I can’t believe it has been a solid month since I last gave an update on our kitchen remodel. You’d think that in a month’s time we’d be rocking a semi-functional kitchen by now. But no. Instead our diet continues to consist of raw foods, Thai take-out, and anything we can grill. While the functionality and visual progress might not be much, one big thing has happened: we made all of our appliance decisions and even have them in our house … in boxes. We took advantage of a big sale from our local appliance dealer, the only downside of which was that the appliances had to be delivered way earlier than we were prepared to get them. We figured big savings outweighs a big headache of working around the huge boxes. So now they sit. Just waiting for me to cook the hell out of this kitchen.
In picking kitchen appliances, we did a lot of internet research, read lots of reviews, worked with a sales person at our local appliance dealer, and ultimately went with what we thought would work best for us (knowing lots of folks will disagree but that we are the ones living here). All the research in the world was no substitute for playing with each of the appliances in the showroom. Here’s what we picked.
Biggest Splurge: the Viking 48″ Dual Fuel Range.
This is our one big splurge for the kitchen. We (maybe just me?) have been wanting this range/double oven combo since forever. Like when regular people dream of vacations and cars, I dream of six-burner-plus-griddle ranges and two ovens (yes, definitely just me on that).
“Dual Fuel” means that it is a gas range top and electric oven. Gas for cooking just rocks. But I’ve always preferred an electric oven for even and proper baking/roasting/etc. Hearing gas fire up and down on an oven can drive me nuts. Also, with gas ovens you are more likely to need to rotate pans while baking – and I can barely remember to take out cookies before burning let alone turn them halfway through baking.
I do a fair amount of cooking and baking (when we have a functioning kitchen, of course) so having 6 burners is great. I’ve definitely had times where I needed more than 4. And I’ve always wanted a griddle – grilled cheese sandwiches are my favorite. And I figure we’ll get tons of use out of it for kid food (quesadillas, sandwiches, eggs, french toast, etc.).
We compared Viking with BlueStar and Wolf, and a few things made us choose Viking. One of those was price. On sale, the Viking beat out other options (especially considering the dishwasher, below). Also, it seemed much easier to clean than the Blue Star and has better cooking control than the Blue Star (my folks have that and while they love it, that sucker cooks HOT). We are anxious to hook it up and give it a test run. For now, it is sitting like this:
Biggest Save (free!): Viking Dishwasher
Not only was our range/oven on sale, but it also came with a free Viking dishwasher. Free! Can’t argue with that. M installed temporarily but without the stainless steel cover (again, to try and keep damage to a minimum during the remodel).
Note: the door doesn’t stay open without the cover, but wrestling with it is so worth skipping washing dishes by hand in the interim.
Second Biggest Save (free!): 36″ Sub-Zero Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezer
Well this one is circa 1992, and that’s because it is the fridge that was in the kitchen when we moved into our house. We kept going back and forth between whether to use this old fridge or to spring for a new one. No lie, walking into the appliance store and seeing all the shiny, new, beautiful fridges was super tempting. Who knew refrigerators could be so sleek and sexy. But we decided to forego sexy and embrace old. Although it is 20 years old, we’ve had it serviced and it works great. Our appliance sales rep really encouraged us to keep it, and since she works on commission we figured her recommendation was fairly meaningful. Our fridge originally had pink-ish paneling that I recovered with chalkboard contact paper. To be decided is whether to keep it as a chalkboard or to get new (non pink) panels. Either way, chalkboard paper or new panels sure are cheaper than a whole new fridge and really helped our decision to splurge on the range.
Because We Need a Real Vent: 18″ x 48″ BlueStar Vent Wall Hood
We have always had a microwave double as our vent, but for a big range you need a big hood. We went for the BlueStar because on sale it was less than the Viking or other comparable vents, has really good lighting and venting controls, has angled baffles on the inside for the best venting, and looks substantial without being too obnoxious. We sure hope it lives up to expectations.
Because We Drink Wine: 15″ U-Line Wine Fridge
We got a 15″ wine fridge mostly just for fun and to satisfy our wine-drinking ways. We typically drink red wine and have a big wine fridge in the basement, so this wasn’t a necessity but it will get frequent use. We had a wine fridge in the kitchen of our old house and really liked it. In this house, we thought a small wine fridge in the kitchen would be great for storing wine during the warmer months and would save our drinking legs from having to walk to the basement when we are desperate for another bottle (ahh, looking forward to having parties in this kitchen again someday).
The only other appliance we need is a microwave, but we plan to go small and inexpensive, hopefully to be tucked into a cabinet. That will probably be one of the last things we purchase.
So now we need to get moving on more of the labor part of the kitchen remodel, like finishing the electric work (this week!), putting in drywall (someday…), creating a planked ceiling (after drywall), and then dealing with the floors (ugh). You can read more about our flooring dilemma here – we are still undecided! We hope to really get moving on these things so we can be done with the boring stuff and onto the fun things, like cabinets! And counters! And cooking!