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My first real memory of being captivated by industrial design was the Michael Graves for Target teakettle. I was much too young to care about a teakettle or any type of cookware; however I recall being struck by its unexpected use of fun colors and curved silhouette. Thinking about it now, I’d even say it helped initiate my interest in design as a whole, sparking the idea that everyday, utilitarian items can be (and should be!) beautiful. Fast-forward 25 years and I’ve found myself similarly compelled by a line of kitchen appliances from Danish design brand Hay, specifically the Sowden toaster (there’s also an electric kettle in the range).

From a functionality standpoint, this piece is super–pared down and basic, which is totally fine by me and actually preferred—I don’t need any bells and whistles when it comes to toasting bread, and I find more complicated designs to be unnecessary and, frankly, a little annoying. It has a simple knob with seven settings for browning, a stop lever that doubles as an indicator light (so you’re aware it’s on), and an extra-wide opening that will fit a center cut of sourdough—very straightforward.

But what really won me over—beyond that fact that it’s so chic I’d gladly design an entire kitchen around it—are the thoughtfully considered yet understated details: a top that doubles as a warming tray (for bakery-bought goodies like croissants or biscuits that could use a little warm-up but don’t need to be toasted), an integrated crumb catcher, and—chef’s kiss!—concealed cord management, so any excess electrical is neatly hidden away. Technical specs aside, the true allure of this gadget is that looking at it just makes me happy—not unlike that whimsical Micheal Graves teakettle so many years ago.