Once you've finalised your kitchen cabinets shutters and countertop, you might then be thinking how to choose kitchen appliances that accommodate your style of cooking and kitchen. The most basic kit comprises oven, hob and chimney, a microwave and steam oven. You'll may also need a dishwasher - they use much less water than washing-up by hand - and a cooling product such as a refrigerator.
While selecting kitchen appliance make sure it's energy efficient by choosing a model with maximum star rating. these will not only work more efficiently but they will also cut back on energy bills, too. The next step is to think about the features and functions for each appliance that will make your life simpler.
Cook tops /Ovens
Freestanding range cookers can be used with a stainless steel finish or colourful enamelled design and you can choose from a single or double oven model
cooktops come in 90cm, 100cm or 110cm widths and are perfect for larger kitchens and great for roasts and slow cooking. For smaller kitchens there are plenty of compact slot-in cook tops available in a 60cm width. For a more streamlined look, a built-in oven can be integrated at eye level, which is kinder on the back, or installed below the worktop as a built-under model. Built-in ovens tend to offer the very latest technology, making them the ideal choice for keen cooks and those who enjoy entertaining.
Whether you prefer a single or double oven, look for automatic programmes that take the guesswork out of cooking by suggesting the time, temperature and oven shelf for your dish; memory functions so you can cook your favourites at the touch of a button and Pyrolytic self-cleaning, which burns fat and grease at 500˚C, leaving a fine ash to simply wipe away. One thing to remember is to always check the cooking capacity. Single and double ovens have the same dimensions on the outside but the internal capacity will vary and the bigger, the better.
A good hob is a must in every kitchen and the latest trend is for induction, which is energy efficient, ultra-quick and safe, making it the perfect choice for families with young children. It works by heating the pan not the hob, so heat is only conducted once the electro-magnetic coils beneath the hob's surface come into contact with a suitable pan. If you're not sure whether your pans are compatible, take the magnet test. If it sticks to the bottom of the pan, it's suitable to use. Induction is perfect for high heat cooking - some manufacturers also offer wok induction hobs - as well as low temperature cooking for sauces and melting chocolate. Gas is still popular, as it's familiar and offers instant heat and there are some gorgeous gas-on-glass hobs available, which offer touch controls and an easy-clean finish.
If you love entertaining and have an open-plan kitchen, why not go for a domino hob? These slimline modular hobs enable you to mix and match fuels to create a customised cooktop. There are gas, ceramic and induction models to choose from, as well as deep fryers, steamers, wok hobs and lava stone grills for that authentic BBQ taste.
You can create more cooking flexibility by adding a microwave to a bank of built-in appliances. Many manufacturers offer a compact collection of microwaves, steam ovens, coffee machines and wine coolers with a 45cm height instead of the traditional 60cm.
Contrary to popular belief, dishwashers use less water than washing-up by hand and the latest models offer a range of water-saving features to conserve water and energy, too.