If you think of your future kitchen appliances as investments, you will probably take more time and care in the selection process. Unless you have abundant funds for changing your initial choices, new appliances are a long-term commitment to your kitchen's layout and functionality. Start by researching appliances that not only fit your budget, but also have the shapes, sizes and features that will work harmoniously with you and your family.
Cooktop, Range and Oven
You may like the idea of separating your cooktop from your oven, instead of a traditional freestanding range that combines them. Your budget, available kitchen space and cooking style, will determine the wisdom of opting for a counter, or island, cooktop with a separate, built-in oven. Cooktops often allow more flexibility in a kitchen's design; for example, it opens up the options for double wall ovens, warming drawers or a steam oven.
Most people consider a microwave oven a necessity. If you have plenty of counter area, a counter-top model is a fine choice. However, if you are short of counter space, a built-in model is a much better choice. Microwave manufacturers now including features previously found in full-size ovens, like a broiler, and a convection fan for faster, more even cooking. However, these features usually add to the cost of the oven.
Refrigerators take up a good portion of a kitchen's space. Before shopping, decide how much cold food storage you really need, so you don't pay for more than you actually need. Refrigerators with water and ice dispensers require more repairs than those without dispensers. Top-freezer models cost less, but bottom-freezer models have better visibility for everyone, and provide easier access for older children to retrieve their own snacks and frozen treats.
Your cooking and cleaning preferences should determine the style of dishwasher you buy. If you often cook with large pots and pans, you'll want a dishwasher with adjustable racks. If you don't mind rinsing your dishes before you load them, you won't need a heavy-duty cycle.
The most significant eco-friendly feature of any appliance is the amount of energy it uses. So, consider the necessary size and energy output of all new appliances ahead of time. It will save you money, and help the environment, in the long run.