How Do I Choose Home Appliances That Fit My Lifestyle?
The first question that everyone should ask when they begin a remodel is “what do I need out of this space?” A remodel is the chance to make the home more efficient, effective, and appealing. The goals of a remodel will depend on the needs of the individual and the family; this principle should also guide the selection of appliances.
The first consideration for choosing home appliances is the size of the household. It is a general rule that households should have 4 to 6 cubic feet of refrigerator space for each person in the household, including teens. For this reason, a family of 4 will need a larger refrigerator than a couple or a single person.
The second consideration is lifestyle. For people who love cooking and cook frequently, it will be important to get a larger and more efficient stovetop and oven. Other bonus items like a warming drawer, an oversized dishwasher, and an all-in-one oven may also be necessary additions to the space. Individuals who do not cook as much or who do not consider themselves chefs will be just fine with a more basic kitchen setup.
If you enjoy having company over and hosting dinner parties, that should also influence the choice of home appliances. Party hosts may want to budget for additional features such as a wine cooler, an extra wide fridge, and a two-tiered oven.
In addition to family size and social choices, the eating habits of yourself and your family should play a significant role in the home appliances that you choose. For example, those who prefer to meal prep, may want to invest in a larger freezer to accommodate their prepared meals.
How much you cook is also important when selecting a cooker hood. While cooker hoods are usually an afterthought when it comes to choosing home appliances, they are an important part of home safety and proper air quality. The purpose of a cooker hood is to remove odors, smoke, and steam that are generated while cooking. Families and individuals who cook more often, especially on a stovetop, would benefit from choosing a more powerful cooker hood to keep the air in their kitchen safe to breathe.
How To Choose Appliances For Small Spaces
Small living spaces are bigger than ever as an affordable, sustainable alternative to large houses. Living in a tiny house, a studio condo, or an RV doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the joys of beautiful home appliances.
For those living in small spaces, the best home appliances are compact, efficient, and really earn the amount of counter space that they take up. It is also best for appliances to have multiple functions to give you the most bang for your buck.
The biggest challenge of small spaces is that the kitchens are normally very crowded and without much counter space. Everyone wants to maximize their cooking space, and the best way to do that is to minimize the amount of space that their appliances take up.
When choosing appliances for small homes, if you can buy a compact version, go for the compact version. You should also look for appliances that can be folded up, taken apart, and nested for ease of storage. If the size of the kitchen allows, you may want to consider adding additional appliance storage.
The Best Sinks For Tiny Kitchens
In addition to the traditional appliances, sinks are an important element of every kitchen. You may not think of your sink as a home appliance, but you should. The right sink can make cooking a breeze or make you curse your kitchen everytime you try to wash dishes.
The standard sink is between 28 and 30 inches long, 19 inches wide, and about 7.25 inches deep; however, remodeling experts agree that most people can easily make do with a 22 inch sink if space is an issue. For comparison, most kitchenette sinks are 9 inches by 15 inches. Bar sinks, which have the primary purpose of washing individual glasses, are only 12 inches long.
If possible, it is best not to skimp on the size of your sink, even if you are desperate to maximize counter space. Too-small sinks come with drawbacks that will make cooking and cleaning challenging. For example, a small sink will make it impossible for two people to do dishes at the same time without bumping elbows. You may be able to get by with a kitchenette or bar-sized sink if you live alone, but they are not recommended for couples and roommates.
Another factor to consider when choosing a sink for your small kitchen is whether or not you will have a dishwasher. If your space does not have a dishwasher, you may want to opt for a larger sink and an extra deep sink to allow yourself plenty of space for cleaning up. If you do have a full size dishwasher, a larger sink is less necessary to manage the household’s dish load.
Finally, the placement of the sink in a small kitchen can make the difference between easy cooking and crowded cooking. One method for maximizing counter space with a sink of any size is to have a corner sink. This frees up other counters for cooking and for storing appliances.
How Important is Performance in Choosing Home Appliances?
Once homeowners have an idea of their needs and the size of their space, they should consider the performance of their appliances. A home appliance is not an effective appliance if it isn’t useful, efficient, and does what it is supposed to do with little waste. Most homes do not need a professional-grade oven or fridge, but there are certain advantages to different models that will make your life easier.
Choosing the Best Cooktop and Hood
The main choice that homeowners face when selecting a cooktop is the choice between gas, induction, or electric. Gas cooktops are the standard in most homes because they are the tried-and-true standard for stoves; however, the open flame can be a safety concern, especially if there are long children in the house.
Electric cooktops are fairly popular because they are easy to clean and lose less heat compared to gas. Induction cooktops are not as mainstream, but they are a huge time saver because they can bring the kettle to a boil faster than a gas cooktop.
The size and type of cooktop should directly influence your choice of cooker hood or range hood. Exterior hoods are the best for protecting air quality in the kitchen; they are also quieter than interior range hoods. If you choose a larger cooktop, you should invest in a larger range hood to match.
High-Quality Fridges and Freezers
There are many more options for fridges and freezers than most homeowners realize, both in terms of size and quality. Most fridge-freezer combined units are single compressors, which works well enough for most people to keep their food the right temperature.
Duel-compressor fridge-freezer units are more expensive, but they do a much better job keeping food fresh. Large families and those who buy organic produce should consider investing in a duel-compressor unit because it will extend the life of their food and save money in the long term.
There are 3 standard models for fridge-freezer units: french door models, stacked, and freezer drawer models. French door units have the fridge and the freezer side by side, which can be beneficial for accessibility because the handles are not out of reach. Stacked and freezer drawer units both have one unit on top and one on the bottom; these models work just as well as the french door units, so the choice comes down to personal preference and the mobility needs of those living in the home.
How to Choose the Best Oven
The best oven is the one that works well for your family’s needs. Conventional ovens apply heat from the top and the bottom to cook food; they also offer settings for baking, broiling, and roasting. Convection ovens utilize a fan to circulate the heat evenly through the over for faster cook times. Some ovens may include an air fryer feature and a warming drawer.
Most bakers and chefs choose a conventional oven because it will work better for most recipes. However, those who have small kitchens may want an oven that can double as an air fryer so that they do not have to make space for an additional appliance.
How to Choose Kitchen Appliances for Safety and Accessibility
A remodel is the chance for homeowners to make their kitchen more accessible and to add more safety features. Many homeowners consider a remodel if there is a new baby on the way or if a family member has a mobility issue. When it comes to safety, not all appliances are created equal.
The Safest Appliances for Families with Kids
Cooktops are a big concern for families with little kids. The best way to keep your family safe is to invest in a cooktop that has the controls located against the backsplash. If the knobs are out of reach of little hands, children will not be able to turn the knobs and turn on the stovetop when adults aren’t looking.
Some top of the line ovens come with flat touchpad controls that offer electronic temperature information. This option may be better than the traditional knob controls because they are less tempting for children to grab and turn.
Homeowners who are upgrading their sink should consider a garbage disposal that has an on/off switch hidden under the sink or mounted on a wall. Most little kids enjoy playing with the light switches, so it is best to place garbage disposal switches so that they are out of reach.
How to Incorporate Accessibility into Your Home
Even if there isn’t a member of your household who is in a wheelchair, it can still be beneficial to consider accessibility when choosing home appliances. Many accessibility choices are simply more convenient for everyone in the home. For example, french door fridge-freezer units can be opened by individuals of all heights. French door ovens are also an excellent alternative to pull down ovens. Not only does the double door design make it easy to open the oven with one hand and remove the dish with the other, the handles on french door ovens are horizontal, so small children won’t be tempted to hang on the handles or open the oven while it is in use.
Other common accessible appliances are gaining popularity because they simply look better. Built-in microwaves are a great solution to limited counter space because it frees up all this room that would otherwise be used by a huge, clunky microwave. Drawer dishwashers are also desirable because they are easier to load without as much bending and reaching. Most drawer dishwashers can be built into the kitchen and disguised with a cabinet-matching finish of your choice.
Which Kitchen Appliances are the Easiest to Clean?
The final consideration that homeowners should take into account is the ease of cleaning their new appliances. No one wants to spend all their time scrubbing their kitchen to get that brand new appliance gleam back, so the best thing you can do for your future self is to select easy to clean appliances.
Here are 5 easy ways to make your kitchen easier to clean:
- Choose stainless steel appliances that have a fingerprint-proof finish.
- Consider embracing an all-black look for your kitchen. Black appliances will hide stains better than white appliances and some brands even carry unique black stainless steel kitchen sets.
- Instead of a mosaic backsplash, consider getting a backsplash made from a single sheet of metal. This will make it fast to wipe down in the event of flying foods.
- Opt for a convection or electric stovetop because gas cooktops can be time consuming to scrub.
- Get a sink that is set directly into the counters with no ledge. When you are wiping down counters, this will allow you to push all the crumbs directly into the sink.