Treat your wine and beer right – and keep everything perfectly chill for the holidays!
02/12/2019

Beautifully Smart Built-ins

Recently a colleague mentioned that when she first arrived in Canada from Europe, where built-in kitchen appliances are the norm, she was surprised to find that free-standing stoves, dishwashers, and fridges are still commonplace, here.

Why would that be, we wondered? Do North Americans think that built-ins – which are installed to sit flush with surrounding kitchen cabinets – are just about aesthetics? If that were true, free-standing models, which you can take with you when you move and come in at a lower price point, might arguably be the most practical choice for everyone.

But built-ins offer so much more than a sophisticated, streamlined look. We suspect that once folks on this side of the pond catch on to all their functional perks, we’ll see them in increasing numbers of homes here, too

Advantage #1: Location, location, location!

That real estate truism – that it’s all about location – also applies to kitchen layouts. Built-ins can be configured in so many ways, they make it much easier to design a kitchen with lots of elbow room.

For example, a separate cooktop and oven means two people can deal with hot pots and pans without tripping over each other. No matter how many cooks and kitchen helpers lend a hand.

For home cooks who regularly bake or braise roasts in heavy dutch ovens, an above counter built-in oven also means never, ever again having to remember to lift with your legs while taking a holiday roast out of the oven.

Advantage #2: Space efficiency

Built-in ovens, cooktops, fridges, and dishwashers come in standard and compact widths that make the most out of every kind of kitchen out there, from ship-shape ultra-compact layouts in urban condos to roomy family kitchens and great rooms. 

With an upper rack that can be raised or lowered to accommodate whatever type of dishes need cleaning, Blomberg’s 18" Slim Tub, Top Control Dishwasher is space-saving outside and inside, too.
This means that the fleet of dirty wine glasses left in the wake of a cocktail party or the pots and pans used for a three-course dinner don’t have to sit out on the counter while you run multiple loads.

Since they panel ready, both it and Blomberg’s 22-inch Built-in Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator can be matched with surrounding cabinets. That visual cohesiveness makes for a spacious look and feel that reflects their functionality.

Advantage #3: A choice of cooking methods

Built-in oven and cooktops models offer a choice of cooking methods and technologies, too.

Bertazzoni makes both induction and gas built-in cooktops, and their built-in combination convection steam ovens maintain just the right balance of moisture and texture while heating at high speed.

For home cooks who serve multi-course meals along with anyone who works overtime now and then and has to eat a bit later than the rest of the family, warming drawers are a practical addition that can be seamlessly integrated into the perfect oven wall.

Advantage #4: Accessibility

While the fact that built-in cooktops can be installed for wheelchair users will make them an obvious must for some homes.

Also, the ergonomic touch controls and knobs on Bertazzoni’s ovens and accessible front-end touch controls on their built-in induction cooktops are a plus for everyone.

That handy placement may not seem like a striking feature, at first, but it makes a significant difference – for anyone with any kind of limited range of movement or anyone who would rather not have to reach over a boiling pot to turn down the heat.

So is it at all surprising that homes with built-in appliances have higher resale value?

Undeniably, the contemporary look of built-ins have immediate appeal when potential buyers walk into a kitchen, but they also make a real difference in how enjoyable and functional that space is on a day-to-day basis.

To get the most pleasurable, efficient use out of your kitchen now and later – whether your home winds up going on the market at some point or not – it’s worth checking out all the options and features that come with built-in appliances.


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