The technology in modern kitchens is so different to 70 years ago when it was just a big deal to have a fridge in your kitchen. Today there are so many different options. At Jag Kitchens our experienced design consultants can help you to choose the right appliances for you and your new kitchen – it’s not just about choosing white or stainless!
The first thing to consider is that biggest isn’t always best, and something that looked amazing at a friend’s house or in a magazine, may not be practical for you or the footprint of your kitchen. Here are some things to consider when thinking about the appliances to include in your new kitchen.
There is a range of different sized ovens on the market these days, however, 600mm and 900mm wide are the most common. This refers to the external width of the oven. The internal cavity actually varies between different brands. This affects the practical use the oven, particularly when it comes to large joints of meat or the cooking of multiple dishes.
Fisher and Paykel have recently designed a new range of ovens to suit our New Zealand requirements. This range gives an increase in usable oven space of over 30% compared with many of their European competitors.
Although 900 wide ovens or free standing cookers give you more space they come at the cost of heat up time and the extra electricity they consume. They also take up additional space that could otherwise be used for cabinetry.
Have a think about how often you would use the full width of a 900 wide oven versus everyday use. If it’s once a year for Christmas dinner, would you be better with having a more efficient oven the other 364 days of the year? However, if you love to entertain, then a wider oven may make sense for you.
Another option to consider is having 2 or 1 + ½ stacked ovens in a tower. This doesn’t give you the width of a 900 wide, but it does give you the ability to cook more and at differing temperatures and settings.
The 2 most popular configurations for oven placement is under the cooktop or stacked in a tower. Under the cooktop gives you the advantage of a surface to place hot dishes on whereas towers, depending on their location, may leave you without somewhere to place hot things coming out of the oven. The other advantage of an oven tower is that there is no need for you to bend down to put food into the oven.
One appliance which can often be hard to find an aesthetically pleasing location for is the microwave.
Towers can solve this as it can sit above the oven in the stack. Alternatively placing under bench can tuck it away – just be careful if you have little people in the house who are tempted to continually start the empty microwave!
If the best place for you to have the microwave isn’t in either of these two places, you can always improve the appearance by installing a stainless trim kit around the microwave. This gives you a clean integrated look rather than having large air gaps around the appliance. Trim kits are specifically designed to fit particular microwave models so it is important to talk to your appliance retailer about it from the beginning.
Whether it’s double or single doored there are several different permutations of fridge, freezer and chiller layouts.
Some people like a single door with the freezer below or above the chiller. Double doors traditionally have had a freezer on one side and a fridge on the other but this often sacrificed fridge space and width to the freezer. One option that can solve this is the double door fridges with a full width double door fridge at the top and a freezer drawer underneath. These French door fridges are particularly good for wide platters.
Ice and chilled water dispensers are options on some narrower and most wider fridges. Adding this feature typically costs around $500 but is often money well spent as children in particular will drink iced water rather than wanting juice and soft drinks.
Rangehoods come in two basic forms – freestanding canopies or integrated.
An integrated or powerpack rangehood is built into the cabinets so that it appears to be part of the cabinets. Freestanding canopy rangehoods are visible and can even become a feature of the kitchen.At the end of the day, it comes down to what you like the look of and what works for the design layout of your kitchen. Freestanding rangehoods were the most popular for many years but it integrated rangehoods have gained in popularity to the point that they make up around two thirds of our current kitchen designs.
Another factor in choosing your rangehood is its capacity. Rangehoods vary from 300 to 1200 cubic metres capacity per hour. The smaller the capacity, the noisier it will be due to needing a higher setting to clear the air. It’s also important to get the ducting right. Ideally the outlet will be as close as possible to the outside. The length of the run of ducting needs to be kept as short as possible as performance drops off quickly as the length of ducting increases. The number of bends in ducting should be kept a minimum as this also reduces efficiency. The best advice when purchasing a rangehood is to check the cubic metre capacity and invest a little more in this appliance as you will notice the benefits in the long run. The way that a rangehood is ducted can make a lot of difference to how efficiently it extracts and the amount of noise it makes. It is certainly worthwhile to engage a professional rangehood installer to take care of your ducting requirements.
Last and certainly not least is the dishwasher, which comes either as a conventional style or as dish drawers. There are many different brands of conventional dishwashers but dish drawers are manufactured by Fisher and Paykel. The early Dish Drawers didn’t always meet people’s performance expectations, but the new ones perform very well. A single Dish Drawer uses approximately half the water of a full sized conventional dishwasher. Double Dish Drawers can be run independently which allows you to group like items with like – a heavy cycle for your pots and pans and a delicate cycle for your glassware. Smaller households can also have the option of just 1 drawer to save space.
One aspect of dishwashers that is often overlooked is the noise that they make. Many kitchens are open plan so a noisier dishwasher can intrusive to those sitting in adjacent family or dining rooms. Check the decibel rating of any dishwasher that you are considering. There is definitely a relationship between the cost and noise levels of dishwashers. Generally, the more you spend the quieter they perform.
Certain models of dishwashers and dish drawers can be integrated into the cabinetry. This can be a good option if you are incorporating a butler’s sink beside it.
We hope we’ve given you some food for thought to help you with choosing the appliances for your new kitchen. The beauty of choosing Jag Kitchens for your new kitchen is that our experienced Designers know what works and what doesn’t and can help you with making choices you can be confident in and will give you your dream kitchen. We’ll be beside you all the way turning your dream into reality!