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How (and when) to Buy Appliances for Your New Kitchen

By 07/10/2015January 2nd, 202072 Comments

Planning a kitchen renovation or building a new house? Your design depends on which kitchen appliances you have purchased. Here’s a guide to help you know how and when to buy appliances for your new kitchen. 



Did you know that until you have chosen and purchased your appliances, you can’t begin designing your kitchen?

Jan Romanuk (my long-time dear friend and past business partner) says many of her clients are surprised to learn that this is the first step inside any kitchen renovation.

Three years ago when we bought this house and renovated the kitchen, Jan designed it for us. She has been renovating and designing interiors for over 35 years.

Jan has impeccable taste in all things fashion including, of course, the home. And, she is a wealth of information and can answer just about any question you’ll have about home renovations. Keep reading to see her tips for kitchen appliance shopping.

She’s been working with Mike Langari (below) for years, a very successful cabinet maker on the North Shore who builds kitchens and millwork for every room in your home from West Vancouver all the way, to well, Chilliwack (my house).


Jan Romanuk & Mike Langari

He built my cabinets and and he’s recently hooked up with Pedini Kitchens from Italy to bring fabulous, sleek, and extremely functional, Italian design to Vancouver.

Mike still makes every other kind of kitchen you and I have in our home, however if stunning, high end Italian is what you’re after, now you can get that in Vancouver through Mike and his team.

I was at their official grand opening last night.


A fireplace with custom millwork by Mike in the showroom


Brizo Faucet

Check out this very great faucet from Brizo. It has a touch feature so when you’re prepping food, you don’t need to use the lever, just touch the faucet and it turns the water off and on.

And as an extra bonus, it comes with a bud vase (on the right).


Pedini Kitchen

So here’s the skinny on appliance shopping from Jan:

How (and when) to buy appliances for your new kitchen.

Buying appliances is just as expensive as buying a car. If you don’t know what your appliance budget is because you have no idea what they will cost or what you will like, go to several different appliance showrooms to find out which colours and brands appeal to you.

The minimum you should budget for is $10,000, And it’s important to know that appliances brands have become really important to buyers.  Appliances have become the jewelry of the kitchen. In high end neighbourhoods, Real Estate agents are now asking questions like “Did you install a Sub-Zero, Wolf package?”.

Choosing a Refrigerator

Full fridge, drawer fridge, half fridge half freezer, wine fridge the options are endless today with the largest selection of refrigerators we have ever had.  Whether you are looking for a small 24″ or a professional 60″ refrigerators today can be integrated with custom panels to look like the rest of your Millwork. This gives you the homeowner more design options to create a furniture like feel to your open concept kitchen family rooms.




The new 24″ freezerless refrigerator is great because the entire length of the refrigerator is in use. And it’s great to have more access to vegetables and dairy products since people are freezing less and eating more fresh.

I recommend a 36″ standard size, 24″ counter depth refrigerator, because in the average kitchen it looks balanced. If you install something larger than this in the average 10 x 12 kitchen, it will look appliance heavy.



This new concept of luxury appliances featured in this kitchen (above). This horizontal line of wall oven, steam oven and microwave all in 24″ format offers the homeowner the convenience of having easy access to their appliances in at a height that is most comfortable anywhere from 36″ to 42″ from the floor.

Gone are vertically stacked appliances. Horizontal, is the new trend in kitchens now.

Choosing a Gas Cooktop

Gas cooktops have been the desired cooktop for chefs and homeowners alike for many years. They still provide  a very accurate cooking temperature with flame control and evenly distributed heat and gas is much faster than electric with no waiting time for immediate heat.

Another advantage of gas is that if there is a power shut down you can manually light your gas cooktop and cook your meals.  Cleaning of a gas cooktop if one of the major downsides when compared to electric or induction

Choosing an Electric Cooktop

An electric cooktop gives you the convenience of a easy clean surface, however, the inability to evenly distribute heat and the longer turn off time makes this a less desirable choice. If your budget requires that you look at this option buy the best your money can buy.

inductionInduction cooktop source

Choosing an Induction Cooktop

This is my favourite, with the great instant off on and instant cool to the touch, I believe we will look back on gas cooking like we we do now with coal burning stoves of yesteryear.  You can expect exact temperature control with the most efficient simmer on the market. The coolest kitchen ever, that gives you instant “cool” to the touch, no more burned fingers and the safest cooking product for your children.


See how one side is boiling and the other side is ice? That’s because only the place where the pot comes into contact with the surface of the cooktop gets hot.

Very cool. Literally.



Choosing a Hood Fan

Another appliance that gives the homeowner an opportunity for self expression.  The world of hood fans has been given new life with inserts that gives us the freedom to create a invisible hood fan above the cooktops (see how it doesn’t stick out in this photo above?) .  With the advancement of induction cooktops that blend into our countertops, the invisible fan is a continuation of the cleaner, clearer more furniture looking kitchen.

My best tip for shopping for your new kitchen appliances.

My best tip? Don’t blow your budget on your appliances. I recently spoke to a couple who had just spent $50,000 on their appliances and wanted to spend $15,000 on their millwork.

A kitchen with expensive appliances, especially if it’s white, should be a wood painted product instead of a less expensive MDF kitchen which will swell when it gets wet.

Thanks Jan!

There are two people who have changed my life and Jan Romanuk is one of them. We were business partners for a short time right before I started writing this blog in 2008 and so much of my knowledge about renovations, kitchens and bathrooms comes from working with and knowing her. She is one of my closest friends and I feel lucky to have her in my life!

If you need help designing your kitchen on-line or in-person, contact Jan or Mike at Pedini Kitchens here.


 Jan Romanuk & Maria Killam

Next time, remind me not to wear stripes in a photo. They make me look huge, haha!

I’m doing a poll that will help everyone, how much did you spend on your appliance package?

Related posts:

My White Kitchen Inside Style at Home

How to Coordinate White and Cream (If you made a Mistake)

Ask Maria: Will my White Kitchen be Cold?

How to buy appliances for your new kitchen.
2 pins


  • And
    Trying to keep your cupboards and get new appliances can be a real pain, as I am currently finding out.

  • Chris says:

    We just installed a Bosch induction cooktop with a retractable downdraft into the kitchen island in our new home. Previously I had used a Wolf gas range for the past few years and hated cooking everyday because the clean up of a typical Wolf cooktop borders on the ridiculous! How they ever became so popular is beyond me. But I loved cooking with gas and never could imagine going electric. But this induction Bosch is great! I’m converted. Water boils in 90seconds and there is no clean up because you can even put a sheet of newspaper or a paper kitchen towel between your pot and the cooktop to catch any spills. Yes, it cooks right through the paper without heating the paper! Things heat with magnetic vibration. I feel my cooking even tastes better because I can control the temp. instantly. It is a 30″ cooktop and with the down-draft and building into the counter it did run about 4k. now I need a new icebox and dishwasher… So 10k is a good estimate. When did cooking get so expensive?

    • Stacy G says:

      I’m with you on the appeal of induction cooktops.

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      The more people who purchase induction will help to lower the prices, they are fairly new to the marketplace and I am seeing more and more brands coming out with their own induction cooktops. This means more continuity in design for our kitchens

  • Jo Galbraith says:

    Another post that I will refer to when I am finally able to build my dream kitchen! Thanks Maria!

  • Stacy G says:

    I haven’t had a microwave oven for years and I don’t miss it. I do wish I could get a nice mini convection oven in place of a microwave in the appliance realm that is not a countertop model.

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      Have you looked at the Sharp Drawer model, several clients have put these in there kitchens and love them

  • Diane says:

    I’ve had full refrigerators for 35 years (remember Gibsons?) and love them. I now have a 30″ Miele full refrigerator that sits next to the kitchen entrance wall (28″ wall) from the laundry room. We are doing upgrading cabinets and minor space changes and I want to make the refrigerator space big enough to accept a 36″ refrigerator for the future. Space is now 361/2″ which was not big enough for 36″ refrigerator. How much space should I allot for a future 36″ refrigerator that would have hinges on the wall side – is 39″ usually enough?

    • Diane says:

      Also wanted to add that we have had a plumbed Gaggenau steam oven for 10 years and was a splurge but it’s the cooking appliance we use most. Steams veggies, fish, chicken, ribs, hard boiled eggs, rice, pasta, moist reheating, defrosting, water bath canning and so much more. Worst part is there are few recipes and it’s trial and error at first.

      • Janet Romanuk says:

        I think this is the best invention for cooking in a long time. Innovation has not kept up in appliance world to other technologies and this along with induction can really transform our cooking time and pleasure as well as taste. Steamed food tastes like real food.

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      We usually allow 1″ on both sides so 39″ would be more than adequate

  • Katie K. says:

    I’d love to know more about steam ovens. I’ve started to read about them here and there but would love to know more about what options are out there and any recommendations Jan might have. We are moving into a new house with a wall oven and a wall microwave and I’m considering replacing the microwave with a second oven and wonder if I should spend the extra for steam. I haven’t gotten far enough in the process to know if we can plumb it for water or will need one with a tank. Thanks!

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      You will forever thank yourself for the addition of a steam oven. I know that Miele Showrooms offer in house demonstrations using there steam ovens, just call, show interest in their product and make an appointment. Well worth the time and a great help in decision making

  • Julie S says:

    Fascinating! We, a young couple, have a very old kitchen – knotty pine – which is probably 5-10 years from being renovated. We have a nice white gas stove, a high end stainless steel dishwasher from my hubby’s bachelor days, and a big white fridge which I am just waiting for it to die so we can get a counter depth one.

  • aprilneverends says:

    Well, I was really, really surprised when we were told we need to get(or at least order, and have a list of specs) appliances before the cabinet maker starts with the kitchen.
    We didn’t buy everything in a package-we hunted sales, and read a lots of reviews beforehand, to make sure we buy good appliances. We’re not done yet, we still have to choose(or rather to buy) the hood and the microwave we like. But everything will be by different company. Bosch dishwasher(we have one now, and are pleased), Jenn-Air stove top(a gas one), Frigidaire oven and refrigerator(we might take our current refrigerator with us, which is Frigidaire..if not, we’ll buy the same model. it’s counter depth). I’m usually very detailed, but less so with appliances, so it doesn’t bother me they are all from different brands..they’re stainless steel, and possible slight variations in finish won’t bug me. Or won’t bug me as much.
    Altogether, we hope to pay less than 10 thousand dollars, but it might get close to it, taxes and all.
    The store where we purchase most of appliances/plumbing stuff(amazing store btw), quoted around 20.000 for a nice package of great appliances. Naturally we decided to do it our way, hunting around, and we hope to get a good quality, without paying such an insane amount of money. My husband is an engineer, so he’s researching every small detail about stuff like that, before buying and committing to anything.
    It’s driving me crazy, because it’s very time-consuming, and lots of legwork, but on the other hand I am happy he is this way, because nothing leaves me more dumbfounded as mechanisms of all sorts, even the simplest ones.
    I am a bit concerned about choosing finishes for handles and knobs later..I feel a bit restricted because of the stainless steel.
    But it’s such a massive remodel, and there are inevitable compromises. Maybe when we’ll get to the happy day of installing handles and knobs, I’ll be all sunshine and unicorns, regardless.

  • Susanne says:

    We just finished a complete kitchen renovation and spent probably about $25k on the appliances.
    We got a 30″ wide Thermador full fridge, which we LOVE since we have two boys that are growing like weeds! Then we got a 24″ wide Thermador freezer. Perfection!
    We also got a Thermador 36: induction cooktop. I love it, especially for the easy clean up! However, one thing that is not fully correct above and that I read often, is that the cook top does not get hot and is safe for kids. That is not completely true: while the cooktop does not heat itself up since it works with magnetic energy, the surface does get hot from the pot or pan that sits on top. So once you take off that boiling pot of pasta, the surface is hot and could hurt a child. Not as much as a gas burner of course, but it is definitely not cool or just warm, it is pretty hot!
    We also got a Bosch hood and Bosch convection oven and a Bosch combination microwave/convection oven! Again, we are very happy with everything!
    Lastly, we went with a Fisher Paykel dishwasher drawer set, which is perfect for our family of four. We can run one drawer while we fill up the other etc.
    For cabinets, we went with white shaker style cabinets from InnerMost. They are frameless and therefor provide you more space inside each cabinet vs. the traditional framed cabinets. We got ours from HomeDepot and are very happy.

  • Kay says:

    We went with a Lacanche range, so with shipping from France and tax it was about $12,000. We had a 2-year-old Bosch dishwasher that we kept, and our French door refrigerator was only about $1800. The microwave is small and inexpensive. You can tell what I care about.

  • Ange Mills says:

    We spent 4500.00 and Even tho I love all the new stainless Electrolux appliances the kitchen still looks dated with the builder grade orange oak cabinets. Still wanting to paint the cabinets white.

  • Jo says:

    Maria, this is our 3rd kitchen in 15 years and we have learned what we like and don’t like. We know we really need double ovens (have done Kitchen Aid in all 3 kitchens), and we also really like having a warming drawer. We like a quiet dishwasher (last time we used Bosch with an integrated panel to match our cabinets, but it always had a bad odor. This time we used a Kitchen Aid in stainless-it owrks fine, but I actually prefer the look of the integrated panel type). We pick a relatively inexpensive microwave b/c we only use it for warming or cooking oatmeal, and we like to pick a model we can hide behind a cabinet door (went with the GE Space saver model twice now and we love it!). We have had 3 gas range tops, the first from Jenn Air, the second form Viking, and the third from Wolf, and the the Wolf is the BOMB!! We went with the 48″ sub zero and it is the best fridge ever-everything stays so cool! total spent on appliances $20K

  • Bert says:

    We spent about $4000 for a stainless steel gas range and refrigerator. We have a black dishwasher that we plan to use until it dies because it does such a good job but when it does, we will replace it with stainless steel.

  • Lora says:

    Please be sure your dishes fit in the Bosch if buying it. Both my daughters bought Bosch dishwashers because they had good reviews but have a hard time loading them. They accommodate smaller European dishes and cutlery. I had an Asko before and I’m buying one again for my new home – it was a large capacity DW and I could load many dishes very easily. It’s the best dishwasher I’ve owned (after building 5 homes).

  • BillP says:

    I believe that the appliances will be the first things to date a kitchen. Ideally, refrigerator and dishwasher have panels that match the cabinets.Choose your cabinets first in order to determine whether the manufacturer makes a panel that will fit your refrig and dw. A cooktop with hood and oven below are preferable to a free standing range. Buying an appliance package is cost effective in order to get the multiple piece discounts. I read once 40% of kitchen reno cost is appliances, 40% cabinets, limit kitchen reno to 20% of home value.

  • Janet Romanuk says:

    Love hearing about the love gets for induction. These are the kind of comments that I get from my clients. Regarding the question re “no. Microwave” but options the combination “speed ovens” are the answer to this question.

  • Dianne says:

    I am building a new home on a tight budget. I bought all of my kitchen appliances and washer/dryer for under $5,000 by stalking Sears appliance dept. Sales. Delivery is next week. Can’t imagine spending much more but we all have different budgets and priorities.

  • Lisa Henderson says:

    We spent $5000 on a Viking cooktop and they already had a Subzero fridge that’s 48″ wide (~ $9,000 we looked into replacing since the freezer won’t keep cold enough) and we bought a dual drawer Fisher Paykel dishwasher $1200 and another Bosch dishwasher $900. It had a Thermador oven and warming drawer for unknown prices.

  • Melissa says:

    Two questions. First, if one is buying “normal” average appliances, is it best if they are all the same brand?

    Second, I am interested in a panel ready dishwasher but I have older style cabinets (that I like and intend to keep–a farmhouse style kitchen) but I am not sure how the panels for the dishwasher would be designed to make it work. What sort of professional do I need to seek out for this? The appliance store, carpenter, interior designer, etc.?

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      My usual answer to your first question is “yes”, the reasons is that I like to see all appliance handles in a kitchen match as well as the stainless steel finish on brands is not the same. However, if you are using integrated dishwashers you can use any brand and it will not show, the most obvious place for brand matching is if you are creating a appliance tower. The appliance store or your designer will be able to answer your last wuestion

  • We bought an older home last year and had to get all new appliances, including washer and dryer. Samsung induction oven and counter depth fridge, and (very quiet) Bosch dishwasher, all in stainless steel. It was about $15K. We kept the microwave that was already there since it was fairly new. Stainless may look cool, but it’s terrible to keep clean. Every little smudge shows up! And my cook top is black, and it’s even worse. Has to be cleaned multiple times per day. I really miss my old white appliances.

  • Linda says:

    Should white cabinets have white appliances or stainless steel? With children I am not sure stainless is the way to go if it is going to look dirty most of the time. Also as we prepare for a kitchen reno and are on a budget I am wondering if the range hood should include the microwave as a combined unit. I do use my microwave but not heavily. Should I just put the microwave in a cabinet?

    • aprilneverends says:

      Not that I’m an authority in kitchen planning, but I feel it depends on your height, rather than anything else..I don’t like the look of combined microwave/hood over the stove top, but ultimately it was not a reason of deciding on a separate cabinet for it, but rather thinking of my discomfort in getting to it each time. Also it’s harder with several people in the kitchen, when, say, one is cooking, other’s trying to heat his food in the microwave. Not a huge deal, but still.
      But if you’re higher than me(and most people are, at least in North America)), don’t use it heavily, and are OK with a look-then you can go with combined, and save additional storage space by that.
      As for stainless steel-actually, I find it easier to keep clean than anything else. Which doesn’t mean you should prefer it. The only thing I found: you can’t mix stainless steel and white appliances, for some just doesn’t look great. IMHO. It’s either all white, or all stainless steel, or black/black plus stainless steel. So if you choose white-you do commit to white to a certain degree, if you need to change one of the appliances in the future.

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      The newest trend in appliances is white, Miele the German appliance company I mentioned started this in Europe several years ago and with the popularity of white kitchens here in North America it us showing up frequently, especially in contemporary designs. The no fingerprint stainless steel appliances are a bonus for busy moms.

      • Chris says:

        Hi Janet! I think you are right about the white appliances. All my eurpean friends have very sleek, smooth, white very modern kitchens. I am looking for a kind of white glass-fronted counterdepth fridge but can’t really find any. Are they not mainstream yet…? Where can I find them? Any help would be appreciated!

        • Kim says:

          Chris, We bought a Jenn-Air fridge that is counterdepth, white, glass front, french doors with freezer on the bottom and I love it. We took a chance as we couldn’t see the actual fridge in white until we received it and it’s beautiful. The counterdepths are smaller and more expensive but I can put so much more in them than my old side by side. Our cabinet maker did a cabinet around it, so it looks like a built in.

          As to Maria’s question, spent about 10K on appliances, (all white), repainted existing white cabinets, added Ceasarstone London Grey counters, white subway tile, GE white convection oven with glass front under drop in GE white glass gas cooktop. Cabinet maker took out the old built in desk in the kitchen and we put the new fridge there. He built me two big drawers where the old fridge sat and we moved the microwave (new white Advantium from GE) from over the stove to under the cabinets that were over the old fridge. So where the fridge used to be I now have more countertop, with the two big drawers underneath and the microwave and small cabinets up top! He then built a beautiful hood for a real vent over the stove where the microwave used to be! Took a while to do the research on everything we wanted to do and how it would all work together. While all new cabinets would have been lovely, we saved 20k by reworking what we have with the help of a good carpenter…really “good.” He was the key to getting the look I wanted!

  • Darlene says:

    I like what I’m reading about induction cooktops! I currently have a gas range but cleaning up spills is a pain.

  • Arlene says:

    A microwave with fan over the stove works perfect in our small space as it freed up room for cupboard space. We have white appliances with white cupboards which I like the look and they work excellent being over 18 years old. Dread the day I need to buy new appliances including washer & dryer. Where do you start when needing new appliances?

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      My recommendation is start at your local appliance dealer. Each dealer will have access to different brands so exploring different option for features and budget is important. Start with your budget and then search out the products that fit into your price range.

  • Sheila says:

    Great post! Thank you, Maria. I am a little challenged by the new ‘horizontal’ trend as it would not fit in my kitchen!

    I agree, appliances are the jewel of the kitchen. I can’t believe how many people skimp on this. Certainly, in markets such as Toronto, this is a big deal!

    A few questions for Jan-
    1. Are steam ovens a good (healthier) replacement for microwaves? I am considering replacing my microwave for one. I have noticed, as I walk through houses (done a lot of moving in the past 18 months) that there are fewer microwaves. Millennials seemed to shun this cooking/reheating method!?!
    2. What is the perception of ‘high-end’? I find everyone is drinking the same Kool-aid and only wants Wolf/Subzero. Quite frankly, I think Liebherr makes a better fridge (the Lemon-risk with Sub-zero is high, as is the repair bill). Liebherr makes several size options that will fit smaller spaces for older homes and condos. Their ice cube makers are awesome!
    3. What are the essential appliances today? Fridge, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, steam oven and wine fridge?
    4. I am petite. What is the ideal wall oven height?

    I look forward to your upcoming guest posts, Jan.

    Maria, I love your blog. It’s my new addiction!!!

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      Definitely “steam” is a healthier option nit just to microwave cooking but you will retain more nutrients from your food with steam cooking. You are so right about the “lets not use our microwave” trend. Some of the research that started 30 years ago about microwaves has been taken care of by the new design but I know I would not want to use an old microwave to cook for my family. Essential appliances today are Frudge, cooktop, oven and dishwasher, I see a trend towards smaller appliances even in large homes with a emphasis on shopping more frequently and cooking from local foods.

    • Lora says:

      I had a Sub-Zero in my last house, 18 years, and never had a problem. I love how everything fits in there. I’m buying another one for my new home (under construction).

    • Diane says:

      My Gaggenau steam oven was a replacement for a microwave/oven combo. For plumbed steam ovens (continuous steam and no container to fill) the oven will need to be above counter depth as it has a drain also. My steam oven is 24″ wide with a 3″ trim piece so it fits above a 27″ Gaggenau oven. So far, I haven’t had much problems with the small size oven except those big Papa Murphy pizzas don’t quite fit so I either cut them or let it roll up the front 1/2″ to an 1″. I hated broccoli until I steamed it -still don’t love it but I’ll eat it plus there’s no stink.

  • Liz says:

    Tx Maria & Jan! We built our house in ’08. Already having to do some cabinetry repair & fixing poor installation job to begin with.

    We spent ~$12k on our kitchen appliance pkg. We went w Electrolux. I really wanted the induction cooktop, but at the time, only the gas was avail. I chose a 30″ free-standing range that has 5 burners & a bottom drawer that is a second oven. It provides great functionality for a 30″ stove

    Overall I have not been happy w the range or the fridge. I’d not ever cooked w gas b4, and am not fussed about it (how long to boil water?!!), and one of the burners flicks fire out to a dangerous level when u first turn it on. We had to have a repairman come within the 1st yr to deal w problems w the fridge, & I had him look at the stove then, thinking it was some kind of setting re the one burner (it’s the igniting burner), but of course the problem didn’t happen when he was there

    We’ve repeatedly had issue w the fridge door water line freezing. The only solution Electrolux offered early on was to replace the whole door, but w no guarantee that we wouldn’t have the same problem. If we turn the fridge off for hr’s, the problem resolves but comes back quickly

    The stainless appliances came w a weird tint to them. As if they had a slight taupe antiquing kind of finish. The fingerprint & water mark situation was out of control and I took a stainless steel cream cleaner to the fridge & it ended up taking off whatever that finish was – so then I had to do it to the dishwasher & stove

    They all still mark terribly & w the range & fridge having performance issues, I feel like we’ll need to replace them b4 listing the home

    We are in a higher end area in Vanc, so I hear u on the comment by the realtor, but my husband argues that our view will sell the home no matter what

    We’re not selling any time soon, but in the meantime I have to live w appliances I’m not happy with. I think it’s crazy that these expensive items only have a 1 yr warranty

    It’s too late for me, but if Jan has any advice on preferred brands (incl affordable ones) and taking out xtra warranty, it may help others avoid spending thousands & end up far less than thrilled … 🙂

    • aprilneverends says:

      I feel I comment too much, but I’m also newly addicted to Maria’s blog, so sorry in advance))

      I share an opinion that the view cells houses..location, views, school districts, clever floor plans, general vibe and feel that speaks to certain people. Appliances are nice, but they don’t sell a house. Our current house had great appliances when we moved in. Now, the sellers took the refrigerator with them. they asked us to pay 400 bucks if we want them to leave their washer/dryer. We did, and the washer broke within a month. The microwave was amazing, very high end. But it also broke after a year or two, because it was old enough, for a microwave.
      So the sellers had great appliances, but did we get to enjoy all of them? No))

  • Hazel says:

    I like the idea of eye level ovens, microwaves etc but would definitely want them right next to a worktop where I could plonk down hot dishes from the oven to give them a quick stir etc without having to carry them across the kitchen. The three in a row might look sleek but would be totally impractical and even dangerous for me!

    • Lora says:

      You are right! You need a “landing” zone for the pots and pans, cookie sheets, etc. One solution I saw in a showroom was to have a pullout drawer below the stove for landing the cookware, but that only works with a side swing out door as found in a microwave.

  • mrsben says:

    In due course, hope to upgrade my kitchen area ‘U-Shape/triangle workspace’ namely to extend the counter space with either a small addition on to the home or add a bump-out as do not want to change the basic floor plan which now accommodates a perfect traffic flow pattern to adjoining rooms in the house.

    That said and in summary; I plan to retain a similar layout in the ‘workspace’ area (stove/sink/dishwasher/counter space/only two small upper cupboards) BUT I also have a run of floor-to-ceiling (deep) pantry units on a separate wall where my fridge with freezer is located that brings me to my questions for Jan: Since I do not wish to sacrifice the number of pantries I have for the purpose of refrigeration/freezing; would it be a mistake to integrate a ‘counter-depth all fridge’ and locate a freezer unit about fifteen steps away in a separate Butler’s Pantry and/or as an alternative perhaps install a set of freezer drawers in a section of the lower base cabinets instead?
    With appreciation -Brenda-

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      The idea of separating your fridge freezer is brilliant. Either in your butler pantry or introducing either freezer drawers or fridge drawers . I would suggest not sacrificing your drawer space In The kitchen if you have sufficient space in the pantry for the freezer. Counter depth and height refrigerators have been used in Europe for many many years and with great success. Cost can be a significant factor in refrigeration drawers but well worth it for convenience and design.

      • mrsben says:

        Thank you so much Janet as sincerely appreciate your input of expertise and will be guided accordingly … ☺. -Brenda-

  • home before dark says:

    I thought my brain would blow up when I began investigating appliances for my long awaited kitchen remodel. I ended up with Miele double ovens instead of Wolf because of Wolf’s persistent problems with that beautiful blue interior. I have a Miele dishwasher because the room is open to the dining room/library/family room and it’s so quiet. And, I went with induction. I decided to keep them as portable hobs because the current induction cooktops don’t offer enough room. Crazy I know.My biggiest splurge that I would require CPR when I told my husband what a I wanted is the 48″ SubZero Pro fridge/freezer. I named her Mrs. Patmore (cook on Downton Abby) I adore her!

  • jc says:

    Maria or others, we will be remodeling our kitchen. Our kitchen/dining has natural wooden beams that won’t be painted because all of the wood trim and doors are natural wood stained (not oak, medium tones). The walls are a soft off white (not pink or yellow undertones!) color. I love your white cabinet advice, but I don’t see this working here. What shade of wood cabinets would work? (Considering of maple.) Is shaker style classic enough to not be dated? With natural wood cabinets, what appliance color would you choose?

  • Fra Na says:

    We are building our retirement home. This is our 5th house, not counting the condo and several rentals over the years. I choose an integrated refrigerator since it is a great room and I didn’t want a large appliance to be the focus of the space. The dishwasher and range are between the perimeter and the island so not in direct view from the living room area. Over the years we have had many different brands. This time everything with the exception of the microwave is Miele which is a beautiful, reliable, efficient, quiet, well made brand. We don’t use a microwave a lot but decided to keep it. We are installing an undercounted microwave drawer. I have several friends who love the convenience and safety of not lifting something hot from the high over the range location. You can also get it with an integrated front if you want to hide it. No matter what brand you choose all microwave drawers are made by Sharp so pick the one that is best suited for you budget or the drawer front you prefer. The one we chose can also be used as a warming drawer.

  • Janet Romanuk says:

    Maria it has been so much fun participating in this blog and I look forward to other “kitchen” elements we can discuss Thank you for including our kitchen showroom grand opening in North Vancouver

  • Microwave/vent fan combos can be a good choice if you have limited space (I had one for many years), but they do have some drawbacks. They are a compromise solution.

    First is height; unless you are fairly tall, there is a definite hazard factor to getting hot food out of them because you will be reaching up, and actually over your head if you are shorter like me. You cannot lower them to a more comfortable height because all fans must be mounted a certain distance above the cooktop (specified by the manufacturer) to work properly, to allow enough height for taller pots below, and to also protect them from the heat and possible flames coming off the cooktop.

    Another big drawback is that they are not as powerful and efficient as a dedicated hood fan.

    You also can’t size them properly; NKBA advises that hoods extend 3″ beyond the cooktop on either side in order to most efficiently capture all the “stuff” coming off the stove as food is cooking.

    You also don’t have to choose between a microwave and a second oven; get a combination microwave/convection or speed cooker oven! I loved mine.

  • Microwave/vent fan combos can be a good choice if you have limited space (I had one for many years), but they do have some drawbacks. They are a compromise solution.

    First is height; unless you are fairly tall, there is a definite hazard factor to getting hot food out of them because you will be reaching up, and actually over your head if you are shorter like me. You cannot lower them to a more comfortable height because all fans must be mounted a certain distance above the cooktop (specified by the manufacturer) to work properly, to allow enough height for taller pots below, and to also protect them from the heat and possible flames coming off the cooktop.

    Another big drawback is that they are not as powerful and efficient as a dedicated hood fan.

    You also can’t size them properly; NKBA advises that hoods extend 3″ beyond the cooktop on either side in order to most efficiently capture all the “stuff” coming off the stove as food is cooking.

    You also don’t have to choose between a microwave and a second oven; get a combination microwave/convection or speed cooker oven! I loved mine.


  • Janice says:

    Love, love my induction range. Will never own another gas range regardless of what brand it is!

  • Martha says:

    $1,100 Total for Fridge, dishwasher, stove

  • kathi steele says:

    Am currently redoing our kitchen…white cabinets, white subway tile, Cambria quartz Bellingham!! I am reusing my dishwasher…Bosch, 6 years old…works amazing well. My husband was able to fix it when the computer panel went out. I have an electric double oven Maytag range. I love it!! The cabinet maker is building in a range hood. Both are white. My husband and son talked me into a stainless GE fridge that my cabinet maker boxed in. I hate stainless, but I LOVE the fridge, dual ice makers!! My microwave is staying on the counter top. My cabinet maker is “building” it in and putting a drawer under it that I can pull out to take things out of the microwave, stir the food and put back in and close the drawer. I cook too much to have one over the stove. I really do not want people in my kitchen when I am cooking!!! By the fridge is a 42″ counter “drink station” that houses all of the glasses, Keurig, Soda Stream, etc. My husband was able to rewire the kitchen and put in the LeGrand undercabinet system and I now have no plugs in my back spash and awesome undercabinet lighting!! I have Maria to thank for “supporting” my quest for a white kitchen. I was able to show her articles to my husband and children and convince all that all white was the way to go!!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    We bought all new appliances last summer. I miss my old, white, GE appliances. They worked great and were easy to clean. But I wanted to update my kitchen so I replaced them with stainless Maytag appliances. The handles were what attracted me to them.
    But each new appliance has had an annoyance that I’ve had to learn to live with. I’m just glad I only spent $4000 & not $10000.

    • mrsben says:

      I too miss my old GE appliance, namely being the Fridge. Purchased a top-of-the-line name brand five years ago and cannot wait to cast it to the dungeon (the basement) to be used as a 2nd Fridge as its design is just horrible! As far as my present stove goes (the same age), again cannot wait to get rid of it when I do my upgrades. Even though it has all the bells and whistles, IMO it sounds like a Boeing 747 on take-off so I will be giving ‘it’ away. Don’t know if its because it has a convection feature and warming drawer but the fan constantly runs when on and its just plain annoying … ☺. Apologize if I sound like I am whining but when comparing the very old with the new; I personally prefer quality and function over aesthetics any day and what’s with the big handles on appliances anyways?

  • Josie says:

    I will not have gas, and I don’t like stainless steel in my own kitchen (seen it look fine in other settings but its not my style) so white coming back and induction coming in are Really Good News for me.

    As far as ‘can use in a power outage’ maybe look at solar panels and/or the new Tesla batteries. Not really a huge argument for gas anymore IMO.

  • mh says:

    Question for Jan: I want a lot of frig & freezer space. I love the built in look where there is a matching frig and freezer beside each other. However, the price is totally out of the question and I need to do something cheaper than average. I think a regular frig & freezer beside each other would look a little strange. What do you think? Could I put one on each side of the kitchen? Or should I just make sure that I have a big enough pantry to hold the freezer? What have you seen that looks ok?

    • Janet Romanuk says:

      My recommendation would be a 36″ fridge only in your kitchen and an alternative location for your freezer, this could be your pantry, laundry room or I have even seen clients put the full freezer in their garage. All options will work estictically and from a design perspective.

  • mh says:

    I like white cabinets and appliances but the color of each does not match close enough for me. And the appliances themselves are different shades of white. Is there any way to get a closer match with the cabinets? Or should I just get black appliances? (I don’t like stainless steel.) I plan on having black countertops anyway.

  • Janet Romanuk says:

    If this is a new installation you can have your white cabinets painted to match your white appliances. I know Maria could help this colour question perfectly

  • cindy says:

    The biggest reason we are going for induction in our new kitchen is for the vent. We are in an interior townhouse with no option to vent upwards. Our present JennAir gas stove with drawdown vent in the center is terrible. As soon as we turn on the vent it pulls the gas flame and the heat with it. Literally lowers the cooking temp by 50%! MY neighbor has almost the identical one only GE Profile. She has the same heat loss problem and also cannot get the flame low enough for a simmer on any burner.
    We think the induction with a pop up rear vent will solve our problem by heating the pan and pulling the odors and smoke from the top of the pan instead of below it.
    Does anyone know this for sure?

  • Kelsey says:

    I learned this after already buying a few appliances! The one thing I learned was that not all 30″ stoves/ovens are created equal. I purchased a 30″ cooktop and wall oven because I really hate the crack between a regular oven and the counter. Little did I know how much this would affect my cabinet design in my tiny kitchen! The separate cooktop/oven of course require a larger cabinet, something I didn’t consider. And those few inches made a huge difference in the size of drawers I could place in the adjacent cabinet and how much room I had to squeeze in my 30″ fridge. It actually made the whole thing really complicated.

    Luckily we figured out that we could move the fridge to the other side of the kitchen and now the issue is solved and the kitchen will be great. But yes, especially with small apartment kitchens, know your appliances and also any cabinetry/clearances they require!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Oh I wholeheartedly agree that knowing what appliances are going in is the essential first step to designing a kitchen.

    My b/f lives in a tiny 1 bed flat with the most badly designed kitchen I have ever seen, thanks partly to the wrong appliances. Since he doesn’t cook he doesn’t have a problem but it’s driving me nuts.

    It’s a new development and the developers just put in a job lot of appliances. So a 1 bed flat which has just enough room for a couple to live in, but no more than that, has a family size fridge freezer and (even worse) a family size dishwasher. All integrated. And because it’s all new the b/f has a natural reluctance to get rid of it all and start again. The dishwasher doesn’t get used because we run out of dishes long before the time it’s anywhere near full enough to switch on. And because it is so wide it pushes other cabinets out of sync. So there is a massive space in the bottom corner of the kitchen cabinets which is inaccessible because the sink has to go above, making it difficult to put in a corner carousel/lazy Susan which would enable things to be swung out. The sink can’t be moved because the dishwasher is in the way.

    If the developers had thought for one nano-second about actual practical use of the tight kitchen space they might have considered putting in a narrow dishwasher which would get used more and would allow a further 7-10 inches of space which would create better options for cabinet storage. Hey, we might even be able to fit in a kitchen bin! (Yes the developers slung in units but failed to consider the need for refuse and recycling.) So the kitchen bin at the moment has to stand against one lower cupboard door (making it difficult to access the contents of that cupboard) and reasonably close to the freezer which strikes me as ‘eugh!’.

    Sorry, rant over.

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