to be conscious of what works in this market and what doesn’t', Cashin offers up some key considerations in catering for this end of the demographic spectrum:
– Specified combination washer-dryers rather than two separate units being more ideal for a couple.
– Front loading machines may need to be elevated on a plinth for ease of access.
– A combined microwave and oven may not be the ideal solution as the owner may never use the oven, thus a microwave may be enough.
– Select pyrolytic ovens as they come with an automatic cleaning option.
While this may sound like marketing speak, the reality is that the ultimate test of an appliance is in the hands of its user. So if you are considering renovating or upgrading, Cashin has a few useful pointers for the home as well.
Purchase a product that suits your needs and isn’t a compromise. Appliances are costly and once installed are expensive to replace. Never comprise on any fittings in your new home if you can help it, and design around your needs and that of your family.
Once you have your new appliance, ensure you know how to operate it correctly. Complimentary appliance demonstration classes are available at Miele Experience Centres.
And, most importantly, do the maintenance on your appliance. Like your car, appliances need care. These functions will be outlined in your operating manual and add to the life of your purchase.
For more information on Miele Experience Centre and their classes click here
WRITTEN BY HouseLab