When planning a new kitchen, the choice of appliances depends mainly on what you and your family prefer. The products you choose should also make the time spent in the kitchen as comfortable as possible. Which appliances you’ll need the most should be a well-thought decision before you even start shopping for kitchen appliances.
After you plan the initial layout for your new kitchen, you can start thinking about a specific kitchen appliance placement.
The decision of what appliances to put in the space you have available must consider the size of your new kitchen, the rules of ergonomics, the appliances’ functionality, the number of people in the household, and the ability to adapt the appliances to your preferences, habits, and lifestyle.
How we use our kitchen is personal and varies with each person and family. Some people need just a fridge and a microwave. Others love to spend all day trying out new recipes and cooking for their family.
Whatever it may be that you value most in your kitchen, it is important to incorporate your needs and not just copy a photo in a magazine. This is especially true with kitchen appliance planning.
When it comes to selecting new kitchen appliances you can really go wild. There are so many bells and whistles that just add to the price and make you forget what purpose the appliance is serving.
So, before you start designing your new kitchen, go window shopping to appliance stores or a showroom to learn what new products are available and which type of appliances you’ll want to include in your plan. At this stage, don’t worry about the exact model or type, just the general idea of what you want, e.g. a slide-in stove or built-in oven.
You need to know all the specifics in order to include appliance planning in the final design of your new kitchen.
What Appliances to Put in a New Kitchen and How to Choose Them
The main function of a fridge and freezer is to keep your food cold and/or frozen. Any extra features are not really a necessity. But if you, for example often store your food at different temperatures, you will definitely require a fridge with adjustable control options.
It’s worth paying more for an energy-saving appliance and make sure that its size is big enough for the entire family. For example, if you live alone you don’t need a fridge wider than 30 inches, but if you have teenagers you might want to get the biggest fridge you can find. Also, if you’re likely to store large bowls and dishes, make sure you choose a model with ample storage space.
If you like to move around a lot while cooking, or have a small kitchen space, then a fridge with easily accessible four doors is the best solution.
If a stainless refrigerator is your choice, consider one that has matching color sides so it doesn’t look unfinished if the sides show when it is in place. Just imagine a white kitchen and stainless appliances with the dark or black sides of the fridge in view. It will take away from your tastefully designed kitchen look. Even the less expensive fridges offer at least a grey paint finish on the side. It doesn’t have to be the same stainless as the front of the fridge.
If you enjoy drinking chilled water and want ice at your quick disposal, a fridge with a water dispenser and a built-in ice maker is the answer for you.
However, when deciding whether to purchase a fridge with an ice and water dispenser in the door, or even just an ice maker, keep in mind that you need to run a water line to the back of the fridge to supply water.
It is possible to run this through the base cabinets if you have a direct cabinet route from the sink to the fridge. Otherwise, it has to come from the basement or through the walls. Remember to work this out before buying that ultra-chic fridge.
Keep in mind that many modern fridge models will have sleek design features that may or may not integrate with your new kitchen.
You must also consider the height of the fridge and the space available in the cabinets you are planning. If your upper cabinet over the fridge comes in only one or two sizes, buy a fridge that will provide at least 1 inch extra (or 1 or 2 inches if it opens against a wall). That way you don’t have to worry about a large filler piece against the upper cabinet.
Most people are undecided which is better – a gas stove or electric stove. Some prefer to stick with electric. For others, it makes sense to choose a gas stove.
Electric is a different way of cooking than gas. If you like to cook food slowly, the electric stove will work better for you. And if you don’t do much cooking, an electric stove is easier to maintain. But the gas stove does work better for fast, hot cooking. Also, if you hate cleaning the gas stove, you’d rather have a flat electric stove top that wipes clean. So choosing a stove is really a personal preference.
You might like the shape of a gas stove but need an electric stove, or vice versa. Find out if this can be an option for your new kitchen. In case you’re after a gas stove, contact a gas fitter to confirm that it’s possible to make all the connections required to accommodate your gas stove. You don’t want to feel disappointed at the time of installation.
Usually, a slide-in stove is much better than a standard stove. With a slide-in, you do not have the gap where dirt, crumbs, or various food pieces can accumulate. There is also no gap in the front between the cabinet doors and the stove. It’s very important to decide on the stove type before you plan the kitchen cabinets and countertop as the slide-in stove requires a narrower width and the counter is cut out of one piece. So plan carefully.
A decision of selecting an oven is primarily whether it will be a freestanding or built-in appliance. The next aspect will be choosing the location. The oven can be integrated with the stove or set up separately.
You also need to consider which oven functions you will be using as each oven model has a varied settings menu. The oven functions for cooking, baking, grilling, and heating up must ensure the quality of the meals you’ll prepare. The number and types of programs should be matched to how frequently you are planning to use this appliance and in line with your culinary preferences.
Modern models can also be equipped with a system responsible for self-cleaning as well as defrosting programs or a temperature probe.
A range hood is a very important appliance for any kitchen where a lot of cooking is done. Its function is to extract fumes, odors, steam, and air pollution that is caused by cooking. It will help keep the air in your kitchen clean and remove excess heat.
When deciding on a range hood in a kitchen with a small space, it’s worth using built-in models. The most popular, and at the same time the cheapest, is an under cabinet hood. It has a slim design and is hidden, and when needed, can be pulled out from the kitchen cabinet hanging above the stove. This allows the maximum use of the wall space to hang as many cabinets as possible.
The second option is a hood mounted in the countertop. It has small dimensions and is practically invisible because it can be completely hidden when you are not cooking.
Yet another space-saving range hood style is one that is mounted directly to the ceiling surface. Island range hoods are designed to be mounted above an island stove top. They can vent through the ductwork in the ceiling, or recirculate the air back into the kitchen.
A wall mount range hood is designed to be mounted to the wall above a stove. This style is the most suitable when your stove is located against a wall but doesn’t have cabinets above it.
The efficiency of the range hood should be the higher, the larger the area of your kitchen. It is worth choosing a more powerful model, especially if your kitchen is open to the living room.
To most people, a dishwasher’s main function is to clean the dishes. It shouldn’t be too noisy, too. You can spend more money if you want a quiet dishwasher but otherwise, it’s not necessary paying too much for this appliance. Sometimes even an inexpensive dishwasher can give great results if you use the rinse agents that are available. Without the rinse aid, your glasses often don’t get properly cleaned.
A dishwasher is a very convenient as well as water-saving kitchen appliance. Particularly modern dishwasher models use a small amount of water per cycle that’s relatively less than washing up. Some models come with special ecological programs, which additionally reduce water consumption. Thus, having a dishwasher will certainly help you lower your water bills and the purchase will quickly pay off.
Dishwashers can be divided into two basic types – freestanding and built-in. They are not different from the way they operate and most often they share the same functions and capabilities.
Freestanding dishwashers can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, you just need to connect it to the water line and install a sewage drain. The upper part of most freestanding dishwashers can be easily removed and a kitchen countertop can be put in its place. Freestanding dishwashers will prove to be a good choice also due to their easy installation and portability.
A built-in dishwasher allows you to match its front door to the look of the kitchen furniture, e.g. the cabinets. As a result, it is hidden and doesn’t spoil the décor. There are two types of built-in dishwashers – partially integrated where the control panel is visible on the front door, and fully integrated where the control panel is hidden behind the dishwasher door.
Keep in mind that the built-in dishwasher is adapted to a specific piece of furniture, thus, removing it may turn out to be much more difficult. Further problems will arise when you’ll want to replace the built-in dishwasher in the future. It will be necessary to purchase a model that will also match the allocated space and the style of your kitchen furniture.
A microwave vent combination can be a real space saver in a small kitchen. But even large kitchens sometimes do not have a convenient place to store a counter microwave.
You also have to consider that all microwave doors swing the same way. You might have the perfect spot but not be able to access it because of the door swing.
The over the range microwave units are able to vent to the outside or come with a re-circulating fan. They are all about 30 inches wide and 16 inches high so you don’t need to purchase it until your cabinets are installed.
If you are just using a very small microwave and you have a good spot for it, then you can use the space over the stove for a nice stainless steel hood or a matching cabinet hood.
An under counter microwave unit is a great option if you don’t have enough space or don’t want to have your microwave on the upper part of the kitchen.
The Sharp brand makes a great microwave drawer unit that makes a lot of sense if you don’t want it over the stove or on the counter. The microwave drawer oven can be installed right next to your food preparation areas, for example under the counter, which makes cooking more convenient. Although it might be a bit more expensive choice, it’s certainly worth considering for your new kitchen.
How Much Space Do You Need for Kitchen Appliances?
The arrangement of kitchen appliances you choose will determine both the investment costs and the convenience of use.
It is worth planning the distribution of kitchen appliances in such a way as to avoid taking unnecessary steps, save time, and ensure smooth, comfortable, and free movements. The sequence of activities became the basis for creating the rule of arranging a comfortable kitchen. According to the principles of ergonomics, the order of kitchen activities should be arranged in, the so-called, working triangle where the stove, refrigerator, and sink, should form the vertices of this triangle. These items should be apart no more than 4 to 6.5 feet (120-200cm).
A good organization of kitchen work is ensured by the arrangement of the furnishings adapted to the sequence of activities, i.e. storage (fridge), washing up (sink or dishwasher), preparation (countertop), cooking (stove, oven, microwave).
Countertops or space between appliances is necessary to put food and other items on top.
To start with, decide on a space in the kitchen where you’re going to fit the refrigerator. Choose a fridge according to the measurements of the allocated space.
Next to the refrigerator should be a space for placing products taken out or ones to be stored. Between the sink and the stove should be a countertop that will protect the stove from splashing while washing dishes and allow you to put items aside while preparing meals. Finally, a countertop for peeling, cutting, and preparing food should be behind the sink.
Depending on the amount of space, the kitchen uses different furniture and appliances layouts. To use the space comfortably, (e.g. to reach all cabinets, pull out the drawers, bend down to the oven so that another person can pass by the user), the distance between two opposite rows of furnishings must not be less than 4 feet (120cm).
In a single-row kitchen unit, when all the appliances and furniture stand along one wall, the minimum working space is 11.8 ft (3.6m).
A double-row kitchen will provide more work surfaces and storage space. But avoid having a stove and sink facing each other, in which case the user has to rotate 180 degrees many times.
However, there are some pitfalls to be aware of. For example, the stove and oven cannot be placed next to a window or next to a refrigerator. The stove’s heat makes the fridge overwork and shortens its lifespan. Also, the doors may collide, and the two appliances won’t be on the same level unless both are built-in.
Before the kitchen is ordered, you will need the exact dimensions of the appliances you have chosen so the cabinets can be customized for the appliances. This will give you a more professional looking kitchen installation.
There are many different sizes for all major kitchen appliances so measuring the allocated space is not something to take lightly. It is recommended to add a few inches more on each side of the appliance so it can fit comfortably into the kitchen space.
You need to make sure that the size of a fridge will be suitable for your new kitchen. Thus, when shopping for a new refrigerator it’s important to look at both – total capacity (measured in cubic feet) and footprint (measured for both depth and width). Take notice that two fridge models with the same capacity will not necessarily have the same footprint.
In general, a stove will be the easiest appliance to fit in your new kitchen as almost all have standard 28 to 30 inches (71-76cm) dimensions for their width. However, their capacity can vary to a large extent. Ensure to measure the space above the stove as well, in the event that you have allocated a microwave or range hood space above it.
When it comes to searching for new kitchen appliances you want to look at many different options. If you find a model of which you like the look and design, chances are it’s also available with different options.
I urge you to take the time and do your kitchen appliance planning carefully so that you can enjoy your new appliances and your kitchen for many years to come.
Have fun looking!