Kitchen design diary: Choosing appliances

Everyone has things that they’re so good at that they wish they could put them on their CV. For me, it’s shopping. Or at least, spending. Buying stuff? Nailed it.

But when it came to choosing appliances for the new kitchen, my usual skillset failed me. I found it incredibly hard to make a decision on one appliance over another. Trying to balance the useful features with energy efficiency and not let costs spiral out of control had me waking up at 5am wondering out aloud, “But if I choose the cheaper dishwasher that uses more water, won’t I just end up spending my saving? What about the energy rating?”. And so on.

After weeks of agonising, I solved my dilemma by focusing on one thing for each appliance that I had to have and decided to hang the rest. And it worked. I could make decisions without being paralysed by fear that I was choosing the wrong thing because at least one feature would be exactly right.

I’m keeping my current oven and hob as they’re fairly new, but here’s the rest of what I’ve plumped for and why:

Best Lift downdraft extractor hood

I chose this because I didn’t want an extractor over my hob and it’s super quiet.

AEG SCN51810S0 integrated fridge freezer

AEG fridge freezerMy deciding factor on this one was energy rating, seeing as the hard-working fridge freezer is the only appliance that’s on all the time.

Neff integrated S51M66X0GB

Neff dishwasher

I’d love to say that it was the energy efficiency that swung this decision but it was actually its TimeLight feature, which projects the remaining wash time on the floor without having to open the door. The heart wants what it wants.

AEG MCD2664E-M compact microwave

AEG microwaveFinally, I needed a built-in microwave so I didn’t have a freestanding one hogging my workspace. Brand was the deciding factor here, to match my AEG oven.

With my appliances all settled on, I’m now at the stage where my cabinetry can start to be made in the Harvey Jones workshop in Cambridgeshire. Check out how they make their kitchens in this fascinating video:


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