If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I started talking about some of the fun purchases that goes along with a kitchen renovation in my last post....now it's time for appliances.
My selection of appliances follows a common look and feel with my lighting choices. It’s all about a sleek and industrial look, in stainless steel. And frankly, anything would be better than the appliances that came with the house. The current fridge is a full fridge, with no freezer. ???? The freezer is a large chest freezer located in the basement. I used to have a small and very cheap hood fan (that someone had spray painted white), but it was rusty and dirty and installed too low so I threw it out a couple months after moving in.
When I started thinking about appliances, I knew I had to go with stainless steel. Now, sometimes I think stainless appliances are over-rated, with fingerprints and dents showing up so much more than on black or white ones, but these days they come in brushed stainless, which tends to masks prints. So I’ve slowly grown to love them. Had I redone my kitchen with white cabinets like I had initially planned before this partnership with Greentea began, I may have been tempted to go with white appliances. I like the look of them blended in with the cabinets. But since my cabinets are sort of a teak coloured wood, and I want to keep the space as bright as possible, I decided to go with stainless. Black would have been way too dark, and white I think would have stood out too much against the cabinets. Plus, I really like how the stainless looks in the Chalet Chic kitchen on Greentea’s site.
I really love the pairing of the Asian style and colour of the cabinets (almost rustic looking) with the sleek look of stainless appliances. I think it’s a nice juxtaposition. (The fridge above is a Liebherr that I saw in a showroom...and sadly it was pricey).
My requirements for appliances were not too complicated. For a stove I wanted a one-piece range with oven. Jo and I had conversations about this – how in Australia most people go with a cooktop and separate oven. Here for some reason you don’t see that too often. I like the look of them separate but I figured it was easier to plan for a range/oven all-in-one. I thought about trying out a gas range. My house heats with gas, so I at least had the basics. Since I have some semi-serious work being done with a window being switched out and a door being sealed up, I figured hooking up a gas range shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. I also really didn’t want a stove with buttons located on the back panel – I much prefer the look of a slide-in range where the buttons are at the front and there is no back panel.
For the fridge, it needed to be no wider than 34”. The narrower the fridge, the less space it would take up in the entrance to my office. I REALLY wanted a bottom freezer. I am in the fridge WAY more than the freezer so I prefer it below the fridge. I also thought it might be a good idea to try a French door style, since my kitchen is so small. That way when I open the fridge doors, they don’t swing out so wide. I also didn’t want a fridge that was very deep, since the fridge would be at the end of the cabinets. The deeper the fridge, the more it would stick out into the space and make the office entrance less open.
I love big range hoods, so I decided to make it a focal point on the stove wall - another reason for my lack of upper cabinets on that wall. I didn’t really have any requirements, besides it being stainless, 30” wide and it had to look cool.
So I began my hunt for appliances at some large appliance stores – Sears Home Store and Corbeil Appliances. My younger sister bought all her appliances at Sears and said they had the best prices, but I wasn’t impressed with their selection. I was buying my sink one day and someone mentioned Universal Appliances, on Bank Street. I ended up purchasing everything I needed there. The salesguy (Tyler – figured I should plug him since he was awesome) was so easy to talk to, very helpful and totally not pushy. They carry some higher end brands such as Wolf, Viking, Miele, Bertazzoni, Liebherr...all of which had incredible but very expensive appliances on display.
The fridge I selected caught my eye because of it’s sleek look – the model I chose has a totally flat front. It’s by Fisher & Paykel, a New Zealand-based company.
Buying this fridge was a total no-brainer. It has so many things going for it. It’s counter-deep (27") - the only brand that offered a counter-deep fridge in the width I required (the french door version was too wide). I chose one with a water dispenser in the door because I don’t drink nearly enough water. And the dispenser is great – it’s almost completely flush with the façade of the door, AND it takes up no space on the inside of the door for the mechanics. I noticed many fridges had a lot of wasted space in the doors due to the dispenser. Another feature that had me sold was the fact that the sides of the fridge were in a silvery-grey finish, not black like a lot of the others. Since the entire left side of the fridge will be exposed, the grey will look so much better. It’s about 31” wide, and 17.6 cu. ft. That seemed a bit small to me but Tyler showed me that the shelves inside the fridge are thin glass instead of bulky plastic (see above). So you actually get more space than a typical 17.6 cu. ft. fridge. It is also apparently energy saving - 535 kWh/yr. (Is that good?) The fridge price = $1700.
Next, the stove. I saw some I really liked, by Kitchenaid and GE Profile, but then I saw a DCS professional gas range by Fisher & Paykel and nearly lost my mind.
I LOVE the industrial look of it, and how simple it is (the buttons on mine will be all black). Tyler went over it’s features, and why it beats the other ranges I was looking at by a mile in how it cooks. (It's fully gas, oven included). But as good as that all sounded, I was really hung up on how cool it looked. But it was $3000. Then I realized it was only about $500 more than the others I liked. I decided to go for it – at least I could take it too with me when I sell the house. And let me tell you, my mother is SO jealous. The store setup had it with a stainless backsplash with a bar that had 2 handy shelves attached – turned out it was $542 so I think I’m going to try and get one made. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll buy the one at the store. I had wanted a piece of stainless as the stove backsplash anyhow – this one would be the same depth as the little lip on the back of the stove, which looked great when it joined with the range hood. Here is the setup at the store:
Speaking of range hoods, I pretty much just selected one of the cheapest and simplest ones they carried. It’s the Valencia, by AirKing, was $686, and will need to be vented outside.
I also desperately needed a new microwave since I’ve had mine since college and it has turned from white to yellow over the years. I wanted the smallest stainless one I could find, and chose a Panasonic for $150. I’ll probably put it on the counter in the corner next to the fridge or wherever it may be the least noticeable.
So that's the deal with the appliances. Next up will be the sink, faucet, countertop and backsplash. Some of which I at this point have no clue about. Some assistance may be required. :)