This is an area where choice has become rather overwhelming. Therefore, ensuring you have access to the best professional and unbiassed advice is essential. Our designers are well versed in all areas of residential appliances and bathroom fittings, and if necessary, will also assist clients by accompanying them to retailers of their choice to help them select the best appliance to meet their needs.
Research these items prior
We strongly recommend that you research these items prior to your consultation with our designers (but do not purchase), so that these items are then able to be properly considered in your design. Thankfully, these days most appliances have been standardized size-wise, so future replacement is not as difficult as it once was. Your choices will vary from depending on your needs, style choices and budget.
Your preferred heat source is important to consider here, and our designers will be able to inform you, and recommend the type best suited to your cooking needs, style and existing space/power restrictions. The type of property you own may also affect your choices, as often in older apartment units it is difficult or far too costly to run a new dedicated circuit to change from gas to electric. The three main types heat sources are:
Open flame affects the selection of materials surrounding this type of cooktop, so it is essential to establish your preference for this type early in the design process (refer Materials Section). Still a popular choice with many of our clients. Perfect if you are a fan of Asian-style cooking. When part of a freestanding stove, it is generally teamed with an electric oven, as these are generally easier to use and maintain. Available in all price ranges.
Possibly top in the popularity stakes, induction cooktops are a very efficient medium to cook with as they provide an extremely quick energy response to either high heat or easily graduated to enable a true simmer. Due to the way they work, once the pot is removed, the unit is cool to the touch – hence a great choice for a family with small children, or for those with elderly or impaired users. Perfect choice if you love to do dishes that require long simmers, though equally good for high heat cooking. Their slim line look is a popular option for the more modern/contemporary styles. These features have made them a firm favourite with our clients. May be a bit more costly to run, as they are power-hungry, but this is balanced by their efficient cooking ability.
These look very similar to induction cooktops, so be sure to get the correct unit. Ceramic cooktops have an element under a tempered glass plate that heats up, and then heats the pan. Great choice if you have power issues or a tighter budget. Still very popular as they are inexpensive to purchase and run, are easy to clean, and create a fuss-free look too.
Over the years, these have become more efficient and multifunctional. Because of this, and to meet the demands of a much more eco and energy conscious public, ovens have had to become clever in their use of space. Hence the need for better insulation and the introduction of more efficient rails and accessories, so that we need not fit a separate baking dish – the supplied trays utilise the space to the fullest extent possible and users are encouraged to use these instead of a separate baking dish. Some brands even supply Pyrex glass trays that fit the rails.
The most popular energy source is electric. Gas ovens are mainly selected by gas-oven devotees, as they are more demanding to operate. Electric ovens also allow for efficient and effective closed-door grilling, resulting in less smoke in your kitchen, as well as more succulent meat cooking, as juices are retained, rather than evaporated away. A vintage-style space could incorporate a vintage cast-iron oven-cooktop combination, while for a contemporary kitchen, consider more sleek glass cooktop with a separate oven.
Also come in many sizes, may be integrated or not, and can be multifunctional. Steam ovens are also popular, with clients becoming more and more health conscious. Many are available with a combination of cooking styles, thereby allowing for greater flexibility of use. A ‘comby’ oven can free up space in your kitchen, and at the same time, give you an extra ‘oven’ when you need it.
A must in any kitchen, rangehoods help to keep the amount of grease and other particles landing on surfaces, as well as helping to reduce cooking smells. In addition, they help to provide close-up lighting of your cooktop.
Available in many types, styles and materials. Important to spend a little more for a model with a decent size motor to ensure the efficacy of the unit. Some units require installation by certified professionals and special ducting methods, in order to not void the warranty. This, plus also the different type of joinery required for each type of rangehood, means it is important to select early in the design process.
This is a feature range hood totally outside of a cabinet space. It can be found in many shapes and sizes, as well as patterns, colours and even materials. Specific selection will depend very much on application. If flued, then it can be vented to the outside, or recycled. Non-flued feature hoods cannot generally be flued. Stand alone, special-feature units are a great way to add distinctive artistic panache.
This is by far today’s most popular option. The unit is located fully within an overhead cabinet, so it is totally unseen front-on. Perfect in any design, though a must in the contemporary and modern styles with clean lines. Some styles require a lift-up door for operation, though these are generally less popular.
Semi-integrated or pull-out
Rangehood is virtually entirely within a cabinet, with a slim front section that pulls-out when in use. At the lower price point, and usually only suitable where not much venting is required. May be ducted or recycled, though some models can only be recycled. Perfect for use in apartments, or budget-conscious projects.
Unit sits under cabinet and has protruding section at the front where the air can vent out. Only available as a recycled option. Not much in use these days, and mainly used for lower-end projects.
Under-bench or down-draft units
Very popular in Europe where space is at a premium, and now making their mark in Australia, mainly as these are prefect for island applications. Powerful motors and specialised venting make for very discreet yet efficient extraction. Typically, a vent is visible on the benchtop, behind or to the side of the cooktop, and the air is sucked downwards, hence their name.
Think about just how large your family is and how much room you have in your kitchen, and what you are looking for in a refrigerator before you make this crucial purchase. Refrigerators can be built-in, or freestanding, and side-by-side or a top-bottom configuration with both a fridge and freezer. For an unobtrusive look, co-ordinated cabinet fronts keep a refrigerator out of sight. A wine fridge is also a must for wine connoisseurs, or a bar fridge to accommodate the needs of entertainers.
Now a necessity in most homes, they have become an integral part of most kitchens. Options to consider:
Drawer or hinged door style
Drawer styles have the benefit of being able to be used singly (say, for use in a very small kitchen), side by side, or even either side of the sink, not just one drawer above the other. This is a great advantage for people with back problems, or access issues.
Integrated or freestanding
For a seamless look, dishwashers are available in models with special doors upon which a joinery panel can be attached. Please note, the dishwasher has to be an model that can be integrated, as a panel cannot be attached to an existing non-integrated unit. Some models are available as semi-integrated units. These have a panel (usually in stainless steel) along the top section of the door where the controls are located. The joinery panel is then made to fit the rest of the door. Freestanding models are still very popular, as they generally cost less, are available in white or stainless-steel finishes, and are easily replaceable – ie. there is no need to have a new panel made to fit the new dishwasher.
600mm or 450mm wide
Dishwasher dimensions have been standardised to allow for ease of replacement. The 450mm wide models are perfect when space is at a premium.
Keep in mind to always consider the needs and size of your family so that you make the best decision that will fit your needs.
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