Choosing Kitchen Appliances
Appliances are a pertinent component of the kitchen.
Not only are they the primary purpose for cooking + food prep, but appliances contribute a large part to the overall aesthetic.
Basically the appliances have 2 major roles… they have to be highly-functional AND look fabulous! They’re a big deal!
When it came time to choose appliances for our kitchen remodel, I chose Frigidaire. I had just finished up a client project and after scouring big box + local appliance stores for appliances ranging from budget-friendly to commerical-grade, we both fell in love with the Smudge-Proof collection.
For about the last 15 years, stainless steel finish has been the top choice for kitchen appliances. The utilitartian look makes us feel like we’re in a commercial kitchen – and doesn’t that make you cook better? Maybe in my mind… Restaurants have always turned to stainless because it stands up to wear + tear and it holds up to high heat, better than paint.
The downside of stainless, the smudges. A small issue for some, but with a load of kids (like we have), it can seem like the solid stainless surface is never clean. Enter… SMUDGE -PROOF. The solution to all world problems. totally kidding. well kinda.
Aside from the surface – stainless, white, black – of the appliance, here are a few tips when choosing appliances to suit your style + budget.
TIPS BEFORE YOU APPLIANCE SHOPPING
> The Layout. Before setting out to choose appliances, finalize the layout of the kitchen first to determine what you’ll need + the sizes.
> Budget. Appliances come in a range of price-points and are dependent on the power they provide + the look you want. Determine a budget what you want to spend, then SHOP.
> Microwave. In many kitchens, the microwave is over the range. For compact spaces this is a great solution to maximize on space. BUT if you have the space to locate the microwave in another spot (ours is in the island), I would. The range is more often or not, one of the major focal points of the kitchen that your eye is drawn to. No matter the size of the range (ours is 36″ wide, which is typical), you can make a statement above.
I chose an exposed hood for above the range. The impact on the overall look outweighs the small lose of storage by eliminating a cabinet. Need storage above the range? Consider a concealed hood with a decorative mantel which provides space for a cabinet above.
> Refrigerator. Choosing a refrigerator can be overwhelming. The selection is vast! Refrigerators from years past are deep (32-35″ +), which makes them stick out way beyond the countertop depth (typically 25″). I would recommend a refrigerator that is counter depth or a style that is no more than 27″ deep. The door of these models sit forward of the counter, but the overall depth compared to older refrigerators is much less.
Having a refrig that isn’t as deep leaves more area form traffic flow – bonus!
> Range. Are you a baker? You need a convection oven. My new oven has convection bake + roast capibilities, which means heat is distributed throughout the oven more evenly rather than heat being emitted from the oven walls only as with a conventional oven. It took some getting used to because when suing the convection setting, the oven auto-adjusts, but overall I am loving the results.
Also with the range, look at the cooktop surface. Again, lots of options in this area. I chose a model that has a continuous grate top versus 4 separate burners. This allows me to move pots / pans easily + to fit more. Additionally, there is a 2-in-1 burner + griddle, which is ideal for simmering sauces, as well as flipping pancackes.
> Dishwasher. To me a dishwasher is a dishwasher. Consider what you like / don’t like about your existing style and start from there. Does it make too much noise? My new dishwasher is quiet-as-a-church-mouse and actually reflects a blue light onto the floor so you know the cycle has ended. Or do you not like the inside configuration for plates and glasses? Look for a model that has flexibility for the top + bottom racks.
> The Handle. A small detail to some, but a huge detail to me which reflects the overall look of a kitchen… The Handles. Remember, it’s all about the details. When choosing appliances, *try* to find a collection you like – like the smudge-proof collection – or one manufacturer so the handles on various appliances match. You wouldn’t have various pulls and knobs on your cabinets, right?
> The Finish. Whether stainless or painted, every manufacturer has a variation of stainless or white. Again, try to choose a collection so the finish is the same for each.
Appliances are a lot of money. They are an investment. And a lot of time + research can go into choosing the right model for your style + budget. It can be quite daunting, but hopefully with the tips I’ve shared, it makes the process a bit less stressful.
If you want to see all the posts documenting the kitchen renovation, here they are from start to finish:
Wonderful White Kitchen Inspiration
Kitchen Remodel: Before + Plan of Action
Demo Day: Steps for Demolishing the Kitchen
Kitchen Progress: Staining Hardwood Floors
The Cabinets Arrive + Get Installed
Natural Quartz Countertops in the Kitchen
10 Countertop Materials to Consider for the Kitchen
Subway Tile Installation + Choosing the RIGHT Subway
Kitchen Backsplash Tile Options + Inspiration
Choosing a Paint Color + Wallpaper for the Kitchen and Dining Room
Kitchen Renovation: The Appliances
Dissecting the Details
Kitchen Renovation: REVEAL + RESOURCES
DISCLAIMER: THIS KITCHEN RENOVATION IS A COLLABORATION WITH LOWEâ€™S AND FRIGIDAIRE. ALL OPINIONS + SELECTIONS ARE MY OWN WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE LOWEâ€™S DESIGN TEAM.