Amanda has been with Deslaurier since 2006. She began as a part-time receptionist and eventually transitioned, after a year, into the role of a Designer. Amanda's focus has been retail renovations and new homes since her design inception in 2007. She now works specifically with Inverness Homes, Glenview Homes, and many other Contractors, while still maintaining various retail work.
The 'Standard' Appliance
As a kitchen designer, one of the first questions we will ask is about the appliances a homeowner would like to incorporate into their new space. Will you be reusing existing or purchasing new? More often than not, we are told “oh, just standard appliances”
To which we will respond “there is no such thing as a standard appliance”.
Appliances clearly play a vital role in the kitchen; however the importance of them in the planning and design stage is often overlooked by the homeowner. This should be one of the first items considered when starting to plan your kitchen.
Do Your Homework
It is highly recommended to do some homework prior to meeting with your kitchen designer. See what is on the market and determine what appliances work best for you and/or your family. For example, would you benefit from a separate beverage or wine fridge? Perhaps a built-in coffee maker? Or a steam oven?
It is not necessary to purchase the units at that time, but make a short list to discuss with your designer and come prepared with sizes. Upon review of your space and requirements, we can make recommendations as to what will fit best. Sometimes separating the cooktop and wall oven is not always a feasible option for a smaller space, or that fridge may be too large for the wall it is intended to go on. These are the details your designer will work with you on.
As with any expert in a specific field, appliance reps are there to guide you in selecting the proper appliances for your needs and budget.
More often than not, with many new appliances, there are different applications for installation. You will often see these as you walk through their showrooms. It is important to ask questions so that you fully understand the difference and how it impacts your space.
For example, let’s take a look at a fridge:
Standard depth – this means that the fridge is sticking out several inches beyond your countertop; the cabinetry and panels can be built out to cover the sides of the fridge, but the doors will protrude past.
Counter depth – the box of the fridge sits at counter depth, but the doors will protrude past the cabinet and panels; there is a common misconception that counter depth fridges will give you a flush look with the cabinetry – this is not the case
Built-in – the fridge sits flush with the adjacent deep cabinets or panels, still in appliance material (i.e. stainless steel)
Integrated – the appliance is ordered ‘panel ready’ to accommodate cabinet panels for a fully integrated look with the cabinetry. This allows the appliance to seemingly disappear into the cabinetry.
This is just a quick glance at the many installation options that are available for just this one appliance.
Let your appliance rep know what kind of look you are trying to achieve so they can help you select the style of appliance you need, within your budget.
Coming Prepared to Plan Your Kitchen
Step 1 –Have an idea of what appliances you would ideally like to incorporate into the space (size, configuration, installation). This plays a vital role in designing your space.
Step 2 – Be flexible on the appliances as sometimes the space will dictate appliance sizes. It’s a wish list that you have created but as good as your designer is sometimes the space won’t allow for all the wants while giving you a kitchen that functions and flows.
Step 3 – Have your appliance rep print off the installation instructions of each appliance to provide to your kitchen designer. This will allow your designer to properly spec the cabinetry to accommodate the appliances purchased.
At the end of the day, appliances are a big part of the function of your kitchen space so a little research up front can make your kitchen planning go a lot smoother, giving you a better overall feel for the process. There are a lot of decisions to be made, but your designer and appliance rep are both there to help you through it.