How do we make stainless steel, and brushed nickel knobs and dials an interesting read!? Well, I have a little story to tell……
Background to Blog:
It’s not every day you get to design and build your own home!
Even as building company owners we go through the same thought processes and have similar desires, fears and constraints to everyone else when it comes to our new home.
This series of blogs is all about our build journey!…………What we have learnt, what worked well and how we worked through any hurdles that arose. We will experience similar situations to our clients and maybe by following our journey you may learn something, or perhaps feel more relaxed, or confident, about the build process, or at least have a laugh!
The story begins a long time ago when we were setting our budget. Our supplier recommended some appliances based on our requirements and of a certain specification. This quote was used as an allowance in our build cost. Usual practice.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago where we started to think about ordering our goodies. We went in to visit our supplier and view the quoted items again in their ‘Built-In’ show room in Christchurch.
Boy oh boy, even though you had recommendations you can’t help but look at the vast array on offer, glide your finger across the smooth polished stainless steel cook tops, and try to avoid your reflection in the gleaming wall ovens set up in the mock kitchens, some of them with working appliances for demonstrations.
A kitchen should be both functional and creative. Function for me is foremost, this includes, ease of use, noise impact and ease of cleaning. Intrusion of the kitchen into the rest of the living space through noise or mess is more of an issue to me personally than ensuring I have a creative space. However, that may just be because I currently struggle in culinary matters! This may change and will not be the same for everyone (who knows one of my children could become MasterChef!).
If I could describe myself as a ‘cook’ I would have been a kid in a lolly shop, but as an amateur ‘baker’ at best I gladly invited narrowed down options, based upon my specific set of requirements, from the experts.
So, our original stipulations (priorities) did not change but a visit to the ‘Built-In’ centre opened my eyes to other options and considerations. This is the reason it is so important to visit show rooms and talk to the experts – research and discovery allows more informed decision making.
As with a house, the same theory applies to a lot of other decisions. What are your priorities and what is your budget?
Our decisions explained
In terms of brand, we completely changed to a brand popular in NZ for everything but the rangehood and dishwasher, both of which would be fully integrated. The design was simple yet stylish, and this brands service support is of definite value to us.
We chose pyrolytic for both ovens for ease of cleaning. This brand came with knobs and clearly identified ‘functions’ versus a digital display. Arguably this would be simpler to use (?)………. remember our 10-year olds need to start with something simple before they become MasterChef’s ……nothing at all to do with mum and dad needing a fool proof oven!!!
Our rangehood is straightforward in that it is re-circulating only as we simply require it for fat removal, not extraction. Our mechanical heat recovery ventilation system takes care of the ventilation for the entire house. As the rangehood is hidden away in a wall cupboard you only see the grills at the bottom, so for us the biggest concern was noise as the motor would be inside that cupboard.
The 900mm hob was originally going to be gas as it was ‘what we have always had’. However, after an induction demonstration we were suitably impressed and ready to embark on a new ‘non gas’ era!!! Advantages were that it’s easy to clean, safe for the kids to use, temperature control was amazing, but it also meant we could avoid having gas bottles and take advantage of the PV panels we were installing, within daylight hours, thereby reducing power costs. No knobs though!!!…. All digital!!…. We are slowly progressing, right? 😊
We now needed to upgrade our existing Fridge Freezer, the longevity of which has been disappointing. So, again brand and quality were a major. The fridge we chose had double doors with chilled water, but the ice making was not in the fridge door but instead was in the freezer drawer in the bottom. This was a bonus as our previous unit had a lot of fridge door space taken up with the ice maker. With a large family the fridge space is premium. The unit also looked sharp which is important for something so visible in a kitchen.
Lastly, our dishwasher. Our current dishwasher in our rental sounds like Victoria Station and our kids do well to sleep through constant arrivals and departures. Plus, the racks always fall off the glider resulting in a lot of chipped crockery. We had an amazing dishwasher in our last house, top of the range but very, very quiet. So quiet in fact you would open it up to load not realising it was on. However, it was also very, very dear! Two alternatives were shown to us with a similar decibel rating to our old ‘quiet’ one, and for a much more reasonable price. The problem of neither being the same brand as our other appliances was easy to negate as we could simply purchase an integrated version so that it matched the adjacent cupboard fronts. We went with the model that reportedly had the best feedback from clients and no complaints. Hopefully, we can add to that same feedback!
In the end, whilst our priorities did not change, we did change every item on our original quote. The budget may have increased very slightly to allow for the induction, plus the fridge freezer was additional as we had originally intended to keep our existing one. However, the removal of gas allowed us to remove any labour and materials required for gas connection.
These details can now be fed to our joiner to allow accurate measurements and integration resulting in a ‘functional’ but potentially ‘creative’ kitchen where the family will live ‘happily ever after’………and hope to be well fed by a future MasterChef!
To discover more stories about our journey to creating our own energy efficient and high performing home go to our blog page.
If you are interested in the processes behind creating a true warm healthy energy efficient home check out our online brochure.