Need advice on best range, oven, refrigerator etc for new kitchen
My fiance and I are renovating an apartment we just bought for our own use and would appreciate any opinions out there on the best range, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. We're both avid and regular cooks, so we're looking for efficient, reliable appliances for heavy usage. Unfortunately, we have a smallish kitchen, so I think a semi-commercial range like a Bluestar (looks perfect but I don't think there's a dealer here in Hong Kong where we live) or Viking would generate too much heat to be practical (?). So I've been looking into the GE Profile or Miele Master Chef ranges and would love any advice there, for both cooktops (gas) and ovens (convection), as well as other recommendations. Also any opinions on full-size refrigerators (Subzeros are more expensive here than in the US - are they really worth it? what about LG fridges?) and dishwashers (Bosch? Miele? cheaper options?) are welcome. Thanks!
I had my 15-yo GE profile repaired last night. I asked the repairman what to get if it needed replacement. He unhesitatingly said high-end "Bosch." Followed by the high end GE profile (apparently the less expensive models are nothing special). He said that most brands are Maytag now - Kenmore, Jennaire, Kitchenaid, and (I think) Whirlpool. The independent ones are Tappan, GE, Bosch, and just a very few others. I'm not sure how true that is, or what the significance is. FWIW.
Wow, making recommendation for apartments is tough enough in the States, I know things like the placement of hoods & ranges can be much tougher than in a single family house as well as hassles of what regs there are for general access to elevators and work tools; the added layers of complexity when dealing with Hong Kong are going to really make this tough.
What is the situation with kitchen designers/remodeling firms in HK? Are there contracting firms with showrooms? Do any of the manufacturers have "home like" studios where one can try out the various options?
I have found that a good designer, with connections to manufacturers and recent clients, is a great resource. If you can find one that is more interested in being paid for their contributions (vs one that wants to make a percentage from an overly expensive project...) the whole project can go MUCH more smoothly. Ideally they will be able to get you in touch with appropriate manufacturers and/or get you into the kitchens of recent clients so that you benefit from others' experience.
Reliability and repairability are always HUGE concerns, no one wants to have their new appliances unusable -- especially when the source for parts may be far afield, as may be the case for HK. I have no idea what the local options are...
Finally, given that you say your kitchen is "smallish" I would be very cautious in over improving your apartment -- should you decide to move you probably won't be taking the stuff with you and who knows if future buyers will appreciate your choices or be "carry out only" apartment dwellers. If, OTOH, you are contemplating making your remodeled kitchen/eating area a centerpiece of the re-do be sure that you give careful planning to how workable this will be given the overall size of your unit. I have friends at both ends of the spectrum, some with large apartments that only see coffee heating in and others with studio sized spaces that are fantastic for foodie worthy dining parties....
Thanks a lot for your thoughts. We're using an experienced design firm here that has all the requisite contacts for sourcing materials, appliances, etc - but we'd like to form our own views on specific appliances rather than just going with their recommendations. Our kitchen will be around 200-220 sq ft, a decent size but the space will have to be very efficiently planned. Right now we're heading along the lines of a pro-type consumer range (like a GE Profile 6-burner), conventional & GE Advantium double oven + warming drawers, side-by-side fridge (any good brands you'd recommend?), double-drawer or regular dishwasher (Fischer Paykel??), granite countertops + stainless steel drainboards around the sink.