For a gourmet chef, appliances will be a Number One priority when planning a Chicago kitchen remodel. But even amateur chefs should pay careful attention to the appliances they select. Budget should always be a concern when designing your new kitchen space, but budgeting a bit more for appliances than originally anticipated is often a smart move. Buying kitchen appliances is one area where you get what you pay for.
Here are some tips for buying kitchen appliances that suit your kitchen design and provide high-quality performance. Plus, higher-end appliances usually include better overall service programs.
- Pay a little more. Sometimes, you're paying for a brand name, and that's never a good investment. Appliances aren't one of those things. With appliances, you are paying for the level of performance you'll receive. This includes energy savings, water savings in the case of dishwashers, customizable settings, etc.
- Don't (necessarily) pick the highest BTUs. When you start researching gourmet kitchen designs, you'll read a good deal about BTUs. In our experience, the average - and well-above-average - chef doesn't require the highest BTU options. Rather, you're better of selecting for a wider variety of heating options. Generally, you will only need a stovetop with BTUs ranging from 3,000 to 12,000.
- Double oven or no? If you entertain a lot, then yes. If you only have dinner parties or large social gatherings a few times a year, double ovens are a waste of your money and space.
- Splurge on a warming drawer. If you cook most of your meals at home, you'll soon wonder how you ever lived without a warming drawer: warming plates, keeping bacon warm while you cook the eggs, preserving the crispy goodness of your garlic cheese bread while the kids set the table, etc. - it's a wonderful invention. No room for a warming drawer? Look for a microwave with a "keep warm" feature and you'll be just as thrilled.
- Listen to your inner range hood. There's no point in installing a range hood that doesn't work, or works so noisily that you never want to turn it on. Choose a range hood with an adequate CFM (cubic feet per minute of air it moves) but that is also quiet. Don't purchase a model until you have listened to it long enough to know whether it will drive you crazy or not. Typically, you want your range hood to be 6-inches wider than your stovetop.
- Don't discount the microwave. For some of us, life without a microwave is no life at all (cold coffee, anyone?), whereas serious chefs often pooh-pooh them. Don't discount the value of a microwave, especially one that can double as a convection oven - which solves Item Number 3 above.
- Get creative. There are so many ways to get creative and accommodate the appliances you want/need. This is where a professional kitchen designer can really make a difference in providing tips for buying kitchen appliances that suit your style of kitchen living. From freezer drawers that provide spillover space when you find you don't have room for the large side-by-side fridge of your dreams to an extra economy-sized dishwasher near the wetbar to help with glass overflow during parties and get-togethers, we will find creative ways to integrate your kitchen's looks, function and usability.
Have questions about buying kitchen appliances for an upcoming North Shore kitchen remodel? Give Kitchens & Baths Unlimited a call. (847) 729-1212