What’s your kitchen style? If ‘streamlined and sleek’ is the answer, we’ll both know there is no other option than to choose built-in appliances.
Whether you hide them behind cabinet doors or proudly display their fronts, nothing fits quite as satisfyingly well as integrated appliances. Unless they’re a tiny bit out, that is – and believe me, I know.
My mum’s dishwasher was, for a while, thanks to a slightly too thick front and it drove me up the walls every time I came to visit. (We corrected that mistake.)
But apart from finding the right look, what else do you need to keep your eye out for?
Well, as always, I have you covered – let’s go!
Built-in appliances can do anything their freestanding counterparts can, don’t worry. The only difference is that one is tucked away in the cupboard or maybe even behind door fronts and the other is out on full display.
They all have developed quite considerably and come with a whole host of features, from steam cooking to pre-set programmes to make your Sunday roast a success.
So there is no rule that says one is better than the other. It all depends on your kitchen and what you want to achieve.
What you can do to increase functionality is pair your built-in appliances cleverly. Stacking two ovens makes keeping an eye on multiple dishes easy as pie and kinder on your back.
And if you can’t decide between an electric or gas hob, lucky you: dual-fuel cookers have you sorted.
Something else has come a long way: oven fronts.
Yes, I know, that’s what my face looked like too, but they’ve developed from being black, silver, or (the horror) white boxes to coming in snazzy high-gloss finishes.
Some may also feature metallic trims – yes, rose gold and copper are options with some companies – or statement knobs, handles, or other embellishments.
For other appliances, all you have to worry about is one simple question: door fronts – yes or no?
Needless to say, this one is pretty crucial. Measure everything as accurately as humanly possible; there is really not much wiggle room, if any at all.
Then, head out and browse shops and showrooms to find what you need. Buying online is, of course, an option, but it’s always best to see appliances in person to give them a good try.
Open the doors, look at the internal layout of fridge-freezers, and if you’re unsure, grab a shop assistant (figuratively speaking – please don’t actually physically grab someone) and let them talk you through everything.
If you’re banking appliances, make sure you buy from the same range to make sure they line up perfectly. If you mix and match, you risk this not being the case, so proceed with caution unless this is the look you’re going for.
All built-in appliances also come with standard fixings, which your kitchen installer can screw onto your door panels to connect the two.
If someone does need repairing, the appliance in question can usually simply be pulled out of its casing and returned once everything is fixes.
When planning, also make sure you don’t place hot and cold appliances next to each other.
A fridge-freezer beside a hob and oven combination, for example, will have to work much harder to keep its contents nice and cool, which in turn will drive up your energy bills.
You may also enjoy: My top tips on choosing appliances
While they’re up to 20% more expensive than freestanding designs, built-in appliances may also use more energy so factor this into your descision.
So, are you team built-in or freestanding? Let me know!
Featured image: Now you can even get your coffee machine as a built-in solution – this CVA 7845 coffee machine from Miele is priced £3599 and shown with the DGC 7865 XXL combination steam oven, both in Graphite grey.