Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Greenbrook Design, managing day to day operations, marketing, sourcing product and keeping the showroom beautifully designed. Stacey also does interior design & home styling for a select number of clients. Find out more about Stacey here.
Designing a kitchen involves various moving parts all coming together to create a space that is not just functional for your lifestyle but a reflection of your personal tastes. This is why color, hardware, and even lighting matter, but when it comes to the working parts of the kitchen it is the appliances that require a little extra thought. It is important to know which one will work best for you, where they need to be positioned in the layout, and even how many. This matters because it can influence or impact the design choices made during your initial planning phase for your renovation. Remodeling your kitchen is a sizable investment making every decision crucial so that there are no major surprises and everything you wanted to accomplish happens as close to your budget as possible. Appliances require pre planning due to size and certain requirements such as power plugs and drainage. Let’s talk about some things you need to know before finalizing your choices.
Kitchen layout and appliances
The kitchen layout is important because it controls the flow of traffic and placement of certain things such as the sink and appliances. The work triangle still plays a key role in designing a layout which is where the sink, stove, and refrigerator are within a certain distance from each other. Knowing where you want your appliances will assist your designer in being able to exactly how to place each one that works best with your daily routine and specific needs. If you enjoy a cup of coffee before heading out the door, it would be best to have your beverage station close to the refrigerator where the milk and creamer are stored. Do you prefer to rinse your dishes right away? Then having the dishwasher next to the sink is the prime location. Do you have young children that need access to the microwave to make their own popcorn or warm up a piece of pie? Placing your microwave on a lower level such as in the kitchen island makes it easy for everyone to use. Location and layout work together to give your family the best experience so be sure to give it some thought before meeting with your designer. This will save time and money, both valuable, during your renovation and will also streamline your results. Browsing places like Pinterest and Houzz can also help as it gives you a visual for what your space could look like with various options.
What appliance size is best?
In order to accommodate our varying lifestyles today, appliances come in a wide variety of sizes. From small refrigerators suitable for dorm life and a condo kitchen to the massive double doors with a deep freezer, the only thing you need to do is decide which one is right for you. When it comes to determining what refrigerator size will work best for your kitchen, consider how many people are in your home and how often you cook. It is recommended that there be 4 to 6 cubic feet of storage per person and many refrigerators will list the total capacity of cubic feet on the information sheet. Another factor is the amount of cooking you will do. If you are not home often, say you travel a lot, then a smaller model will work better, use less energy, and leave room in the design for things that may be more important to you. If you prefer to eat at home instead of eating out, select a refrigerator that has plenty of room for fresh veggies and storage for those delicious leftovers. When it comes to dishwashers there is a traditional standard, however there are some that come in a smaller size since some homes are in need of space saving especially the tiny house trend. This smaller choice opens options for those who would prefer to use that square footage saving for more cabinet or storage space in their kitchen. Microwaves can also be bought in various sizes and placed on the counter, above the stove, or in the kitchen island which clears the counter. Talk to your designer about what your daily kitchen routine looks like so they can help you decide which selections are best for you and your family.
What style of appliances are right for you?
Style matters especially in the world of design and this has had an influence on the appliances too. There are several options available now that can integrate your appliances beautifully into your finished design. Stainless steel has remained a top choice for many homeowners since it works well with a variety of styles and color options due to its adaptable finish. Another bonus is it is fairly easy to clean and when you have kids this is a valuable feature. When trying to decide which option to choose for your kitchen it is best to take a cue from your cabinet design. Are you going with dark wood stains? A stainless steel can add visual interest and even contrast. Opting for a more minimal look? Try paneled appliances. They are custom fit to cover your refrigerator and even dishwasher which allows them to blend in seamlessly with the design. This is also a great choice no matter which style you want if you are looking to create a unified space without interruptions. You can also mix and match such as selecting panels for your refrigerator but leave the dishwasher without it. If you opt for an open style and have a stainless steel refrigerator, be sure to consider the hardware as black matte hardware may not be the best combination with it. Of course there are still black appliance finishes available that would work with several styles and cabinet colors plus they also look great when going for a more modern design. It also makes for a great contrast in your kitchen as well. If you enjoy retro, some companies have brought out fun colors too! Take time to browse through all of your options before finalizing your choice.
What to know about appliances
Appliances play a key functional role in your day-to-day activities in the kitchen which makes them an essential part of the planning stage in your renovation. Be sure to spend time going through what features are important for you and your family, your personal preferences of style and size plus where it would best work for everyone. When working with a designer, be sure to convey all of this to them so they can help you make the best decision possible.