Selecting kitchen appliances are the foundation of every kitchen and should be the primary focus in the planning phase of your design. Below are a few tips I find most helpful.
The following photos are some of my dream ranges, some of which I’ve had the pleasure of cooking on, however, I’m still waiting for an authentic french culinary lesson on a LaCornue, in the French countryside, in a very authentic french home. Passport ready!
Below is the the newest member to the LaCornue family, the modern Cornue W line. It’s a beautiful, slick table/island style design with the versatility to cusotmize it to your specific needs. La Cornue is thee symbol and brand the world has come to know as the benchmark for epicurean luxury. Photo courtesy of LaCornue.
I’m not suggesting that the space planning or overall design concept of the space is in any way secondary, however if a client wants and needs particular appliances in a their kitchen, the strategic placement and ultimate functionality of the appliances is where the design needs to begin. Clients often begin to discuss little details prematurely so I try to reign things in at the beginning of the design process and get them to focus on the macro (overall big plan) and then the micro (details) I tell my clients that making the kitchen look pretty is the fun part and the easy part but before we can do that there’s a little hard work we have to work on first.
Another all time favorite is the entire line of AGA Cookers. Shown above is the 5 Oven Cast Iron Total Control Range – Aga is known as the granddaddy of British culinary tradition. We love the new duel-fuel, perfect for the American market. Photo courtesy of Aga.
Often, clients don’t understand why it’s necessary to know precise models before fine tuning the final design. Let me explain. There are general standard openings for most appliances that you can rely on for planning and placement, however in kitchen design…. the devil is in the details. Between the fractions of inches that matter for a perfect fit, hard to interpret appliance specifications and decorative panel nuances ( no these aren’t standard either), the details of making appliances look and fit like the magazine photo a client has showed me in our initial meetings takes precise planning.
Altering a design or making numerous revisions is tedious, time consuming and can be costly.
Another one of my all time favorites is Bertazzoni ( full disclosure…it’s what I cook on at home) Bertazzoni, a family owned and operated company is the signature of “Italian Style” My only regret is that I got stainless and not one of their gorgeous colors.
In planning appliances we also need to consider ease of installation in an effort to make life easier for the installers.
So in my humble opinion, the appliances are where the design should begin. It’s important that your designer ask the right questions. You’ll need to discuss difficult installations or ventilation requirements with your contractor and have an appliance professional in your area that will help guide and educate you on the many choices.
Kitchen planning has become incredibly sophisticated with the introduction of advanced technologies, cooking options and styles to choose from. Another of my “bucket list appliance crushes” is the sleek and sexy look and technology from the German manufacturer Gaggenau. Photos courtesy of Gaggenau.
Whether you choose modern or traditional, American or European, choose well. As with all products, our resident design pros here at the Kitchen Design Network suggest purchasing the best that your budget will allow while taking into consideration the longevity of your investment. Your needs, your personal style as well as your cooking style, what type of clean up you’re willing to endure and if this is a statement piece or a totally practical purchase.
Your design professional should ask you the right questions to determine what fits the budget and what makes most sense for your lifestyle.
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TIP #1 – Plan Ahead– When you go to a local appliance dealer and speak with a professional designer.
Have a plan that includes your budget, your needs and lifestyle clearly defined. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and help you narrow down your search and final decisions.
TIP #2 – Know what you have…. to know what you will need – Check that you have an upgraded electrical panel that can handle the new appliances you’re considering and if any additional upgrading is necessary. If you’re on a tight budget, upgrading electrical may not in the budget. You’ll want to focus on looking at appliances that fit your budget. Always consult with a licensed electrician or general contractor.
TIP #3 -Determine who the CEC (chief executive cook) is in your home. Also consider your families cooking and entertaining style and needs. Do you have a budding chef who will be part of the design process? Are holidays always at your home with many hands in the kitchen. The need for appliances in various works zones areas makes sense. Every families needs are different. This is what makes kitchen design so unique and specialized.
TIP #4- Review your goals – Is this home or condominium a short term or long term investment? Review your goals for this project and develop a budget in keeping with the value of your home. How much ROI can you expect from this project? Renovating a kitchen within a strict budget takes careful planning and thoughtful design.
TIP #5 – Keep It Fun- Whether your kitchen remodel is a full renovation or a simple facelift, the bottom line is….it’s really exciting to have a new kitchen. Don’t let the process overwhelm you. Choose your professionals well.
You’ll spend alot of time with these people and it’s essential to have a good working relationship.
Keep it fun and make whatever space or budget you have to work with a fabulous kitchen.
Send your kitchen renovation questions to
[email protected] and we’ll publish an answer in our “KDN Mailbag” on our site.