Picking The Right Kitchen Appliances

Picking The Right Kitchen Appliances

This Week On ASK THE DESIGNER- Picking The Right Kitchen Appliances, whether you are building a new home or renovating an older home; one of the most important rooms in your house is the kitchen. This is why picking the right kitchen appliance is so very important.

When we were building our home 3 years ago I put a lot of thought into our kitchen and picking the right kitchen appliances . I wanted to make sure I was picking things that would be classic, high quality and hold up though the test of time. Now I was limited in the specifics options available through my builder at the time, but I made sure that we had the basic bones, as I like to call them, in place for future projects.

Today, I want to walk you through my thought process on the appliances that you would see in most basic homes. I will also list a  few of my new favorite options and a few selections for your convenience since I know that some of my appliances have been updated.

*Designer Note: Also make sure to shop around, you will always get some of your best appliance pricing around the 4th of July, Memorial and Labor Day Holidays.

*Please note that this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission – for which I am very grateful! You can view my full advertising disclosure here.

The Vent Hood

Today the vent hood has become an architectural focal point in most kitchens. Whether you frame it out with a decorative wood chimney or cabinetry, or you opt for a sleek more industrial look. My number one recommendation is that you must vent this out of your home. I have seen so many of these hoods that are installed and go no where! Why bother? You are not exhausting the smell, steam or smoke out of your home so you might as well not even have one.  

The same thing is true for those after market under the cabinet mount vents that push the same air back into to your space just higher up, lol. My parents home, built in the seventies had this and it always just blew my mind. I would say “mom your just pushing grease onto the ceiling!” and she was, and it had to be repainted after years of doing so, coats and coats of Kilz Ceiling Primer to cover the damage. 

Here are a few of my picks for an industrial vent hood hood, with ours being the first one:



Range Tops

I personally prefer a gas range top for a more even cooking surface. I grew up learning to cook on an electric eye stove and when I got my first gas range I swore I would never go back. I also recommend getting at least a 5 burner,  which is a 36″ cook top, this really allows you to get several pots going at the same time. Also keep in mind that with a large fifth middle burner you can get an optional griddle grate for pancakes or indoor burgers. 

Pot Fillers I also get asked all the time about pot fillers in this area. From a design stand point, I love them and think they are a very nice thing for a high end cooks kitchen. Here is my practical two cents and school of thought. They are designed to fill a pot on the stove, in order  to save you from carrying a heavy pot of water from the sink to the stove, right? Well, how do you drain it? Are you just going to let your pasta sit there in scolding hot water until the end of time? Point made….so, no.


Counter Depth Fridge 

I can almost hear the groans on this one. Believe me, I was right there with you; thinking I will lose so much space inside my refrigerator. Well I can tell you that after purchasing my counter depth fridge 4 years ago they have come a long way. I know it has more room than my previous side by side.
Plus, if you select a zoned fridge like this Samsung RF23J9011SR 22.5 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator, which is the current available model. You can adjust the third bay to be a freezer,  extra fridge or a drink chiller, which is what we use ours for. I find not having drinks in my refrigerator leaves a ton of room for the food. Plus, my drinks always have that perfect icy slush on top on them that all my guests comment about and just love. 

I also love that my refrigerator offers the ability to make sparkling water. This is done by adding a Co2 cartridge to the refrigerator. It comes in handy for entertaining and allows you to make tons of fancy drink options all filtered directly from your own home. 

By purchasing a counter depth you also gain a ton of floor space in your actual kitchen. Most standard refrigerators bump out 8-12 inches past your counter into your room. Which makes the space look and feel smaller. Plus it adds a custom look to have your refrigerator the exact same depth as your cabinets. This is just one of those designer secrets that makes a kitchen just look prettier, you may not know why at the time, but it just tricks the eye.

My Favorite Counter Depth Refrigerators on the Market: 



Double Ovens

Now this is something you would have to do on the front end or in a renovation. While it is not a requirement to have a set of double ovens, it is considered to be a luxury item in most homes. It will also elevate the value of your home to have built in appliances, verses a slide in variety.

I have to say this is actually my second set of ovens in this home. With the first set I clearly did not do enough research and they met a very quick demise at 60 days, yes thats 2 months after closing. So, right in the middle of the holidays. Let’s just say not all ovens are created equal and the cleaning cycle could mean “insta implosion” lol.

I am very happy with my new Kitchen Aid Limited Edition Anniversary Series Ovens which were the top of the line at the time. As you can we were not taking anymore chances after the first incident.  Price became no object, after seeing what could happen with a lesser brand. This oven has all the bells and whistles and even offers convection bake which is perfect for baking. So I guess I am happy that my original selection blew up and I was able to get a redo.


The Dishwasher 

When looking for a dishwasher, quiet is key, you certainly do not want one that sounds like a 747 is landing in your kitchen. You also want to make sure you get a dishwasher that sanitizes and dries properly or you will end with dirty and spotted dishes, which nobody wants. Also in my opinion you also want them to be nondescript and sleek that just disappears. 

This is not our original dishwasher that came with our home, since the options were limited in that particular arena. We pretty much knew upon closing we would be buying a new one right out of the gate. I must say that I love how quiet the Samsung Water-wall, Stainless Steel, dishwasher is.  You hardly know when it is on, except when you hear the water drain, since it uses the same pipe as our sink so you might notice a slight gurgle, but that is it.It uses a wall of water technology so everything gets super clean, no rewashing ever. It also has a handy third row drawer for those tiny or odd shaped things that could get lost in a basic dishwasher. It is stainless steel inside and and out so there is no rusting of the parts or any plastic to break off in the heat. The only plastic pieces are the silverware holders and they are pretty sturdy. The rest is steel or rubberized steel to prevent glass breaks.

These are the two we could not decided between the Samsung and the Bosch. Honestly it ended up coming down to the one that was on sale at the time, which happened to be the Samsung.


The Microwave

This brings us to the microwave, which in most homes did not make an appearance until the 80’s, so in most renovations they became countertop units which took up space. In most homes they are mounted above the stove in lieu of a vent hood, which is also not the best option either. The new millennium trend was mounting them lower in cabinets to make them kid friendly, which brings its own set of problems. Now you have a microwave the kids have blown stuff up in at knee height, you have to break your back to clean all the time, lol. Clearly there is no good solution. In our home we had the option of  eliminating a double oven, which was never going to happen or adding it in cabinet down low, but we don’t have little kids so why would we do that? I actually redesigned a section of of kitchen cabinets between our refrigerator and pantry to house our microwave. It seemed like the perfect space and was out of the way of traffic, if you grabbed something out of the refrigerator to heat up it was right there. This is something you would have to decide on the front end when building or if you where doing a renovation but it is still worth a mention and something to think about. The beauty of Kitchen Aid microwaves is that they offer the ability to have all these options, as you can see ours is completely built in and has a custom surround to cover the  cabinet shelf. Shop KitchenAid’s microwave ovens that offer consistently even heat that helps achieve exceptional, oven-quality.

An Instant Hot Water Dispenser

Now I know I have mentioned I was not a fan of the pot filler above but an instant hot water dispenser is fantastic. I know that in new homes they have circulation pumps that offer instant hot water which is fantastic. This is actually instant boiling water, so think of an instant cup of tea or cocoa. Maybe you need that pasta to be done super fast and do not have time to wait 10 minutes for the water to boil, well fill your pot up with this!


I absolutely love mine and would not give it up for the world. It is perfect for quick sterilization of silverware that you might drop or cutting boards between chops (not raw of course). It is great to insta thaw items from the freezer too. Just keep in mind you will need a hole cut in your countertop for this smaller faucet along with a power supply for the heater and water supply.

I also  have been asked about my faucet from a reader, and to answer the question, we loved it so much we actually moved from our previous house, lol. So it is not a current model and was the top of the line about 10 years ago, which just goes in line with my quote of “Good Design Never Goes Out of Style, It’s a Way of Life”.  This faucet was made by Grohe I was able to find a similar one here from Hansgrohe 04297000 Allegro E, honestly I think it is envy the same name so it may even be the next generation, by Hansgrohe. 


  1. Informative article,it can serve as my guide when buying kitchen appliances,not fabolous as those items though😂

  2. I’m still a renter so I never have much say in my kitchen appliances, but always love looking at kitchen spaces. I’m also not much of a cook, but there’s something so satisfying about a gorgeous stove and oven.

    Great post! x


  3. Thank you for this. I will be getting a new dishwasher soon and needed a personal review on one.

  4. Teresa Best

    I just mentioning to my husband the other day about getting some new appliances while everything was one sale, this is the perfect post. I really wish I could add double ovens but that would be a serious kitchen overhaul at this point, but a new dishwasher would be very nice.

  5. This is a great list.. Planning to purchase vent hood so your advice will really helpful to me. After checking other kitchen appliances, just feel to buy one more thing: instant hot water dispenser😀. Hopefully get a good deal on both products.

  6. Farmhouse Fixer Upper

    Girl it is like you read my mind, I was just saying how w should go appliance shopping for a new refrigerator before the old one craps out before the holidays, because you know it will, and we might as well get one on sale! Great post thanks for the counter depth advice, I always thought I would lose space, go to know they are still large and in charge.

  7. Your kitchen is gorgeous! Love your suggestions! Next time we’re in the market for appliances, which is not too far out, I’m definitely coming back to your post.

  8. We are building a house right now, and I definitely did a ton of research before picking out appliances. We went with a Kitchenaid double oven too! I seriously can’t wait to move in and have all the new appliances and new house as right now we are living in a duplex with a stove that has the old coil burners. I miss having a glass stovetop.

  9. Tatianna

    ill be moving in about a month and i think its time for some new appliances! thanks for all the informative advice!

  10. lia

    I really need to upgrade my kitchen soon, and the appliances are the first thing to go, they are so old and really outdated, and not in a retro cool way. Thanks for the great advice I may reach out to you when we get the project underway for more great tips if you don’t mind.

  11. hieu le

    what a fancy kitchen! I am not sure whether I can afford them all but thank you!

  12. Skye

    You did a great job on this post, so many people really need this knot of knowledge when doing a kitchen renovation. It is so nice that you are able to provide them with some tangible information they can use. We both cracked up about your pot filler comment, after having a very similar conversation ourselves. You are absolutely right they are cool, completely impractical, but they still look very cool.

  13. I do believe my appliances are reaching their life expectancy so this article has been very helpful!

  14. paula_paulensen

    Such a informational article full of so much good information. I always feel pressured when I go to buy big ticket items like this by the sales people. It is so nice to hear it straight up from some that loves design and really just want to share information on the subject matter. No high pressure sales, I read look at the links provided and then make a decision you made this process too easy. I think we are getting new appliances. 🙂

  15. I completely welcome you reaching out, I always love to see what my readers are up too! 🙂

  16. I enjoy shopping for kitchen appliances way too much! It’s quite fun picking the one that JUST right.

  17. Miranda Davies

    What a great post I actually need to get new kitchen appliances very soon.

  18. Cassie

    So glad I saw this post we are redoing our kitchen I have been searching information about counter depth refrigerators. This is really good information. Do you mind if I send you a few more question via email? I have a few more question but do not want to leave it a public forum. Thanks!

  19. Cassie thanks for stopping by, of course, please feel free to send me your other questions. I am always here to help in any way that I can. I would love to see pictures of your renovation as well. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from you. Jen

  20. Terri Beavers

    Such a useful post, especially since I plan to rework some sections of our kitchen before the holidays this year.

  21. the cheap jordan’s

    I really need to get a new oven before the holiday’s mine keeps burning everything, or maybe it is just me 😛

  22. Terry Haide

    You are so amazing! It is as if you knew I needed to go appliance shopping. Why is it that refrigerators always go bad in the summer? Thank you!

  23. The Delightful Farmhouse

    Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? You have some great post and really great ideas, fro example this one on how to pick appliances you could probably sell a ebook to vendors. I was a marketing major so I just did nt know if you have thought about those possibilities to make extra income, but with all your talents I am sure your have plenty to keep you busy, lol.

  24. The Blue Arrow

    I’m impressed with how much I learned from this single post. Thanks for all the great information, in a easy to read form.

  25. Urban Farmgirl

    Nice post. I really want to upgrade my kitchen before the holidays, I need a new oven and refrigerator so badly, 🙁 I can not believe I missed the sales.

  26. Concetta Epps

    Howdy, I read your blog from time to time and I must have missed this post about appliances back in July, such a petty since I must have missed the sales too. Great tips for buying new ones which we are in the market for before the holidays, mama’s getting a new kitchen.

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