The Appliances You Probably Do NOT Need

Client’s cool coffee area with open shelves displaying some of her LE CREUSET collection. Much more appealing than just another cabinet with an appliance.

Client’s cool coffee area with open shelves displaying some of her LE CREUSET collection. Much more appealing than just another cabinet with an appliance.

So you are embarking on a kitchen remodel or building a new house. It is time for you to pick your appliances. Appliances are the work horses of your kitchen - they also will eat up a large portion of your budget depending on the grade of appliances you are choosing. Today there are never ending appliances that you can add onto your list. Generally the appliances on this list require a built-in cabinet installation.


These sound nice in your Martha Stewart imagery of making large meals and keeping meals warm for your loved one to arrive home late. Reality warming drawers become an expensive storage drawer. You probably do not need it. Also, if they are installed low to the ground and you have pets, when you open them up you could easily have hair float into the food or fido or kit kat will be in for a quick snack.


Steam ovens promise a lot - I feel like there is nothing you can do in a steam oven that you are not able to achieve through conventional range top steam pots or a standard oven using water and heat. These are not cheap and they require a built in cabinet to hold them. You loose storage space and you potentially have a cabinet with a hole in it with a non working appliance when it eats the dust.


I had a client insisting on putting in a Wolf cappuccino machine that required a built in cabinet and a water line going to it. My opinion on this type of appliance is always the same - you are spending a lot of money on an appliance that could go bad within 5 years and you are stuck with this expensive cabinet and a non-working appliance that may no longer exist. My style is generally to just give an opinion, but ultimately move forward with client wishes. It is not my space and my end goal is always to achieve a space that works for my client. During the design process we were getting close to the end and I must have repeated myself again somehow and a light bulb went off in her head and she totally agreed with me. We instead created a counter space for an amazing counter machine she bought - a drawer beneath set up to store cups. The cool expensive built-in gadget appliance was not necessary and would loose it s coolness pretty fast and could just become an annoyance. I was happy - because in the end she was happy.


Totally know that most people will not agree with this. The microwave really is not a necessity. Common things you hear about getting rid of the microwave: “How will I boil water?”. “How will I heat up food?”, “How will I make popcorn?”….. The perpetuation of the microwave in people’s kitchens has creating generations of people who do not know how to cook basic things. Without the microwave, you are forced to actually cook. You can boil water in a kettle. You can heat up food in an oven or on the range top. You can make non chemical laden popcorn using a pan, oil and popcorn. I have not had a microwave in 12 years - do not miss it and would never take up expensive cabinet space for a built-in microwave. The nice drawer versions start in the $1000 range. The only proper place for a microwave is someplace you do not see it - just my thoughts from a design perspective. I really believe you can live without one.


I think these are actually useful. However, if you do not have the space for a trash compactor and built-in trash cabinet also for recycling - you may want to just go with a 2 barrel trash cabinet.