Since 2020, many of us have spent far more time at home than previously. We have been cooking more, cleaning more, and transforming our homes into more than temporary workspaces. Because of this, there has been a surge in consumers focusing on home improvement projects, including wanting to upgrade their appliances to better suit their needs. But it can be difficult when it comes to how to choose the right appliances for your home.
The world we live in is filled with arbitrary articles, consumer reports, and targeted marketing advertisements making it difficult to differentiate between misleading or truly helpful information. To better support our clients, we recently had a conversation with appliance specialist Aaron Nevel, Account Manager at Basco Appliances in Lake Oswego, OR. We’ve outlined what we think are the most important considerations homeowners can make when selecting appliances.
How to Choose the Right Appliances
Whether it’s a kitchen remodel or an improvement to their laundry routine, the demand for appliance upgrades has increased dramatically. So, if you are thinking about upgrading your home, here’s how to choose the right appliances.
- Understand your current routine
- Work With a Designer
- Ask a Local Specialist
- Measure Your Space
- Energy Efficiency
Understand your current routine
Before you start choosing kitchen appliances, Aaron recommends assessing your current routine and/or cooking style. Knowing how many people you regularly cook for, the types of dishes you prepare, and the frequency with which you use each appliance are just some of the driving factors in making this decision.
Another important step is to determine what doesn’t work for you in your current kitchen. For example, if you are an avid baker and only have one oven, you might often find yourself frustrated with either overcrowding your oven, or having to wait between batches to get your next set of baked goods in.
Functionality in relation to how you use your kitchen should always come first in this appliance search process and knowing what types and sizes of appliances are important to you goes a long way in narrowing down selections. Will a wall oven make sense, will you need a double oven, or how often you use a warming drawer should be considered.
Work with a designer to achieve optimal function & style
Once you understand the types of appliances that will best suit your needs, it’s important to ensure the layout of your space is going to be functional and meet your design goals. Working with a designer is one of the easiest ways to avoid any functional pitfalls that are often overlooked. Additionally, finding a designer who is well-versed in the style you want to achieve is key to attaining the look you want.
Sometimes having different brands of appliances is what would best suit a client’s needs, yet pulling together a cohesive look may not be the simplest task. Having a designer’s input can illuminate ways to reach the look that you want while meeting your functional needs and budgetary constraints. An additional benefit of working with a designer is that they can often extend their trade discounts with their clients to ensure you get the best value.
Ask a local specialist
Local appliance specialists are going to be your best resource for feedback on brands and model performance and will be able to give you information on the latest technology. Going to a showroom, like Basco, that carries a variety of appliance brands is key to finding out which brands and models will best suit your needs. Appliance specialists will be able to match you best with a brand and model depending on function, style, and budget.
Further, appliance specialists understand the niche that each brand has to offer. While many people continue to purchase the same brands over and over, they may not always be the best fit for what you are looking for. For example, many people are not aware of the features of induction cooktops or how steam ovens are becoming more widely available for the everyday household versus just a commercial kitchen appliance. Talking with a local appliance specialist will ultimately get you closer to what you need and want.
Measure twice, order once. If you are unsure of how to properly measure your space, please ask a specialist or utilize design services. Many times, consumers believe they are accounting for everything, yet when a French door refrigerator door swings open, it collides with the neighboring wall, or worse, it can’t open fully due to a measuring error. Aaron suggests measuring the exact space that the appliance will fit into.
Additionally, it’s key to take photos of the space and bring them to a specialist so they can check that you are accounting for installation clearances. Finally, considering the flooring height and/or flooring changes, clearances, and floor levelness is key for appliance installation and ensuring a proper fit.
Aaron Nevel recommends looking at the rating system of the product as well as the expected life span. Determining which energy efficiency factors are important to you will help derive the model you end up with. For example, if someone is looking for an alternative to cooking with gas cooktops or dual fuel (gas and electric), studies are showing that induction cooking is a cleaner, healthier, and just as an effective alternative.
When considering the lifespan of a product, Nevel advises asking friends which brands have held up well in addition to looking for trends in your online research. The longevity of a brand and/or product can steer you in the right direction. Nevel warns of the knockoff models that are sometimes half or a third of the price. These knockoff models often look similar, but the quality is not equivalent to what you would be getting for the “real thing.”
Appliance delivery times are heavily driven by supply-chain disruption since the pandemic. Most appliances have a 6-to-10-month lead time, so it’s crucial to order them as early as possible so that your project is not delayed.
How to Choose the Right Appliances: Final Considerations
Two final considerations when thinking about transforming your space are improving your outdoor cooking space and thinking about any need for drink stations.
Outdoor cooking spaces are often an afterthought. However, partially due to the pandemic, there has been an enormous increase in demand for usable outdoor spaces. There have been leaps and bounds in advancements in outdoor cooking appliances including more than just grills. Pizza ovens, griddles, and fully integrated countertop gas burners are just some of the advancements in this sector.
The demand for drink stations/wet bars in the home has also increased. These drink stations can be designed to be a part of your everyday routine and range from coffee stations in the kitchen to wine fridges in bonus rooms and dens. Filtered water or even sparkling water stations are also becoming more and more popular as built-in pieces of everyday kitchen design.
These built-in appliances eliminate the need for countertop appliances and/or take up space in your refrigerator. Check out the Zip Hydrotap below to see one of the newest innovations in drinking water systems! Zip’s Hydrotap is the world’s most advanced drinking water system–you can check out Zip’s website HERE to learn more!
Want sparkling water without aluminum cans? How about boiling water for your tea or pasta? Or instant, chilled filtered water without the need for an ice maker? You can have all these features integrated into one faucet. Designers are excited about this product because it comes in a variety of styles and finish options to fit any kitchen.
Knowledge is power, especially in the buying process. Analyzing how you use your space and talking to a specialist will help you make the best decision for you and your home. Furthermore, taking these considerations into account will also save you from possible headaches or delays down the road.
Obviously, choosing appliances goes beyond choosing stainless steel range hoods that are easy to clean and how many refrigeration drawers you have. If you decide that working with a design team is the right decision for you, we’d love to be a part of your project. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you accomplish your vision for your home!