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Building a New Kitchen

Hello all-

We are remodeling an old brick farm house and turning it into THE house. The one we'll be in for the next 20-30 years, where our kids will grow up (now 4 and 7), and where I'll continue to grow my love for all things culinary. This is my chance to design the kitchen of my dreams, which for me is actually quite simple . . . except when it comes to appliances. Here's what I'm thinking, based on research I've done thus far:

Wolf cook top, consisting of gas multi function burner, two burner induction top, and in-counter steamer;
Gaggenau or Wolf double oven (would love opinions here);
Miele dishwasher;
undecided on fridge.

Are there brands I've missed? Thoughts on a refrigerator that does not cost as much as college tuition? Thank you!

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  1. welcome!

    that's a great adventure. the kitchen is the best room in the house. it's where all life is supported. imagine not eating? gaggenau has great stoves. wolf, viking and others all have great features. dump all electric sources, they will cost you in the end. all gas is the only way to go. convection oven if you like to bake. throw out the induction in favor of an open grill and a griddle if you like pancakes and such. we're talking flavor here and electric earns zero points.

    next is the refrigeration. if you like wolf then check out sub zero. i recommend side by side fridge and freezer units. if you have the wall space that is the way to go. then washing dishes is certainly a big topic. check out the fisher and paykel two drawer washers. they make super wide units if you need the capacity. the only thing in your way is cost. if not a problem, go for it. have a budget? kitchen aid makes some really good mid pro units, washers, fridge and stoves.

    cabinets? kraft maid all wood construction. say no to flakeboard. even some high end names like thomasville are made of that junk. it's only about 20% more to go all wood. skip the fancy designs in favor of good construction. countertops of man made marble are getting very popular and the price is better than ever. it almost doesn't pay to use formica. for floors, porcelain is more durable than ceramic and is color through. correct installation is critcal.

    a good hood with adequate air volume especially with a grill is very important. make sure it has good lighting. i like farmhouse style sinks but that is up to you. use well placed lighting. forget those designer hanging dark glass fooba accent lights. they don't do the job. kitchens need light. simple track or recessed lights are you best bet. position your appliances and utilities to take advantage of window light and ease of plunbing. your life will be easier.

    finally, you know what you want, take measurements, make a drawing and work on it until everything fits where you want it. time spent planing is time and money saved. you will benefit from it forever. next the bathroom, next chapter.

    good luck, jerry

    1. I would definately put in two dishwashers. With our family of three, there are at least three days a week I could have two dishwashers running at the same time.

      My husband worked on a renovation of a large Victorian a couple of years ago and the owners opted for something I had never seen before. Instead of a sub zero or similar style built-in fridge, they used a full size freezer and a full size fridge set side by side and had the door swings set so they openned outward. The cabinetry (Wood-Mode) was installed around the units. I can't remember the brand of the freezer/fridge.

      6 Replies
      1. re: cleobeach

        Fridgidaire, Whirlpool,SZ, Thermador, Liebherr and others make this type of thing. There are commercial units too but they are noisy.

        1. re: wekick

          Maybe have been Fridgidaire. I know they weren't commercial units because the owners' told me commercial units also burn too much electricity. They had the cabinets set in flush with the edge of the units so it gave a built-in apperance.

          1. re: cleobeach

            I'm pretty sure it's this one:

            http://www.frigidaire.com/products/Ki...

            You can get a trim kit to combine the two into what looks like a single unit. Also available as an Electrolux for $600 more.

        2. re: cleobeach

          separate fridge and freezer....space hog for sure, but a clever idea

          1. re: cleobeach

            I put Wood Mode cabinets in my last house and I truly miss them. The finish was so durable and they were so well made. Sometimes I get the urge to go to my previous house and see how they have worn. They would be almost 12 years old now.

          2. It is so much fun planning a new kitchen. In addition to this forum, these forums are very helpful in getting information about appliances and kitchen planning in general.

            http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/

            http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitch...

            There are threads about the best things people did when remodeling or this thread-
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743667

            A book I found very helpful -
            http://kitchendesignwithcookinginmind... It is available on Amazon very reasonably.

            I think you would really like induction. Almost everyone that has it loves it. It have a full range of temperature and depending on what numbers you look at, almost twice as efficient. I would ask if three hobs will be enough. You can always add a portable induction hob if you need additional though. I have used gas all my life and would certainly consider induction "next time".

            Ovens-People seem to like Wolf ovens. I have a Wolf oven in a DF 36 inch range and love it. I also have an Electrolux wall oven, 30inch and love it too. Rather than a double oven, I would consider 2 separate single wall ovens so if something goes wrong with one, you still have the other. Electric ovens often will have additional convection elements that contribute to even heating when the oven is full. They can also have modes that allow heat to be directed more from the top for roasting and bottom for baking. Gas ovens typically have just a fan for convection. Both of my ovens have very even heating, but I think the dual fans on the 36 inch oven is helpful. I haven't used Gaggenau so can't speak to how it bakes.

            Our frig is a 48 inch KA because I liked the layout the best. It was only about $1000 less than SZ. It works ok but the fit and finish is mediocre.

            I was fortunate to have a neighbor who builds cabinets build mine. He just charged an hourly rate plus materials so it was cheaper than buying them ready made. Almost all my bottom cabinets are drawers, except a few shallow ones for stock pots and the like. On one wall I made the countertops extra deep(30 inches) to allow for leaving some frequently used small appliances out and still have the full amount of work area. My cabinets are extra deep as well but you can do this with standard cabinets.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wekick

              Thanks for all of the great advice so far! I have been a strong proponent of gas, and polled all of my friends with induction. They all gave me a resounding yes, so I'm excited to give it a try. Because we'll have the in-counter steamer, I think that three burners will be enough. I would do four (two gas, two induction), but there doesn't seem to be the right size for a wok on the Wolf gas tow burner option.

              I had not even considered two individual ovens. What a good idea. I have a line on two Gaggenau ovens at 50% off, although I think they might be 24" and I'm thinking 30". I'll do some thinking and research on that.

              I love, love the idea of a standing freezer and fridge next to each other. Oh the space! We had a GE fridge in our previous home that we loved, but it was a combo unit. Any recommendations on brands to look for here?

              Such a good call to raise the dishwasher! I don't think we'll do two, but I have seen some pictures of kitchens with two drawer dishwashers. It seems like a good concept, but wonder how well the drawer units work.

              As for cabinets, I'm planning on no wall cabinets, save for one or two with glass doors flanking the sink. Someone once told me to go for all drawers; any thoughts on that?

              1. re: hmizia

                I got to create a new kitchen in a mansion that had never had one "above stairs." We had no upper cabinets but rather a deep "closet" at either end. One was basically the breakfast center with a butcher block counter, coffee maker and toaster. The other was a pantry. Really made the room something special. As for drawers, we had them there wherever we could and have them in our new place. Love them a lot.

            2. I would second the comment on induction. It is a wise idea to have both gas and electric in your kitchen. We have had both for 20 years and have never regretted it. You'll need steel, flat bottomed cookware for the induction. I installed a 2 burner gas Jenn Air next to an electric induction smoothtop. We cook steaks and hamburgers on the Jenn Air in the winter.
              Also, another good idea on 2 separate wall ovens. go for two convection ovens.
              If your kitchen is large enough, a separate freezer and fridge is the way to go.I would not buy Frigidaire due to quality issues.
              If you can mount your dishwasher up around 14 inches off the ground you will thank yourself many times over for not having to bend down to reach the bottom rack. We put ours in a wall cabinet.
              Finally, make sure you can get good service and parts on any brand you choose before installing it. This is not always the case with Miele and Gaggenau unless you live in a large urban area.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Enigma3

                Any thoughts on Wolf vs. Gaggenau cooktops? I'd also love to know if anyone has used the in-counter steamer.

              2. To be honest, I wouldn't get hung up brands just yet, 'specially not the hi-zoot ones you mention. You will pay dearly (both purchase and service) for that "commercial" look, and glean few of the benefits. If you have the space, and it sounds like you have the budget, definitely plan for a wall oven...2? Seems like overkill, but if you truly have that kind of baking tempo, why not. Is this an open floor plan? Or open kawn-cept as my Canadian friends like to say? Invest in a good quiet dishwasher. Doesn't need to be a miele, bugatti, or maybach...GE and KA make really good units. In counter steamer? Do you really have the counter space to dedicate? Might sound cool in an Arch Digest piece, but how absolutely funtional is it, truthfully. I WOULD put some good money into the faucet and sink, this is going to be the most used tool in your kitchen. Again, the obscure european brands all look spiff-spiff, but you'll find great quality in Delta or Pfister, and easy to find parts as well. Have fun

                1 Reply
                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                  Hey, OP:

                  You listen to the BiscuitBoy, OK? Wisdom there...

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo