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Appliances ~ Function Meets Style

Models of major kitchen appliances tend to differ from each other based on:

  • Whether they have a professional or standard capacity
  • Whether they are built-in, paneled, or freestanding
  • Their individual features

Professional style means the appliance looks like and has a capacity similar to the commercial one used in your favorite restaurant’s kitchen. True commercial units aren’t rated for residential use because of their special ventilation needs, excessive heat, massive size, and other safety concerns. But with pro-style appliances, you can get the advantages of restaurant-grade, including greater durability, more precise temperature control, and a stainless steel finish. People who cook a lot at home or have large families might want to spring for the professional-style equipment. Some everyday cooks also like it for stylistic reasons.

Those shopping with more limited budgets might be pleased to learn that they can own appliances in the same stainless steel style if they settle for more standard features.

Before you purchase new appliances, you’ll also need to decide if you want to have them built into your cabinets. If you have a built-in refrigerator, for example, you won’t be able tell at first glance that it’s in the room. Its doors will look just like those of your cabinets and it will lie flush with the cabinets rather than sticking out.

You can get a similar look for less money by having your appliances paneled in the same style as your cabinets.

Explore ways to make your appliances more accessible. Raise your dishwasher so you don’t have to bend down to load and unload it.

Be sure to check out what’s crawling into drawers these days. Warming ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers all come as drawer units that can add convenience and save space.

Pizza lovers might savor the crust created in a brick oven, while wine connoisseurs could easily fall for beverage chillers and storage units—some even hook up to your home’s security system and include cigar compartments.

Consider moving your trash compactor out to the garage to crush and compress aluminum cans, freeing up space in the kitchen for a recycle center.