There’s no doubt that appliances make life in the kitchen so much easier, saving time and effort every day. Of course, the kitchen appliances that you select depend on how you intend to use your kitchen, its size, your budget and kitchen’s style. Here, we cover the larger appliances that are a must, as well as some of the smaller kitchen appliances that some may say aren’t completely essential, but we love them anyway for the convenience that they bring.

The big-ticket items

Ovens can be a double-oven configuration, wall oven, steam oven or warming drawer. A separate cooktop allows for flexible design and cooking – a gas cooktop can be installed with an electric wall oven and gives several cooking work stations. A traditional setup – a cooktop above and an oven underneath – is ideal to save space. Serious chefs may opt for a six- or eight-burner commercial-style configuration. And, of course, there’s always the gas-versus-electric debate, with gas especially loved for its instant response and precision.

Refrigerators can be built in, freestanding, and side-by-side or a top-bottom configuration with both a fridge and freezer. Think about just how large your household is and how much room you have in your kitchen and will need in your refrigerator before you make this crucial purchase. For an unobtrusive look, co-ordinated cabinet fronts keep a refrigerator out of sight.

A smart fridge such as the Samsung Two-Door Family Hub allows you to really step into the future. See what’s inside the fridge by swiping two fingers on the touchscreen. The fridge’s software tags food expiration dates and lets users create shopping lists, food memos or reminders. Food preferences, dietary needs and favourite cuisines can be set, allowing families to receive personalised recipe recommendations and weekly meal plans from Meal Planner and Smart Recipes apps. For those who dread the weekly supermarket trip, order food straight from the fridge and have it delivered via the built-in Woolworths Online shopping app.

Dishwashers range from large high-end stainless-steel models to fit many place settings, to smaller units such as DishDrawers, which work well for smaller households. Thankfully, dishwashers are very quiet compared to earlier models, and energy and water efficiency is also now a top priority for most brands. Like refrigerators, these can also have co-ordinated cabinet fronts to keep them hidden.

Small yet mighty appliances

Microwaves allow food to be heated up or cooked much faster than in the oven. Easy to operate and offering a multitude of settings depending on the food you need to cook, the microwave became the Australian kitchen must-have in the 1970s and 1980s, and are so good, that some kitchens even have two! If you have a butler’s pantry, your microwave can live there, out of sight, and can even be built in. It can also live happily on the benchtop.

Coffee maker – mmm, coffee. How did we ever live without coffee machines at home? A huge barista-style machine with all the bells and whistles isn’t necessary – brands such as Nespresso produce high-quality machines that fit neatly on the benchtop, are easy to use at the touch of a button and most importantly, make an amazing coffee to get you energised for the day.

The saviour of working parents, slow cookers allow meal preparation before you leave the house for the day, so that dinner will slowly cook and be ready when you arrive home. Just chop your vegies and meat, add your sauce and the slow cooker does the rest. Store your slow cooker in your butler’s pantry or cupboard, then sit it on the benchtop when in use.

Chilled, filtered and sparkling water or boiling water for hot drinks is available at the touch of a button with a Zip Hydrotap. It does away with the need for water filter jugs and kettles, which take up precious space. The Zip HydroTap is available in six designs and 12 contemporary colours, to effortlessly complement any kitchen design.

A wine/beverage fridge is a must for wine connoisseurs to keep their bottles chilled at the right temperature, and can be installed in a kitchen island.

The blender can blend two or more ingredients together and can be used to mix soups, juices, sauces, and even crush ice. Make smoothies quickly and easily with a blender, and for those who want to whiz up their smoothie and take it with them, there’s even small versions for on the go. Once again, keep your blender in your butler’s pantry, in the cupboard, or on the benchtop.

A food processor allows you to chop lots of vegetables quickly, thanks to various blade attachments.

Anyone who loves to bake would be completely lost without their mixer – it makes mixing cake batter or bread dough easy, and combines wet and dry ingredients such as flour and eggs effortlessly. Brands such as Kitchenaid have such a gorgeous array of colours that you won’t want to hide your mixer away in the cupboard – ensure it takes pride of place on the benchtop.

If there’s one appliance found in all kitchens, it would have to be the humble toaster – how would we start our day without this most basic kitchen appliance? If your family is large, a toaster that cooks four slices of toast at the same time is a necessity. Keep it in your butler’s pantry or on the benchtop – after all, it’s likely to get daily use.

Thanks to the large choice of colours and designer looks, kettles have become a basic item that can add a dash of personality and pizzazz to a kitchen. Of course, if you have a Zip tap, you won’t need one to boil water, but otherwise, the kettle is essential for making tea, coffee, hot drinks or boiling water.

One of the hottest appliances around at the moment is an air fryer, which makes restaurant-quality chips, wedges and fried chicken, among other fried favourites, easily at home. They circulate hot air around food that would otherwise be cooked in oil, and cooks in half the time. Thanks to Covid-19 restrictions and with meals out in restaurants being limited over the past year, many households have discovered that they can now cook quicker, easier and possibly healthier at home. As air fryers aren’t too bulky (they are around the size of a coffee machine), even apartment dwellers can probably keep an air fryer on their benchtop.

No need to stand over the stovetop stirring rice, or guessing the right amounts. Just add your rice to a rice cooker, set and forget. Before you know it, perfectly fluffy rice will be ready, each and every time, at the touch of a button.

Incorporating all your favourite appliances into a kitchen design is a challenge we love at Art of Kitchens, so speak to our talented kitchen designers today and see how easy it is to achieve the kitchen of your dreams.