The Ins & Outs of Appliance Shopping

Are you getting ready to shop for appliances and need some “ins & outs” of the process? I thought I would share some of the details of the process.


I always ask my clients to select their appliances before I do the final drawings for the kitchen. Typically, we have already designed the layout when I send them shopping with a list of sizes that I’ve preliminarily drawn in. Sometimes the list changes when they come back to me with the list of appliances that they want to use. Quite often my clients will see a product while shopping that they love so much that I need to fit it in or the size that I drew in was too small (true, I’ve never drawn something originally that is too large – kind of funny). It’s all fine, we just edit the plan for the cabinetry to make the appliances work.


When we went shopping for Rocky Bay Home, it was a journey for sure just like my clients. My husband had a goal of doing this in 15 minutes – typical. I knew this was going to be a longer process but since he does a good amount of cooking, I entertained his process. Fifteen minutes into the experience, we still hadn’t landed on a refrigerator so yes, I knew this was going to tear exceed the 15-minute goal.


Part of the challenge is that I had to use an appliance resource that I’m not used to working with because Rocky Bay is in Mid-Coast Maine while I’m used to working in the NH & Maine Seacoast region. I found my salesman frustrating because he wouldn’t speak to me as a professional or send me the specifications. I need the specs in order to be completely accurate with my drawings so… yep he just wanted to talk to my male contractor. Ah, the joys of being a woman in the industry.


The other challenge is that all the appliances were the original 1984 appliances which meant that they were small compared to today’s standards. The oven was installed in a (terrible) brick enclosure – complete with an arch. But when we pulled specifications for a modern replacement, it was literally smaller and twice the price. And the refrigerator was the smaller than our current standard by literally 1/4” but that 1/4” meant that at least two cabinets needed to change in order to accommodate the size. When looking at budget and long-range plan, we made the decision to buy the appliances that worked for us long-range and adjust the kitchen to make them work.


Yes, this meant that that we said good-bye to the terrible brick oven surround and created a full pantry at a relatively low-price with a big return on investment. And abandoned a terrible island with dysfunctional cooktop and downdraft that didn’t work to replace it with a 36” w. Slide-in Bertazzoni range and hood on the exterior so that it will actually exhaust well. We also decided to go with a standard Bertazzoni counter depth refrigerator as well which meant that I needed to purchase one new unfinished base cabinet then painted them all to match. The appliance company then threw in a free dishwasher for our dedication – haha. It’s all good because they will look great together and work for years to come – much longer than the old cabinets that are now painted blue and not worth accommodating.


Long and short, appliances are expensive and well worth your investment but do a lot of homework and be ready to change things and… probably spend more than 15-minutes on your selections.


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