Living the K-life

There’s more to the Korean wave than just dramas and pop sensations. MIA CHENYZE travelled to Seoul to track down life-changing must-buys for the home.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

There’s more to the Korean wave than just dramas and pop sensations. MIA CHENYZE travelled to Seoul to track down life-changing must-buys for the home.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
LG Front Load Washing Machine with Turbowash WD-1410TS.

Imagine the time you’ll save with a washing machine that gets through a full load more quickly and efficiently – we’re talking a 59-minute wash on a cotton cycle, versus the typical 95 minutes in other machines. The Turbowash feature has a powerful jet spray that penetrates right into stains to remove them and reduce lengthy rinses.

The washer is as family-friendly as it gets. Have an inquisitive toddler running about the house? The Child Lock function prevents your little one from accidentally interrupting a load or changing programmes.

LG’s proprietary True Steam technology also helps to clean out allergens, dust mites and detergent residue, so those with sensitivities don’t have to worry about allergic reactions. You can even do away with fabric softener by using the built-in Steam Softener feature, which helps smooth clothes and fluff towels.

What’s more, if there’s a newborn in the house, you can download additional wash cycles such as Baby Care and Skin Care, via your smartphone. $2,099, with a 10kg capacity, from Audio House, Best Denki, Courts, Gain City, and Harvey Norman.

My Reading Room
LG Hom-bot Turbo+.

To call LG’s new Hom-bot Turbo+ a mere robotic vacuum cleaner is almost a disservice – its numerous smart features outshine other cleaning-only robotic machines.

Its camera sensors, when coupled with an intuitive smartphone app, add a whole host of user-friendliness to the cleaning machine. Our favourite: It doubles as a surveillance camera. Called the Home-guard feature, you can set the machine to “watch” a particular part of the house and to send a photo alert when it senses movement. For instance, it can monitor the main door to make sure that the kids are safely home from school.

With the Home-view feature, those living with elderly family members can view the house in real-time and virtually navigate the Hom-bot Turbo+ via their smartphone, to check that they are well and safe.

It’s no slouch in the cleaning department too. The machine’s long side brushes and its Corner Master technology will have every tricky corner taken care of, while its combination of ultrasound and infrared sensors lets it detect and avoid obstacles easily. Price and availability to be announced.

My Reading Room
LG GT-D5101NS Top Freezer.

The Door-in-door range of refrigerators by LG is a hit with South Korean families. And this top-freezer model has a slim profile that works well in tight kitchens.

The main fridge door is fitted with a mini door that give you easy access to the front shelves, so you don’t have to open the whole main compartment to retrieve small items like beverages and condiments – which helps reduce temperature fluctuations by up to 47.8 per cent. This keeps the fridge running more efficiently, with less power needed to compensate for temperature increases; food can also be kept fresh longer.

Three other features also help keep food fresh: the updated Hygiene Fresh+ air purification system, Multi Air Flow, and the Fresh 0 Zone. The multiple filters in the air purification system, including UV lights and carbon deodorisers, eliminate harmful bacteria and neutralise food odour. Multi Air Flow maintains freshness with even distribution of cool air within the fridge, and the Fresh 0 Zone in the top freezer provides a dedicated and enclosed space to keep stronger-smelling food separately. $1,799, with a 507-litre capacity, from Audio House, Best Denki, Courts, Gain City and Harvey Norman.

My Reading Room
LG Styler.

You’ve barely worn a set of clothes, so they’re not dirty enough to wash, yet shouldn’t be placed back in the wardrobe either. In South Korea, this predicament has long been solved by the LG Styler, which will soon be available in Singapore.

The size of a slim cabinet, the LG Styler sanitises and refreshes clothes with hot steam, getting rid of germs and bacteria, and wicking away sweat, food and cigarette smells. Using steam instead of detergent is also gentler on clothes – good for those with sensitive skin.

Besides freshening up slightly worn clothes, the LG Styler is also handy for working out irksome creases in dress shirts and pants. Skip slaving over Hubby’s work clothes and the kids’ school uniforms (those skirt pleats, especially!) every day, and pop them into the Styler instead – there’s hanger space for three items as well as a dedicated pants press. You can also make use of the NFC Tag-on feature to download, via your smartphone, extra customised cycles for specific garment types. $2,999, availability to be announced.