Last month’s issue of Home Beautiful magazine has a feature on the science of kitchen appliances. David Bartlett along with other kitchen experts discuss the in’s and out’s of a range of kitchen appliances.

Home Beautiful – appliance essentials …
“Buying large kitchen appliances is a considerable investment and one  you’ll live with for a long time – so it’s important to choose wisely. Start the process by whittling down your options: consider the lifestyle and family size, the kitchen’s dimensions and layout as well as your budget.”

» Read the article: Essentials – Kitchen appliances

Kitchen appliances Q&A

Q. What are some of the main considerations when choosing major kitchen appliances (- ie: size of space, family, finish, layout, how much use etc)?

  • The size of the kitchen is a big consideration as you don’t want the biggest appliances to take up too much space and not leave enough room for storage
  • Think about how big your family is and how you use your appliances
  • Do you like baking / cooking if so, and your kitchen is big enough, think about having 2 ovens or a combi oven and a main oven
  • Do you freeze a lot? Maybe the idea of having a second freezer in the kitchen would be suitable
  • When you cook, do you generally use 3 or more burners or are you a 1 pot cook?

Q. How much of your budget set aside for appliance purchases?

  • Maybe ¼ – 1/3 but it also depends on lifestyle and how you intend to use your appliances

Q. What colour palette of kitchen finishes complements white appliances?

  • Just about any colour apart from white

Q. What colour palette of kitchen finishes complements silver appliances?

  • Most colour palates will suit silver appliances

Q. Which finish is generally more popular and why?

  • Silver appliances are definitely more popular as they complement most kitchen styles and colours.
  • Silver appliances today are also more visually appealing
  • The white appliances tend to discolour over time and are hard to match if you are having an all-white kitchen


Q. What are some key considerations when selecting a fridge/freezer?

  • Type of fridge (French door, side-by-side, freezer location)
  • Whether you like entertaining – is there enough room for platters / drinks.
  • Do you need a water filter / ice maker. Will additional plumbing be required?

Q. If wanting to integrate the fridge with joinery/special door fronts are their special considerations?

  • If you decide to change your integrated fridge, the space left may make it difficult to find a new fridge to suit the space
  • Generally, if you mention to your designer that you will be purchasing an integrated fridge/freezer they will make the adjustments to their design to suit the model / size


Q. What the pros and cons of a freestanding oven vs integrated pros/cons?

  • There are no real pros and cons – it just depends on the style of the kitchen as to what would suit
  • For example, older clients may not want to bend over to use the oven so they may opt for wall ovens.
  • Freestanding ovens always look better if they are 800 – 1000mm in size so it will depend on the size of the kitchen as to whether it will be suitable

Q. What are the advantages of a wall oven in terms of layout and functionality (ie: you can set them to your desired height so you don’t have to bend, you can locate cooktop in different position)?

  • Wall ovens are more flexible as they allow for more storage space in your kitchen, microwaves can be placed above and drawers beneath the oven. It also allows the cooktop to be located to suit individual requirements.
  • Another advantage of wall ovens is you can see clearly what is in the oven without bending.

Q. Are you seeing a trend towards multiple ovens in the kitchen or wider more commercial freestanding ovens?

  • It depends on the style and size of the kitchen as to what will suit, however if a client has the room, they will generally like to have 2 ovens or at least a normal oven with a combi oven.


Q. What some key trends in cook tops?

  • Clients are definitely looking more towards cook tops that are easy to maintain / clean
  • Induction cook tops are taking over electric cook tops
  • With gas cook tops, clients are looking for clean surfaces with small trivets
  • Black glass / stainless steel is quite common as well

Q. What are some style and functionality considerations (ie: low profile? Which is best with kids, need to have mains gas if choosing gas) ?

  • Before changing from electric to gas, you need to ensure that you can get a gas supply to the house (if you do not have gas already)
  • When changing from electric to induction or gas to induction, you need to think about the added costs for changing the circuits if necessary
  • If you have young children and your cook top will be situated in the island, induction cook tops are great because if you leave it on and there are no pots on it, the surface doesn’t get hot. Many also come with childproof locks as well.


Q. What are some style and functionality considerations when selecting a range hood?

  • Think about whether you would like the range hood to become a feature in the kitchen or if you would like it to be hidden
  • Think about the style of the kitchen – generally clients are using under mount range hoods because they can be hidden which means bench tops / door profiles or colours become the feature in the kitchen
  • Think about whether you would like to duct the range hood (your designer can help you in terms of where it will be ducted and if it can be ducted)
  • In some homes especially in apartments it can be difficult to use a ducted range hood. If you have to use a recirculating range hood, find out from the supplier how often you need to change / clean the filters
  • If you would like the range hood to be visible, think about the style of the kitchen


Q. Can you please run through the options in terms of Semi-integrated, Fully integrated Built-in, and drawer or compact dishwashers?

  • Semi-integrated – you can see the top panel where all the controls are but there will be a joinery panel on the lower part
  • Fully integrated – the front door of the dishwasher will look like a piece of joinery. Only when you open it will you know that it is a dishwasher
  • Built in – sits underneath the bench top and does not have a joinery panel on it.
  • Drawer dishwashers are good for people who don’t / can’t bend as much as you can sit the drawer close to the bench top and they don’t need to bend as far down. Drawer dishwashers also come as integrated drawers
  • Compact dishwashers are good in small spaces and arte usually 450mm wide as opposed to 600mm wide. These can also come in integrated or built in

Q. What should people consider when selecting a dishwasher?

  • How big the kitchen is
  • Whether you would like to see the dishwasher or not
  • The location of the dishwasher on the plan – if its out of view then you may want to only use a built in one but if visible to your guests and / or you just don’t like the look of the stainless steel then a semi or fully integrated dishwasher is the way to go.