Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brand Skipping: Appliances

We started looking at appliances, um let's see...probably the day we closed on our house. Mike got really excited from the get-go about appliances and got on some early research, so given to the amount of time we've had to change our minds, we've done so about...6 times.

The one thing he knew right away is that we did not bake enough to warrant 2 ovens, and if going with 1 oven, that he preferred the cleaner contemporary look of a single oven in the wall paired with a separate cooktop on top (as opposed to a full range). All paired with a statement hood. This oven + cooktop combo posed a lot of confusion shopping at appliances stores locally, but off we went cheerfully explaining with photo in hand:

 We originally started out with a plan to go with the "best in each category": for dishwashers we looked at Bosch, for ovens and cooktops we looked at Thermador (pretty star shaped range!) and Bertazzoni (and Wolf which while I loved the red knobs I found a bit too chunky), for fridges we didn't have quite the budget for Subzero so we looked at many other options — KitchenAid Pro, GE Profile..... a blurry list of appliance brands follows...... Next thing I remember I fell in love with this cooktop from Viking for the pretty curves, and I thought we had a winner:
But the  appliance search continued in a true back and forth of "pretty" (me) versus "quality reputation" (Mike) – ok, valid point, haha. We got caught up in a period of insistence (from my end) on the handles matching — if we went with the best brand in each category, how would they all look together? Sure they'd all be stainless, but there are many variations on the style details. The "no one will notice this" reasoning by the appliance salesmen doesn't really matter if you yourself will be bothered every day.

Why couldn't we find a full brand solution in appliance? – a line of appliances that had good reviews in every category (dishwasher, oven, fridge, etc), so, at the same time, solved the consistency issue?

We moved away from the curvy Viking after long and careful consideration, and after the _nth visit on the appliance store circuit, in a surprise last minute switch before the cabinets had to be measured, we decided to go with Electrolux's "Icon" offering.

A brand neither of us knew well, but solved both the issues of form, function, and review.

(Ok, in full disclosure they still couldn't beat Bosch on the dishwasher.... BUT we decided to combat the visual difference by paneling the front of it). Here is the rest of the group:

Not going to lie, this pretty lapis blue interior I saw in the store started us on the whole Electrolux path! And it even lights up slowly when you open it, really gentle kind of "mood" lighting. What is it about these hidden details are such an allure? Reminds me of why women love....
...yep....ok back to appliances....

Warming drawer

And the final last minute decision was to go with the induction cooktop: the look of electric with the cooking quality of gas(+).

This suggestion was Mike's-"I love modern things" side mixing with his love for the forefront of technology, and there were no arguments from me here on this one. Even if it does require new pots and pans, the sleek lines of the induction versus gas are totally worth it. Ahh, endless list~Remind me of this when I am cooking with one pot in 3 months :)

The range hoods from Zephyr hopefully will be the cherry on top. Still considering their options, but they are all accessible modern, a good mix of price and style...

In other news, we have started tile in the guest bath:
Here's the shower going in.

Mid-tile in shower, rest of floor still to go
And, not too exciting to see yet, but a set of recessed shelving was carved out on the opposing wall, inspired by this one:
Toilet and floating vanity were ordered. Sink and faucets/trim are in, frameless shower door, mirror, vanity lighting, and wall paint to come. And we'll just have to see how it all starts to come together.

Fingers crossed!

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