Your kitchen renovation is soon underway and you cannot seem to make a decision regarding your new kitchen appliances? Don't panic ! It is perfectly normal to feel a little overwhelmed with the large variety of options, which can sometimes confuse the most discerning consumer. Fridge with or without freezer, built-in or not? Gas range or induction cooktop? Standard dishwasher or dishwasher drawers? The choices are numerous. To help you navigate through this sea of options, ESPÉ has created this small guide to buying kitchen appliances.
Step 1 : Defining your budget
Beyond the practical aspect that kitchen appliances can bring, they are now an integral part of a kitchen design. These are not only useful everyday objects, but can also serve as design attractions, which will not fail to enhance or diminish the aesthetic quality of a kitchen renovation.
This may explain why a growing number of people now plan their appliance choices ahead of time. By working with a qualified interior designer, it will ensure that the choice of appliances are a good fit with the size of the room as well as the final concept. This is an advantage as it guarantees a certain consistency throughout the kitchen but also helps you stay on budget.
As you probably know, appliances can have a hefty price tag and are a significant part of a kitchen renovation budget. This amount, however, can vary greatly depending on the model, their brand, the technology available, etc;
Try to give as much information as you can to your interior designer or kitchen appliance expert so they can guide you through the different options. It will be imperative for you to answer the following questions:
- What are your cooking habits?
- Do you have a preference in terms of brand?
- What inspires you in terms of style?
- Are you looking for something very apparent?
- Or rather something discreet?
- What type of surface / space do you want to allocate to each of your appliances?
- Do you need a particular technology?
Step 2: The choice of kitchen appliances
Once you have established your budget, comes the real step of selecting your kitchen appliances. This is the stage of scrupulous research!
The fridge is the central element of the kitchen. It is of course important in terms of food preservation but can also have a large impact on the aesthetic aspect of your kitchen.
A refrigerator is now offered according to 3 large families:
- The standard fridge: is visible and uses a significant amount of space in the kitchen. It is however quite simple to move or replace.
- The counter-depth fridge: although it is generally very visible, it is made to be the same depth as the countertop or cabinets (doors excluded).
- The built-in fridge: is, as the name suggests, it is built into the cabinetry and can have a stainless steel door or a custom made cabinet door for a seamless design.
As the cabinetry and appliances need to be well adapted to each other, other elements may also be considered. In addition to the fridge itself, some people choose to add separate ice makers or additional refrigeration and/or freezer spaces into the cabinetry. A growing trend in the kitchen is to integrate the freezer area into a separate walk-in pantry area in order to free up cabinet space in the kitchen.
The range, oven or cooktop
Range or cooktop and oven? As with the refrigerator, the range can be purchased in a more standard format, stand-alone or slide-in. You could also choose to buy the oven and cooktop separately in order to better meet your cooking needs.
For the cooktop: at the technical level, you will usually have to choose between a gas, electric or induction operation. Induction is now the most popular system because it is fast, safe and energy efficient.
For the oven: cooking called “natural convection” remains the most popular so far. “Rotating heat”, however, is gaining a lot of popularity because it does not require preheating and allows more homogeneous cooking. Otherwise, here are new possibilities, rising stars who are gaining in popularity:
- Steam oven: allows to quickly cook food using steam. The advantage of this method of cooking is that it maximizes the retention of nutrients until they are consumed.
- Built-in vacuum cooking system also known as “sous-vide”: high-end item that can cook food (vegetables, fruits, meat and fish) in a very precise way. With such a system, cooking is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the food, which makes it retain all its flavour.
Beyond the style a dishwasher can bring to a room, look for one that can adapt to your cleaning habits. Take the time to analyze the following:
- The supply of preprogrammed systems with special cleaning cycles. If you have a set of dishes of a particular type and want to adapt the cleaning, it is possible to choose a mode that suits you.
- Storage space: think about the arrangement of the different baskets and whether you want to opt for a model with drawers or not.
- The number of jets present and their positioning.
- The noise generated by your device. In general, a dishwasher will range between 42dB (not audible) and more than 55dB (considered noisy).
- Its size: a standard dishwasher will be 24 inches wide. For smaller spaces, compact 18″ models are also available on the market.
- The consumption of water and electricity.
Small appliances for the kitchen
Also take into consideration your compact appliances, which may be less expensive than your big appliances, but which are bought in greater numbers. Mixers, slow cookers, hand mixers, food processors, etc; can also decorate your room by their aesthetics, but can also be bulky and take up a lot of storage space.
Another popular trend is for integrated coffee makers or integrated cellars.
Final step: observation and planning
Depending on the choice of kitchen appliances you have made, all you will have to do is purchase and ensure the coordination between the appliance installers and the renovators. If you are working with a renovation company, it will not be up to you to worry about this aspect.
You must know that depending on the kitchen appliances you choose, the energy consumption may vary. Although most of them meet a certain standard, some devices consume more electricity than normal. In such a case, it will be necessary to ensure that the electrical capacity of your home is able to receive a higher demand. If this is not the case, it will then be necessary to rework the electrical system with your renovators and avoid any unpleasant surprises when the walls are closed.
Since most houses in Montreal have aging electrical systems, it would be very useful to analyze it before starting the work. You will also reduce the potential risk of fire.
Now all you have to do is enjoy your new kitchen appliances!
Although far from being exhaustive (it would be almost impossible to be), we hope that this little guide helped you work through the infinite possibilities!
In connection with kitchen renovations, do not hesitate to consult our article on standard measurements for kitchen planning.
If you have any additional questions, do not forget to contact the experts of ESPÉ, who will be happy to give you more information.