image source: Subzero.com
How much time do you spend in your kitchen each day?
Is it 1 hour? 3 hours? Most people now use their kitchen as the hub of their home and as a result, this room is becoming the most important room in the house. Frank Lloyd Wright thought the most important function of the home was the hearth, and designed his houses around this central feature. I doubt he spent much time cooking though. Some today might say the core feature of the kitchen is the “island”, but not every kitchen has one. What DOES every kitchen have, what gets used the MOST in a modern, working kitchen? The Appliances!
The Washington Post had a great article in January of 2016 that highlighted some current kitchen trends. You can read the article here. One interesting find was the popularity of stainless steel appliances which is a trend still holding strong. I find many clients opting for paneled fronts on appliances, and a few brave souls venturing into the black stainless finishes. Are you curious about whats hot right now? Here are some of my top interests lately:
- REFRIGERATOR: Samsung 36 Inch Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator #RF23J9011SG
This model features a french door upper fridge AND lower freezer compartment. Perfect for people who are “vertically challenged” because they don’t have a compressor at the bottom which often raises the inside compartment up about 6 inches.
2. DISHWASHER: BOSCH 800 SERIES Bar Handle Built-in Dishwasher Model No: SGX68U55UC
I love this dishwasher because it wins the prize for being ultra quiet. (less than 44 decibels for you technical types) Its so quiet in fact that your kids or guests will routinely open it mid cycle to a face full of steam not realizing its on. A small red light below the unit shines on the floor to let you know its in use. The hidden controls make the front sleek and easy to keep clean. If you live in a home with 2 people or less, you may want to consider a dishwasher drawer. I especially like this one from Fisher & Paykel. They are more compact and do an excellent job cleaning since you can separate pots and pans from glassware.
3. RANGES: If you live north of Georgia and the word “budget” is not in your vocabulary, then an AGA Stove may be the way to go. But for the rest of us who value function and the safety of turning a flame OFF there are many other suitable and affordable options. My favorite ranges are from Wolf , Thermador, and the GE Monogram Series. The price tends to be a deal breaker for some clients. But if you like to cook, the dual fuel option of gas cooktop with electric convection oven is hard to beat.
4. WALL OVENS: Here is an interesting concept. French door wall ovens! What is appealing about this for people who cook is that both doors open with one hand, and you don’t have to stand too far away to pull out a heavy pan. I love this idea.
GE CAFÉ™ SERIES 30″ BUILT-IN FRENCH-DOOR SINGLE CONVECTION WALL OVEN # CT9070SHSS
Before I leave the topic of ovens, I’d like to mention the trend in steam ovens. Personally, I don’t care for them but if you are into really healthy food preparation and are looking for new ways to prepare vegetarian meals, a steam oven may be right for you.
5. HOODS: No range is complete without some way to exhaust both the steam and the cooking grease. Most of us don’t even turn on our exhaust fan in the kitchen unless we’ve burned something, but its still an important item for 2 reasons. One is that the inspectors make a big deal about the hood being properly sized for the range (and have enough cfms). The other reason is that depending on the size of the exhaust, you must install a make up air damper which gets located on your return air unit typically at the furnace. This model below is a great exhaust fan because when you turn it on you can control the fan with a dial not an off/ on switch. This keeps you from losing your hearing while you fan the flames on your burnt salmon. It also has a easy to remove pan to clean and low profile which I find helpful when designing cabinetry above it.
VENT-A-HOOD Wall Mounted Liner Inserts
6. WINE FRIDGE: More and more clients are asking to install these. Depending on your enthusiasm for storing wine at the ideal temperature, there are different models to accommodate size and level of control. There are many brands, and I’m surprised that the biggie manufacturers haven’t jumped on this yet to make matching large fridge and wine fridges yet. Installing these properly is almost more important than the appliance itself as they tend to leak (this is bad. imagine wet wood floor overnight). I’m recommending a compact 15″ model that holds 30 bottles but they also come in 24″ wide.
7. Last, and least for sure is the topic of microwaves which seem to be the bane of my Kitchen layout success. It seems there is never a good place for them. People rarely use them except for the quick re heat of coffee or occasional bag of popcorn. Yet they can take up the best “real estate” in a kitchen by either blocking a great view right at eye level or messing up an otherwise well laid out cabinetry profile. The best solution I’ve been able to find are the drawer units. They can hide inconspicuously in an island or base cabinet and easily be reached without straining on tip toes. Be careful though if your dinner plates are large, sometimes a plate wont fit in a drawer unit so check the interior clearance size carefully.
Sharp Easy Open Microwave Drawer # KB-6524PS 24″
If you would like more tips or detailed help selecting Kitchen Appliances, send me an email through my contact page to arrange for a consultation. Or if you have any favorite appliances you just could not live without I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please comment below!