Choosing appliances for a remodel or a new build can be a difficult and detailed task. Which brands, features, styles, finishes, and configurations to choose are all questions that need to be considered, not to mention compatibility with existing conditions, including size, height, cabinet constraints, electrical and gas requirements, and ventilation needs.
I like to think that I have a good general knowledge about appliances, but since the technology is always changing there is always more research to do. Additionally, different features and details are important to different people, depending on how a space is used. And aesthetics play a big role, of course. When choosing an appliance, the more research you can do, the better. However, I still think that the best way to research is the old fashioned way: go look!
In the spirit of looking at things in person, I visited the Architectural Digest show this year and spent most of my time looking at appliances and watching demonstrations. The show is a nice opportunity to see many appliance companies at one time, all featuring the best and most interesting aspects of their brands that year.
Viking’s induction stove top has a design reminiscent of the classic Viking appliances despite the sleek flat top.
One of the big stories from the last several years has been the emergence of the induction stove. While the induction stove is not new by any stretch, the technology seems to be advancing. Despite the fact that my amateur-but-cooks-like-a-professional husband dismissed the idea of an induction stove (no flame? no deal!), I think for the typical modern urban dweller, the speed of cooking (boil a big pot of water within a couple of minutes) and the ease of cleaning up (one flat surface to wipe) are hard to beat. Safety factors in, too: the surface itself does not get very hot and, of course, there is no flame. And if you were skeptical, some celebrity c hefs, including Daniel Boulud, use induction stovetops.
Viking has a new induction stove on the market (pictured above) that has up to six burners that can all work at the same time. Most induction stoves have less, or the heat is compromised significantly if one “burner” is on high.
Viking also has a speed oven coming out soon (“TurboChef”) that seems pretty interesting. It’s the same technology that is used to heat your breakfast sandwich at Starbucks. Press a button for lamb chops, and the oven tells you what settings are best and then cooks it – fast. Pretty convenient, again, for the typical New Yorker or generally busy human.
Black appliances also seem to be in style. I loved the look of this Miele wine refrigerator (above) with the add-in features inside, including storage for glasses and decanters. I think the juxtaposition of the black with the light wood is quite elegant.
Miele also has a range with a similar touchscreen system to the Viking Turbochef, with suggestions for times and heat levels for cooking different items. The Miele range, like all Miele appliances, is a beautiful piece of equipment.
The La Cornue range, pictured above, is a classic. This French company is known for its top-of-the-line quality and its specific “old-school industrial” aesthetic. Their new line of colors was featured at the AD show this year, which gives the fixtures a new freshness. But buyer beware: the top La Cornue ranges might compare monetarily to your next luxury car. Luckily, they now have a pared-down version (pictured above in pink, but available in other colors, of course) which is more “reasonable”.
Lots of choices, but lots of fun, as designs become more and more advanced, both aesthetically and technologically.
In good design,