This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Maytag. The opinions and text are all mine.
A Guide to Buying Kitchen Appliances
As you guys know, I’m busy planning the kitchen renovation in hopes to kick off the weekly series of all things kitchen in the next week or two. Right now we are ﬁnalizing cabinet and material orders and once those are in, we are ready for DEMO!
Our plan is to demo in a little less than a month so we can get this show on the road. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on more of the decision-making processes over the next month. But today — let’s talk kitchen appliances!
Last week we ordered our appliances and OMG — the whole process got very real. Who knew appliances could be so handsome? I can’t wait until it’s time to install them, but I know that we’re still a few weeks out from that day. In the meantime, I wanted to break down the process we took in choosing our new kitchen appliances. There are so many options (and features!), so I always find it helpful to align on criteria you’re looking for before purchasing big ticket items! We put together eight areas we focused on when determining what kitchen appliances were right for us.
The ﬁrst and, in my opinion, the most important thing on the list is ﬁguring out your budget. This will not only ensure you aren’t overspending on your new kitchen appliances, but will also narrow down your search. An appliance can be as affordable as a couple hundred dollars or can run as high as $10,000! Of course, most of us aren’t shopping for a $10,000 refrigerator, BUT it’s still important to sit down and make a goal for this expense.
Once you establish a budget, it’s time to move onto the next step on the list!
Okay, now that we’ve established a budget, it’s time to narrow down the search further by ﬁguring out the sizes of your appliances and determining what makes the most sense for your space. Here’s a super helpful guide for refrigerators that we used!
If you’re gutting your kitchen like I am and installing new cabinets, you have a lot more ﬂexibility in this category because you can order cabinets to custom ﬁt your appliances. However, if you’re upgrading your appliances and keeping your existing cabinets, you’ll have to measure the width/height of the existing cabinet openings and shop.
But, it’s not just important to measure the width and height. You also need to consider depth. Do you want your refrigerator to jut out past your cabinets? Do you want your stove to do the same? My old refrigerator (see above!) jutted one foot out past our cabinets and I HATED that. Plus, the old refrigerator was in a space where we entered our house, which obstructed our view a bit and made the entire kitchen feel smaller/choppier.
Bottom line, it’s important to choose appliances that ﬁt your space so be sure to measure height, width, and depth before shopping!
Budget decided on? Check! Dimensions documented? Check! What’s next? Now it’s time to decide on the ﬁnish or style of your appliances. Here are some of the most popular options we found…
- Stainless Steel
- Hidden beneath cabinet panels
We knew we wanted the clean look of stainless steel for our new kitchen, but didn’t want to deal with keeping the stainless steel streak and ﬁngerprint free. The struggle is real, isn’t it?! Then we learned about FINGERPRINT RESISTANT stainless steel. Umm… genius!! I actually learned about this at a Maytag event at the World of Whirlpool in Chicago, where Casey and I had the chance to see it in the showroom and test out how it works. It’s so easy…all you need is water to clean it!
And guess what? It works! You can go right up and touch this type of stainless steel all you want (yes, I’m looking at you soon-to-be toddler, Ben) and you can barely tell – if at all. If there is a smudge, all you do is spray water, wipe, and voila! Casey has had this finish in her kitchen (pictured above) on her Maytag appliances for over two years and she doesn’t have to spend her days constantly cleaning the fridge to wipe away unwanted fingerprints. She loves it! So it was a no-brainer this ﬁnish would be perfect in our kitchen too.
Now it’s time to reflect on your lifestyle and how you currently use your appliances. Do you have any pain points that you want to address with the new appliances? You need to carefully analyze how you use each appliance and what you love about them, and possibly even more importantly, what you hate.
For example, our current side-by-side refrigerator is ﬁne, but its layout doesn’t allow us to use it to its full potential. We rarely freeze things, so to have 50% of our refrigerator space as a freezer is a bit of a waste.
Personally, we prefer having more refrigerator space and less freezer space, which is why we ended up choosing this French Door Refrigerator. This style is what we had in our old house and we LOVED it so much more. Not only does this model give us more refrigerator space, but it also has the PowerCold® feature which cools the fridge quickly to ensure all our food stays nice and fresh, which is crucial after loading in all our groceries!
It’s important that you analyze your preferences before shopping so that you choose the appliances that will be the hardest workers for your family.
Now, let’s talk design details! Honestly, these are probably overlooked by many, but they can make a big difference.
Right now, I have a range with a “backing.” Most kitchens I see have this same style. Ya know… it’s where the clock, heating options, and general settings all live on a back panel. It’s pretty standard, right?
I don’t dislike this style, but when I saw that there were ranges available with no backsplash, I was obsessed with the look. We ended up going with this gas range because it doesn’t have a backing, which will allow me to run the backsplash all the way to the bottom of the counter. I loveeeee that look in a kitchen.
This same concept was important when choosing a new dishwasher. I was not super picky when I chose my old dishwasher. All the controls/buttons were on the outside of the appliance, so when I saw that there were options available that put all of the controls/buttons on the top edge of the dishwasher (they’re actually called “top controls”), I needed to have it!I chose this top control dishwasher in ﬁngerprint resistant stainless steel. That way the outside panel of the dishwasher is clean, sleek, minimal, and resists those food smudges. Again, this isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s an extra detail I’m super excited about!
6. Recommendations From Friends & Family
Everyone might not want to open this decision up to their family and friends, but personally, I like hearing what people love (or hate) about their kitchen appliances. I polled a lot of my family, friends, and even asked my mom’s friends because they have a lot of valuable experience in their kitchens. Not only was I able to gain great insight into their preferences and experiences, I was also learned a lot more about kitchen appliances. It was a win-win!
Our last home came with new appliances when we moved into it, so this was my ﬁrst time shopping for appliances. And wow, can we talk about how FAR appliance features have come?!
From ﬁngerprint resistant stainless steel, to LED lighting, to heating and cooling technology, appliances have come a loooong way since I tagged along with my parents back-in-the-day as they chose appliances for their kitchen renovation.
8. Other Random Things to Consider
This last category is a bit of a “catch-all”. Here are some other random things to consider before choosing the appliances that are right for you, your kitchen, and your lifestyle.
- Can you sell your current appliances to help increase your overall budget?
- Do you also need a new hood for over your range? Don’t forget to budget for this expense!
Are you planning on hiding a microwave in a cabinet? If so, be sure to choose the perfect one (like we did when choosing this one!) and include electrical in that cabinet space. Here are more things to consider when choosing your microwave style!
Be sure to check your home’s “hook-ups” before buying appliances. For example, if you buy a refrigerator with an ice/water dispenser, you need water running to that appliance.
- Do you prefer gas or electric stove top cooking? If you’re making the switch, is there gas available in that space? Chances are the electrical is available… but be sure to confirm that as well.
- Will all of your appliances match in color/finish? Do you want them to?
- Do you want all of your appliances to be the same brand?
- When heading out to go shopping, be ready to answer questions like, “How do you currently use your refrigerator?” “How do you currently use your range?”
- Do you want a top control dishwasher or a front control? Choose the best dishwasher for you!
Are there any other burning questions about buying kitchen appliances that I’m missing? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts so I can add them to this list.
Appliances are a big investment, and I want to do my part in helping you make the best decision. My hope is whatever you decide, you and your family will love them (and use them) for years and years to come!
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