Every apartment, condo or house needs a way to wash dishes, but without space for full-sized dishwashers, some of us have a tendency to pile tableware into sinks in an endless (non-rinse, non-dry) cycle. Dishwashers are a luxury in small kitchens, so sometimes it seems like sinks full of dirty dishes waiting for a reluctant hand-washing are just a fact of life. Thankfully, a new wave of technology from appliance manufacturers could change that sooner than you think.

Thus the FlashDry(R) from KitchenAid, since discontinued (perhaps due to its outrageous price), but a still a brilliant example of integrated design solutions for small-space living, and one that might inspire new designs to take its place. This compact dishwasher fits seamlessly in one side of a double sink, saving space under the cabinets for all-important kitchen storage.

The lid doubles as a draining board, and the unit comes with a snap-on cutting board custom-fitted to the top to further enhance the usability of this surface area. It is well-organized inside with a larger-than-average silverware basket, capacity-expanding capabilities for larger and awkwardly-shaped pots or pans.

With room enough too accommodate up to five place settings at a time, this relatively tiny device also uses 50% less water than a typical washer for similarly-sized loads, can run a full cycle in 20 to 30 minutes, and the lid pops open at the end to release internal steam and pressure.

Space-saving countertop dishwashers do exist, and are easy to find at big box stores like Home Depot, but the way they fit into the space is a little less elegant. While those of us making do with compact kitchens wait for new versions of this awesome in-sink dishwasher to make it onto the consumer market, perhaps we’ll just have to daydream about all the things we’ll do instead of (procrastinating on) hand washing the dishes.