Now that the kitchen quotes are slowly coming in, we need to get serious about the appliances that will be part of the both the kitchen and the rest of the house. In many parts of Europe, when one moves, the kitchen moves with them. Unfortunately, here in the States, there will not be a lot of appliances from our current home that we can take with us since buyers kind of frown upon a kitchen without appliances. So, short of the toaster and the food processor, everything will stay here and we'll have to dig deep in our pockets to buy new appliances for the new house.
Looking at the price-range the new house will be in, we will not go the Wolf / Sub-Zero, fully integrated look and in the process save a nice 5-figure sum of hard-earned dollars--and the peace of our marriage since Jen would not approve of spending that much! To be honest, it seems that most people go with the commercial-grade appliances more for show than utility since the average American family either eat outs or orders in more often than they cook a meal themselves. For us, it doesn't seem that the extra expense of a brand name is worth it. Jen is a great cook, even without the super expensive appliances.We have opted for appliances made by the Whirlpool corporation since the company I work for does all the transportation for said company and therefore we can get a substantial discount on the average retail price.
We selected the stainless steel models simply because there are less choices now in white and black and we actually do like the look of steel in combination with the dark espresso wood and white quartz counters. Too bad the white and black offer less choices since they usually are a lot cheaper.We did go with the white freezer since it will be in the pantry, and white washers and dryers for the laundry rooms.
So, here are the appliance choices we have made and barring any discontinued items these will be the appliances being ordered in the next few weeks:
Cooktop - Whirlpool 36" Gas
We selected this after first looking at the KitchenAid 36" gas models. The KA units were all close to or over $1000 and this one is less. We like the big 17k BTU center burner and dual 12k BTU, plus dual 9k BTU burners so plenty of cooking power and the recessed grates will nicely contain any spills. The funny thing is that due to the ICF construction the required BTU number for our furnace will actually be lower than the combined output of the cooktop... hmm... ;-)
Jen really wanted a flat bottom vent so she could put spices on it like one we found in Europe, but the only ones we found in the States were three times as much as other options that work just as well. In our current house we have recently installed the island-mount version of this vent. It looks stunning, sucks up a small book (with a good install and only a 400 cfm motor), is extremely affordable and looks nice and modern (our style). Funny that affordable and modern are usually NOT mentioned in the same sentence but I guess the exceptions make the rule.
Refrigerator - Whirlpool 36" Satina Side-by-Side
We selected this particular 26 cu ft unit since it has a very good energy rating (ENERGY STAR® Qualified - Tier II), has the faux-stainless finish (read: less finger prints), has glass shelves in both the fridge and freezer section, gallon storage in the door and ice-in-the-door. The popular French-door style doesn't work for us because we cook most of meals from scratch, and then put the leftovers in containers for my lunches. The stackable containers don't work very well with the drawer design in the French-style design but work great with a side-by-side because I can see all my lunch options clearly at a glance. Furthermore, this one has the Satina finish (stainless-look) to prevent fingerprints...
We selected this double-wall oven because it has a convection unit. We cook a lot and both units will be used almost daily. We do not need a dual convection unit since we hardly ever have two receipes at the same time both calling for convection. It also saves a crazy amount of money since you'd have to go KitchenAid and the like for that option.
We did not look at the Whirlpool dishwashers since they are not very highly rated and the Miele models are simply not in the budget so we went for the nice middle ground with KitchenAid. We selected this particular model since it has a ENERGY STAR® Qualified - Tier II rating, built-in food grinder and only a 49 dBA sound level. It will do very nicely.
In our pantry we will have a full-size upright freezer since we cook a lot and buy our meat in 20 to 40lbs increments through our local farmer(s market), and it will allow us to buy larger portions of our bulk goods (at a lower price per pound). We know they are not as energy efficient as a chest freezer, but the accessibility of an upright freezer is simply far superior to having to empty a chest freezer out while looking for an item. Initially I looked at a 25 cu-ft, but those are real energy hogs, so we stepped down to a 20 cu-ft unit with full-length door-shelves and plenty of storage inside yet still carriers an ENERGY STAR® Qualified rating.
Microwave - Sharp drawer unit
This one was pretty much a no-brainer from the moment we saw it. We value our counter-space over the cheaper price of the table-top units and are doing all drawers for the kitchen cabinets so a microwave drawer unit was an ideal fit. Especially since we only use it occasionally as an assist in defrosting or re-heating some left-overs. Furthermore, while you can buy a DCS, Jenn-Air or Viking unit, but they are all made by Sharp (they hold the patent...) with different fronts. So, we'll save some money and buy the Sharp model...Everyone keeps buying the InSinkerator and they are great disposals but most every test of disposals ranks them number 2, right behind the Waste King. So we went with the L8000 for the prep sink. The prep sink will see the most action and for the regular sink we'll use the builder-supplied model simply since it will be mainly used for rinsing prepared food versus the larger, chunkier food prep items the Waste King will be dealing with.
Disposal (island sink) - Waste King
|Waste King L8000|
We are normally only a family of 3 - but with room for guests... - so we don't need the super-high capacity washers, but with me being from Europe and used to front loaders we'll get the HE front-loaders this time around. Again, not the top-of-the line but good, decent, quality-built Maytag units, with an ENERGY STAR® Qualified - CEE Tier III rating, 3.6 cu-ft washer with NSF Steam Cycle and a 6.7 cu-ft electric dryer (to save money by not having to run a gas line to the 2nd story). As part of our universal design plans, we have a laundry rooms on both the upper and lower floors. Our regular wash will be done upstairs, and the downstairs laundry will be available for kitchen linens, our son's future stinky sports clothes, and any laundry overnight guests might need to do without having to go upstairs to our laundry room.
Now we have to go spend the money... necessary evil I guess ;-)
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