With so many available style, feature, quality and technology options, selecting the best appliances for your new or remodeled kitchen can be overwhelming, even if you’re working with a design or building professional. Creating a design plan and conducting informed appliance research before you start shopping can ensure that you create a stylish, functional kitchen for your family and lifestyle while remaining on budget.
START WITH A PLAN
Evaluating your needs and goals for your new kitchen in several key areas will help you create a realistic appliance-purchasing strategy.
Layout and Budget
Whether you’re working with an existing kitchen layout for which you need replacement appliances, remodeling to change your current design or creating your dream kitchen as part of a new construction project, the layout of your kitchen dictates a lot about the appliances you’ll need to purchase. Be sure to consider how you use your kitchen and the flow and traffic patterns it creates with adjoining rooms, as well as any architectural or structural constraints. Take a look at Common Kitchen Layouts for tips and insights on space planning — the layout you choose can either enhance or limit the types and sizes of appliances that can be accommodated. And be aware that you may have to make some compromises.
The budget you establish for your new kitchen will greatly influence the appliances you select, so it needs to be realistic for the size and scope of your project. And, as you choose appliances, be sure you or your trade professional prioritizes this established budget and function over aesthetics. For example, commercial-style appliances that are not correctly proportioned for your kitchen layout may offer the look you want but end up requiring budget-straining structural modifications that you didn’t anticipate.
Function and Lifestyle
When planning for your new kitchen, you’ll also want to take into consideration your family’s lifestyle and design it around the way you live and entertain. Be sure to make notes on not only how you currently use your kitchen but also how you might like to use it in the future. If you like to entertain, consider adding specialty appliances like a warming drawer or ice maker or installing a larger capacity oven. And busy families might want to add a speedcooking oven to save time. Drafting a comprehensive wish list will make it easier to match your needs and wants with appliance features once you start shopping.
Whether on your own or with a design professional, try to visit retailers or showrooms for product demonstrations — there’s no substitute for actually using the appliances to determine if they will be a good fit for you ergonomically or for the layout of your kitchen. For example, you may want to consider a range or oven with larger time and temperature displays, depending on the size of your kitchen. Or you may find that certain knobs, buttons and other tactical features offer greater accessibility. You can locate retailers through the manufacturers’ web sites or by using Find A Showroom. If you’re not near a retailer, your wish list will still be helpful in narrowing your search based on the features and specifications on the manufacturers’ web sites.
Style and Finishes
Once you’ve established your appliance budget and functional requirements, you can further narrow your choices by selecting the style and finishes that complement your kitchen design. In today’s luxury kitchens,stainless steel is the most popular finish option — in addition to being long-lasting and durable, stainless steel’s sleek surface is also easy to clean. Another luxury trend is integrating appliances with cabinetry using custom panels. This involves having panels custom made by a cabinet maker according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
One advantage of higher-end appliances is that they are often designed with classic lines that coordinate with a variety of kitchen styles. At Monogram, we also offer a further distinction between chef-inspired Professional style and sleek European-style products.
When selecting appliances, you’ll also want to consider how their handles, knobs, touchscreens or illumination add to the overall look you want. If you’re struggling with any of these choices, try creating a mood board that integrates all the finishes you’re considering to help you visualize how they all work together.
When you buy appliances, choose your retailer wisely. The sales representative you work with should be familiar with all the unique product features across multiple brands to aid you in your selection. Plus, retailers can often help with any complicated installation requirements unique to your kitchen design.
Also, knowing when and where to buy can benefit your budget — in the American retail market, for example, deep discounts can often be had as part of seasonal sales and promotions oriented around major holidays. And promotions and rebates are often available through the manufacturers’ web sites, with local dealers offering additional discounts as well.
CHOOSE THE BEST APPLIANCES
Once you have established a budget and created a vision for your new kitchen, you’ll need to research specific appliances, considering the brands and differentiating factors in each category to choose the appliances with the features, performance and style that best meet your needs.
Also be sure to consider Energy Star-rated appliances to increase home energy efficiency and savings while reducing impact on the environment. For tips on selecting and positioning your appliances for better energy efficiency, see our article on the Energy Efficient Kitchen.