How To: Choosing Appliances

I have spent many weeks researching appliances and trying to pick the one perfect for our kitchen.  After a lot of research I am happy to say we have finally made a decision.  If you are doing a kitchen renovation or just need new appliances here are a few things to think about:


  1. Make a list of your must-have functions.  Functionality is by far the most important part of kitchen appliances.  Paying an extra fee for extra features may be more important than having stainless steel if those features make your life easier.  However, if you don’t need a water and ice dispenser in your refrigerator, there is no need to pay extra for it!
  2. Before heading to the store, know how much space you have available.  Some appliances come in standard sizes, while others can vary a lot.  This is especially important if you need built-in appliances rather than free-standing ones.
  3. Decide what kind of energy source you will be using.  Many people have specific preferences about gas and electric ranges and stoves.  It is important to decide which you would prefer (everyone has different reasons), as well as what hook-ups are available in your home.
  4. Choose the finish you would like to match your kitchen style and your budget.  Most appliances come in multiple finishes and prices can vary.  If stainless steel is a must, you may have to increase your budget.
  5. Decide what brand you prefer.  The best way to decide what brand you prefer is research, research, research.  Even if you can narrow it down to a couple of brands to begin your in-store search it will help.  Read customer reviews and make sure you are getting what you really want.  Your appliances do not all need to be from the same brand, but you may get a package price if you stay within one brand when you purchase.
  6. Shop around.  Very few stores have every appliance on display.  Shop around for the appliances you want, at the price you want them.  You may find the perfect appliances at a store, but make sure they are giving you the best possible price.  Once you have chosen your appliances, bring the model numbers to other appliance stores and ask what kind of price they can offer.  Most appliance stores can special order appliances and many will quote a lower price than what you can find online, so go negotiate!


For me, functionality trumps finish and our budget is tight!  This automatically removes stainless steel from my options.  I shopped the big box stores as well as some local appliance stores to decide what functions and features I wanted.  Here is my list:

  • Large oven
  • Convection oven
  • French door refrigerator
  • No water and ice dispenser in refrigerator
  • About 22 square feet refrigerator/freezer space
  • Microwave with hood combination
  • Whirlpool Brand

I found my appliances at Lowes, but was able to negotiate a better price at our local appliance store.  Here’s what we chose:









While everyone has different preferences, research can make your appliance shopping much less stressful.  At first, I didn’t know where to start and just looked at the appliances available in the store in my price range.  Once I streamlined my search, it became so much easier!  Pick what works for you and spend the extra dollar if you have to.  You will be using these appliances a lot and it is important to like them.  Good luck!


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