TIPS + TOOLS

The importance of choosing the right kitchen appliances

July 22, 2019

We do a lot of kitchens. The kitchen truly is the heart of the home, which is why it’s often what drives a renovation project or a new home design. There are many elements to consider, but one of the most important has to be your kitchen appliances.

Many homeowners will take plenty of time to research their kitchen appliances, but we find that many of them also want some advice when making their final choices.

It’s always best to choose your appliances in conjunction with creating your kitchen design. It’s much easier to design your cabinetry around the requirements of your appliances than it is to find appliances that have to fit the restrictions of your layout. But you also don’t want to sacrifice the layout for the appliances. Sorting out both at the same time can help you to find a balance.

When you’re planning your kitchen, start with our handy kitchen design guide, which will help guide you through the process of designing your ideal kitchen and help you plan your project.


Choosing appliances

The sheer number to choose from can be overwhelming. There are styles and features for every taste and lifestyle and models are updated regularly. So, how do you start?

Size: Consider the size of the space you have to work with. A compact kitchen may not fit a double fridge or a six-burner range, for instance.

Function: How do you use your kitchen? Are you a gourmet chef who spends hours preparing perfect meals or more of a quick-fix meal preparer? If your kitchen is your haven, going with more expensive, high-performance appliances might make sense.

Budget: What’s your budget? Appliances can quickly eat up a huge chunk of your kitchen budget. If you’re that gourmet chef, the expense may be worth it. If you’re not, but like the look of professional-quality appliances, there are many on the market that can give you the look and quality performance without shelling out for the top-of-the-line models.

Durability: You also want models that are well engineered, have solid warranties, are energy efficient, look good with your cabinets, won’t get outdated over time and — potentially — would be attractive features if you think you’ll sell your home.

Reviews: There are plenty of articles online on the subject, but keep in mind that many are driven by advertising, which is why top selling models and hottest trends can vary from article to article. Turn to industry research such as Consumer Reports or the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers for information on which models perform and homeowner preferences.

According to recent data, the top priorities for buyers include time (think induction stoves), convenience (so fridges with bottom-mount freezers) and status, which is why appliances today are overwhelmingly stainless steel.

Tip: Not all stainless steel is the same. Hues can be warmer or cooler depending on nickel content. That makes it smart to take a sample of the cabinet or wall colour to the appliance showroom to see which stainless makes the best match. And also why it can be a good idea to stick with a single brand or line within the brand.

Of course, the most effective way to wade through all the choices and pick the right ones for you is to work with your remodeling team, and to start as early in the process as possible.

For more on appliances, check out these articles by HGTV and MoneySense.