Choosing appliances can feel like a daunting task, with such a plethora of options and features available. We spoke with Miele’s Product Manager for Kitchens, Max McCormick to gain his expert advice on where to start if you are feeling overwhelmed, and the different elements to consider that will help to guide your decisions.
How much space do you have available for appliances?
A simple place to start is by working out just how much space is available for appliances, as this will help to prioritise your wishlist. It is easy to get carried out with a whole list of dream appliances, but it is important to select non-negotiables and start from there – whether this is an XXL dishwasher, an induction hob or an extra under counter freezer for additional capacity. Investing in high-quality combination or compact appliances will keep your kitchen running smoothly without the need to compromise on performance, whilst freeing space for a luxury item such as built-in coffee machine or wine conditioner.
What is your style of cooking?
Are you a passionate cook who likes to get creative in the kitchen, or does your hectic schedule require a highly functional set up that delivers precise, reliable results with little effort or time? Take inspiration from the appliance decisions made by professional chefs in their kitchens at home and consider how your style of cooking should impact your decisions. If you love to create quick and healthy dishes you may wish to consider a steam or steam combination oven to deliver precisely cooked and flavoursome results, whilst keen bakers might be tempted by a warming drawer. Often viewed as just a place to keep crockery prior to serving, Miele’s gourmet warming drawers in fact offer a new way to prepare a range of dishes, as well as being the perfect environment to prove yeast dough for cakes, biscuits and pizzas. Another compact appliance that would make a great addition to a bank of ovens is a sous vide vacuum sealing drawer, allowing for professional style cooking at consistently low temperatures. In particular, hobs are a key element that depend on your preferred cooking style, although it’s no longer necessary to compromise with as-standard installments. Miele’s SmartLine CombiSets provide a versatile cooking solution, allowing for a variety of hob styles to be placed together including gas, induction, and a Tepan Yaki plate. Perfect if creativity and flexibility are important to you in the kitchen, the hobs are available in various width selections to suit different spaces.
Do you enjoy entertaining guests frequently?
It goes without saying that your lifestyle is going to be the biggest factor that influences your appliances choices. From large or multiple fridges for growing families to models that benefit from additional safety features to keep small children safe, the variations are endless. But for those who love to entertain frequently, this can lead to a separate list of requirements. A luxurious built-in coffee machine allows you to prepare the freshest and most authentic tasting beverages for post-dinner refreshments or long weekend brunches, whilst adding a real style statement to a bank of appliances. For discerning wine connoisseurs, a carefully chosen wine conditioner can be the ideal finishing touch, with Miele’s offering ranging from built-in to freestanding models that all offer precise temperature control and intelligent features to ensure your wine is stored in optimum conditions ready to be enjoyed. Large capacity dishwashers that offer a speedy wash programme, such as Miele’s QuickPowerWash programme that cleans and dries crockery in just 58 minutes, are another dinner party savior.
What about extraction?
Often an after-thought compared to the shiny appeal of hobs, ovens and refrigerators, extraction is a crucial element in any kitchen. When badly planned, poor extraction can lead to nasty smells and vapours lingering making selecting the right model in terms of performance as well as aesthetic appeal an important factor in any kitchen design, especially in open plan living spaces. Simply put, you have two options for extraction models – recirculation or extraction. Recirculation is easy to install and incorporate into many designs, as vapours are absorbed and filtered inside the kitchen using a charcoal filter. Extraction is, as the name suggests, a method of extracting the vapours outside via ducting. The method of extraction available to you will in part dictate your options, but once again, your lifestyle has an influence here as those who frequently cook rich dishes with butter or oil will require a hood installed closer to the hob. In addition, your cooker hood will also need to be at least as wide as your hob for gas models and wider if you are opting for an induction model as the vapours will dissipate outwards. From these initial considerations, the design possibilities are numerous – from downdraft and concealed ceiling hoods to wow-factor statements. Get more advice on choosing your extractor here.
What look do you want to create – built-in, freestanding or hidden?
From a sleek minimalistic space to a traditional Shaker style kitchen, your appliance choice will need to suit your desired finished look. For those opting for handleless cabinetry it is best to use handleless appliances so that the lines are not interrupted – Miele’s ArtLine range is great for this. Where possible, any appliances on show, such as ovens and coffee machines, should be in the same or a complementary shade. Any appliances that can should be integrated, such as the dishwasher, extractor and fridge freezer, whilst opting for a sleek induction hob will keep with the lines of the worktop. If you have the space, there may be some elements, such as coffee machines, wine conditioners and fridge freezers, that you would prefer freestanding. The special edition Miele KFN 29233 D BB Blackboard fridge freezer is a fun option, as shopping lists and messages can be drawn directly on to the front with chalk, making it a real design feature. A further option is to look into a pocket door system, whereby sliding doors hide away appliances when not in use. This can be a good solution if you are coveting an open plan living space and want to be able to transform the kitchen when not being used for cooking.
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