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My appliance blog is a small fraction of all that are on the market screaming buy me!

The trend today is “Built in Appliances”. The terminology may be new to you, but once you see that the look compliments your overall design you may choose to go that way.

As far as refrigeration let’s start with the top of the line refrigerators such as Subzero. Even though the other brands are copying a similar look, Subzero is the only one that has two compressors, one for the freezer and one for refrigeration. This style is 24” deep and 84” high, the widths can vary from 27” to 48” wide. The reason for the height is that instead of the compressors being in the back, it’s on the top or bottom. The advantage of a refrigerator being counter depth, means it will not protrude into the room. What it lacks in depth it makes up in height. The subzero and the other brands that copy the built-in design usually price out over $10,000.00 dollars, but are known to last for over twenty years.

The style that is making a big splash is the French door refrigerators. They come in two different depths. The standard depth is up to 32-34" deep and counter depth is up to 26-28". My Clients prefer the Counter depth refrigerator because just the thickness of the door sticks out beyond the counter. I agree that it does look more streamlined. The only place a deep 32" refrigerator is not noticeable is in a corner by a wall. They have double doors in the top section and have the freezer drawer at the bottom. This gives you ample room to put that left over turkey in the fridge. The standard sizes come in 33” and 36” widths with a 70” height. The price is 1-10th of the price of a subzero in a Stainless Steel finish. This style is a winner, so check this one out.

Built-in Ovens – The cook top with a separate microwave/wall oven design is appealing and in a large kitchen it works well.

The standard wall oven width is 30” wide and is the same width as a regular free standing range. It is important to mention that the European ovens range up to 36” wide. If you are a big cook with a large family and have the room for a double wall oven you should do it, but consider the expense. When you purchase separate units your investment will usually be 30% more.

You can also buy a combo unit that has an oven/microwave included. Larger kitchens usually mean larger families and the upgrade with appliances is necessary. The cost must be considered when working within a budget. You will need 220 watt electric line for the oven.

Cooktops – They come in many sizes from 12” to 48” wide, but the standard size is matched to the built in oveb size, 30" wide. They can come in electric or gas fuel and are available in the professional series (restaurant quality) or a more streamline European look. There are many choices and features, finishes and styles that you can spend days researching them. Induction heating has pluses and minuses. The induction cook top doesn't stay hot. As soon as you turn the burner off the heat goes off. This is great if you have kids. The downside is that induction cook-tops require using copper metal pots and pans. So, either you have to buy all new pots and pans, or use a material that changes the bottom so you can use your pots and pans if you include this material.

The Countertop Steamer Units – If you love steamed vegetables here is a unit only 15” wide and adored by all who use it, especially vegetarians. It will take up countertop space though, so you must have the space to include this in your new kitchen. The wall Steamer works in a tall cabinet and I have heard great reviews.

Dishwashers come in the standard size of 24” or 18” wide. There are so many types and price ranges that I cannot mention them all here. Here are some helpful hints in trying to select one that fits your needs and your budget. Some are well known brand names, but are less expensive and are quite capable of doing everything you could possibly need a dishwasher to do. For instance; a pot scrubber, drying elements for drying the dishes, or small waste removal, so you no longer have to wash the dishes thoroughly before you place them in the dishwasher. This standard type can run $300 to $500 dollars. The top of the line features saving water, quiet function, glass and special china wash setting. Today the dishwasher can be integrated into the cabinetry and can be totally concealed with an appliance panel.

New on the scene is the double drawer dishwasher which can do small loads and can store dry dishes until you need to use them. This unit is very practical for smaller single owner households.

I use just one drawer for singles.

The Slide-in Range is built-in with the controls at the front, gives you easy access, instead of the controls being back behind the burners on a clunky looking backsplash. The other advantage is it overlaps the countertop, so that liquids cannot spill down the space between the counter and the range. Convection cooking is the latest addition to all range types. If you’re a gourmet cook and want to spend a bundle there are commercial style ranges that include features and cooking settings that are not available on conventional ranges. There are numerous manufacturers of these ranges and they also are available in dual fuel, both gas and electric.

Microwave installed in a draweris a sleek design plus a solution to get it off the countertop. It became more popular lately, so just Google microwave in a drawer. You will see that many manufacturers make them. Sharp microwave in a drawer makes them all for others. This design is also the answer to eliminating the exhaust microwave over the range, (getting old now) so you can have your contemporary stainless steel exhaust hood over the range instead.

Microwave/exhaust located over the range acts as an exhaust hood as well. This can be ducted outside or it can be re-circulating and duct free. This eliminates the need for an exhaust hood over the range. This microwave comes in a convection cook program as well and can act as that second oven you need during holiday gatherings.

Exhaust Hoods – There are many types and research is needed to make an informed decision. When it comes to hoods it's the CFMs that are important. This equals the power of the hood. The bigger the stove the bigger the hood and the stronger the CFMs.


There are concealed hoods that are hidden inside the cabinet, with a glass extension to use while you’re cooking and there are elaborate decorative cabinetry built into hoods that become the main focal point of the kitchen.

If you want a more contemporary look the European style stainless steel hoods are quite distinctive and have powerful exhausts, some must be ducted to the outside.

Built-in Coffee Makers - Since we have a love affair with coffee, the built-in coffee maker is the next best thing especially if you are a coffee addict, like I am.


Shop online before you run all over town to see appliances. Check out the prices online and then when you are ready to buy you will be an informed consumer.

Once you made your selection, the designer will need to know the appliance specifications. These dimensions are needed to see if the appliances fit into your plan. With the help of your kitchen designer, you can place the appliances where you need them.

Notify the contractor so that the electrician can properly set up the electrical requirements for that appliance's location. Another cool look is Appliance panels that match the door style and can be installed on the refrigerators and dishwashers to give it that built-in furniture look

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