In our last blog post, we shared some helpful tips from Monogram about how to build a kitchen design whether you’re remodeling, building, or buying a new home. Today, we want to share how to choose the right kitchen appliances, which can become overwhelming with all the great options out there.

CHOOSE THE BEST APPLIANCES

Once you have established a budget and created a vision for your new kitchen, you’ll need to research specific appliances, considering the brands and differentiating factors in each category to choose the appliances with the features, performance and style that best meet your needs.

Also be sure to consider Energy Star-rated appliances to increase home energy efficiency and savings while reducing impact on the environment. For tips on selecting and positioning your appliances for better energy efficiency, see our article on the Energy Efficient Kitchen.

Refrigerators

When choosing a refrigerator for your kitchen project, first select one of the three installation types:

  • Freestanding: Freestanding refrigerators may be viewed from a variety of angles, often have large capacity and are easy to relocate should your design change. When installed, however, they are not flush with kitchen countertops.
  • Built-in: Built-in units are usually taller than freestanding ones but fit flush with your countertop depth for a seamless look.
  • Columns or Fully Integrated: These units blend so seamlessly into your design that it can be difficult to distinguish them from the rest of the kitchen cabinetry.

All three options are available in a variety of sizes and capacities to meet your family’s individual food storage needs.

Once you’ve decided on an installation type, you’ll need to consider the refrigerator’s configuration. French door models with a bottom freezer as well as popular side-by-side models require less door swing space and provide easier access to the freezer for children than a traditional top-freezer model. For extra capacity, large families may also want to consider a larger refrigerator and freezer combination or upgrading to an all-freezer next to an all-refrigerator, if the kitchen space and layout can accommodate them.

Dishwashers

In selecting a dishwasher, start with styling; choose a finish that coordinates with the rest of your new appliances. And while most dishwashers are installed flush with kitchen countertops, integrated dishwashers matched to your cabinetry using custom panels are a growing design trend. Next, compare cleaning features. Look for dishwashers with a variety of cycles and options that complement your cleaning habits. For example, if your family runs frequent wash cycles, shop for models that offer varying capacity- or soil-level options. And entertainers might consider those with stemware holders or cycles for fine china. Plus, you’ll want to compare the number of jets and types of racks based on the kinds of dishes you’ll be cleaning.

One of the most important features to consider is how loud the dishwasher is while running. Dishwasher noise levels are rated in decibels; the lower the decibel rating, the quieter the dishwasher will be. Look for a rating of 45 decibels or less for the most quiet performers.

Dishwashers are most commonly available in a standard 24-inch width, as well as a smaller 18-inch width, ideal for very small spaces or as a second dishwasher for a wet bar.

And eco-conscious consumers should consider a dishwasher’s energy consumption and water usage. Shop for a model that is Energy Star-qualified for not only superior energy efficiency but also to reduce environmental impact.

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