Kitchen Appliances, SOOOO Many Buttons
You are either a techy or your not. Don’t get me wrong, I like my appliances to look cool, I just wish they were actually smart enough that we could speak common English together. Or maybe I need to be smarter, hmmm. Whatever the case, I can’t keep up. Their options and upgrades change now as frequently as computers. So we prefer to leave it to the experts in the appliance world to give you the details on their products.
We do, however, have favorites. Our favorites are based on years of installations and close relationships with appliance dealers. What we look for in appliances is reliability. So any brand with lots of “callbacks”, (service problems), doesn’t make our favorites list. When we, or our clients, do have a service issue, we look for a prompt response. There are some very fine major brands that we would highly recommend. Kitchenaid was our number one favorite for all kitchen appliances and had been for many years running. Times have changed recently, and many of their computer parts are from China and seem to be having more problems than in years past. GE has also sold their entire appliance division to a Chinese firm. Dacor is selling to Samsung.
So after years of loyalty to Kitchenaid dishwashers, I personally had to switch to Bosch. I was in months of repairs on my “motherboard” for my Kitchenaid dishwasher, and they finally considered it a lost cause. Kitchenaid was very understanding and reimbursed me the depreciated value, (only 4 years old), but I switched to Bosch, one of the only American made, (German owned), companies I could find. I have to say, its been fabulous – I like it better, and it was less expensive. So this is just my experience, but I am kind of hoping for Kitchenaid to figure out their core value was quality.
The only thing that seems to beat them because of the cool factor is Wolf and Sub-Zero. These are not only gourmet cook equipment, but they are a status symbol of a Kitchen. You have either “arrived” because you’re a great cook and appreciate the product, or because your trophy kitchen can show off your Wolf and Sub-zero.
Jennair has been a leader in the “downdraft” range market for years. My favorite new thing is their recirculating downdraft range. Brilliant! Now all those urban high-rise dwellers, (or just difficult venting houses) can have indoor grilling.
Our other favorite is Miele’s built in, plumbed in, Coffee Maker. Soooo cool. They make a darn good front loading washer and matching dryer that seem to have the best interior seal system for no standing water. Miele also makes one of the best laundry systems available.
Other than function, appliances style is now a big factor in Kitchen design.
When remodeling kitchens, stainless steel in number one, and will continue to be very strong for a long time. It is the new neutral. Just be careful about what you are really getting when you are buying a stainless steel refrigerator. Some of the less expensive brands are simply a coating, some are very prone to fingerprints, while other have additives to help prevent fingerprints. Take note of the sides also. This is a huge issue – most people prefer not to spend the extra dollars on the built-in refrigerator, or even the counter-depth, (27″), but when your refrigerator sticks out 30″ or more and the sides are black and your have a white kitchen, you might have issues with your refrigerator. You will stare at it forever. Do your research and find the brands where the sides are silver or design a standard depth refrigerator to set back or splurge and get the built-in or counter depth if you think it will impact your design and make you crazy.
The second pet peeve is handles on appliances. Most people do not buy all the same brand, therefore, all handles will look different. Consider how different handle styles may look when your kitchen is finished. Some will coordinate better with others.
The third problem is color. There is quite a variety of stainless steel colors. Depending on their location in the kitchen, this may or may not be an issue.