We are so excited to begin our series on my kitchen renovation! The entire experience has been a wonderful learning process, an opportunity to collaborate with my mom, and only a slight exercise in patience! Following is an overview of the beating heart of the kitchen - the appliances.
Since we couldn't design the kitchen without knowing which appliances we would be using, we enthusiastically jumped into the appliance world. There's something about appliances that gets this girl - and I suspect most homeowners - excited to learn about all the new features, modern technology and sleek designs. My interest in fashion temporarily took a sharp right turn in favor of an appliance obsession! Bosch appliances were the perfect match for our aesthetic and functional needs.
My husband, Dave, and I, assessed our needs and wants, while keeping in mind how each appliance would fit in with the overall design and function of the finished space. Here's what we chose and why. In a later post I'll follow up with performance notes.
We finished our kitchen just 2 months ago and in that time, my cooking processes have changed in a number of surprising ways I'll get into soon!
We had a few requirements entering into this decision.
- We knew we wanted a side-by-side refrigerator to give us easier access to the freezer without having to bend down and dig through a single crowded drawer, and
- We had to have more space than our current 30" refrigerator provided.
- A counter depth easily semi-built in design
- Functional interior accessories and features
Enter the Bosch 36" Side by Side! This refrigerator fit the bill perfectly, offering many great features such as easily customizable digital programming, filtered water and ice maker, and an energy efficient cooling system. This was a dramatic improvement over our previous, much smaller, refrigerator.
Bosch 36" Counter Depth Side by Side Refrigerator - 800 Series, Stainless Steel
We debated briefly between a slide-in range vs. an under counter oven with separate cooktop. We chose the latter in order to achieve a more built-in, streamlined look to complement the minimalist design of the cabinetry. We loved how the continuous form of the countertop allowed the eye to flow uninterrupted.
But, Friday night pizza night? More about that shortly-including convection drama (my mom would call me - um, repeatedly - and ask "are you using the convection settings???")
Bosch 30" Single Wall Oven - 800 Series, Stainless Steel
Once we decided on a separate oven and cooktop type of installation, we knew an induction cooktop was the way to go. Bosch's impressive induction offerings were right up our alley with their AutoChef sensor, easy to use touch controls, and super fast heating ability. We chose the 30" size instead of 36" to maximize our counter space which, given our lifestyle, was a higher priority.
Bosch 30" Induction Cooktop with SteelTouch Control and AutoChef - 800 Series, Black & Stainless
We debated between designing in a low profile hood (used in typical under cabinet installations) vs. a very cool chimney-style hood. Originally, I thought I wanted a more substantial-looking hood that would signal "serious cook with serious ventilation needs," but after consulting with my mom, we set out to re-imagine and subsequently design-in a fresh look for this otherwise functional workhorse that typically sits obediently around wall cabinets above and alongside the hood.
More on this later, which was one of the more exciting and innovative elements to design into the kitchen.
Bosch 30" Under Cabinet Ventilation - 800 Series, Stainless Steel
Our existing dishwasher was loud, leaky, and as unattractive as you can get, and it didn't fully clean the dishes! Yuk! Dishwashers have come a very long way in performance and aesthetics since ours was installed in the "dawn of kitchens age", it seems.
We chose a custom-panel dishwasher to support a visual flow of our cabinetry, and not disrupt our goal of a "furniture" feel kitchen. We also needed it to be quiet, as our sofa is situated a mere few feet away from the dishwasher and we often run it during our prime-time TV viewing hours. But, what we discovered in its functional abilities went so much further than good looks - more later on that.
Bosch 24" Panel Ready Dishwasher - 800 Plus Series
I can't wait to elaborate on the performance of these appliances. In short, we couldn't be more pleased, and are blown away by the tremendous enhancement they've been to our lives. Ultimately, I'm really glad we followed a few important guidelines when choosing appliances and didn't get swept up in either the aesthetics or current trends when making our decisions.
Here's what we kept in mind to make the most educated decisions possible:
- Bigger is not always better - really evaluate if, for example, you will use a full 6 burners often enough to sacrifice the necessary counter space.
- Energy-efficient may not seem like an exciting feature, but over time, you will appreciate the cost savings in your electric bill
- Think about your overall lifestyle when evaluating appliance needs - for example, our need for a quiet dishwasher, due to the positioning of our kitchen or a low profile hood
- Look at the overall footprint of your space in terms of whether minimalist, sleek appliances designing in appliances as focal points works for you.
Our thanks to Bosch for donating appliances in support of this kitchen renovation. More, soon, on my kitchen renovation - details, products, design issues, and what kept us awake at night!