What major kitchen appliances do I need?
To serve its purpose your kitchen requires a fridge, freezer, oven or range cooker and hob. A dishwasher isn't exactly a necessity, but we don't believe anyone really likes washing the dishes, so if you can find room for one you may very well be grateful for it. Ditto a microwave: you could live without one, but it can make life a great deal more convenient. Although the kitchen appliance staples are always the same, the size and type can be chosen to complement the style and size of your kitchen; a sleek, monolithic fridge freezer might look perfect in a modern kitchen, but a country or shabby chic kitchen may look be better furnished with a pastel-coloured Smeg fridge. Likewise, a separate full-sized fridge and freezer or an American-style double fridge is great if you've got a big kitchen, whereas for smaller spaces there are undercountered fridge freezers that make the most of available space.
What small kitchen appliances and kitchen gadgets do I need?
There is a kitchen appliance for everything, so you really can find any gadget to suit your eating and drinking habits. A kettle is considered an essential, and other staples might include a microwave, blender and toaster. Depending on your daily needs you might also want to own a coffee machine, food mixer, food processor and slow cooker, which many of us use regularly. More specialty appliances and kitchen gadgets include a bread maker, ice cream maker and juicer; these are great fun but can take up a lot of cabinet or worktop space, so it's worth thinking about how much you'll use them before you invest.
Should I buy built-in appliances, or freestanding appliances?
If you are commissioning an entirely new kitchen, then you may have the option to include built-in appliances, which can be great way to blend your appliances in to the overall finish of your kitchen. If, however, there are particular appliances you love the look of, these can be used as part of your kitchen decor - for example, a bold red fridge freezer could make a stunning statement in your black and white kitchen, while a brushed stainless steel dishwasher might be just the right finish for your industrial-style kitchen. If you are only replacing or upgrading your appliances, you'll more likely be in the market for white goods in keeping with the existing look and feel of your kitchen. "Like with like" is a good policy: if you already have black appliances, your new units should be chosen accordingly. Alternatively, stainless steel appliances are a good universal choice that go well with most other designs.
Ready to make your big purchase? Check out our range cooker, stove, oven, fridge freezer, microwave, kettle and coffee machine collections on Houzz.